Making enterprise security defences available to every Australian business

Well-known IT leader Euan Prentice has two missions in life. To visit 100 countries by the age of 50 and to ensure that every single Australian business has access to the same level of cyber security protection.

“Having a purpose attached to an IT company is actually a really enjoyable thing,” said Euan.

“I fundamentally believe that cyber security threatens all Australian businesses and should be affordable to all Australian businesses. That just hasn’t been the case in the past.”

With Cythera bucking the trend by bringing affordable, class-leading cyber security solutions to Australian businesses, Euan’s second mission is looking on track.

“Cythera exists to help Australian businesses protect themselves against cyber-attacks,” said Euan.

“Everybody faces the same threats today equally. Whether you are a dentist, a medium sized manufacturer or a large bank. You are subject to the same problems universally.”

Watch as Cythera Co-Founder and Director Euan Prentice shares why he believes in making enterprise security defences available for every Australian business.

Sitting within Cythera’s Melbourne Headquarters, Euan sheds light on the highly complex architecture that underpins the security efforts that Cythera deploys for clients.

“I think people enjoy dealing with Australian businesses located in Australia,” said Euan. “And staffed by Australians.”

Euan Prentice’s formal background was in law and mathematics however believes that IT has always been a hobby and therefor it has been his career.

“I have done it for over 20 years in a variety of roles from Project Management to Account Management and running and owning businesses.”

Euan previously co-founded the highly reputable and successful company O2 Networks with leading cyber security expert Craig Joyce.

“O2 Networks was an incredibly successful IT networking and security consulting firm. We went to large clients and advised them on how to build robust networks that were secure.”

“What we wanted to do was bring those skills to all Australian businesses. Not just the big ones.”

Euan Prentice is passionate about all things technology. From FinTech to Cyber Security, Euan has a proven track record of building highly reputable and successful IT companies.

Euan leads the passionate team at Cythera, known for their role as passionate advocates with a belief in the criticality of effective cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Cythera understands the challenges local businesses face protecting their business from cyber threats and has built Cythera from the ground up to support businesses to meet these demands.

Read more on Euan and the Cythera leadership team.

The changing face of IT security buying

Buying IT security can be a complicated process.

Today, there are literally thousands of security vendors who all claim to have the latest and most secure security product on the planet to help defend your businesses from cyber-attack. But which ones do you pick?

Businesses must work with technology partners, vendors and industry peers to make the best security technology decisions, but this takes time, money and plenty of people from all areas of your business.  To compound this problem businesses are confronted with countless industry terms, buzzwords and acronyms to make decision making even more complicated. Do you need a SIEM, EDR, MDR, EPP, NGAV, CASB, SOC, DLP or maybe even UBA?  What’s more, the security solutions can often be in search of a problem which may not exist in your business but because of slick, fear based selling tactics businesses can make poor security technology investments which don’t solve the most critical problems.

Businesses also face confusing information from technology partners and vendors who can claim they work in unison with other technology vendors under consideration. However, when you scratch the surface they don’t work in unison or can’t easily be integrated into a single cohesive solution.

Finally, businesses are now regularly seeking consumption-based procurement options for security technology. Options include per user pricing, monthly payment plans and annuity-based cloud licensing which avoids infrastructure obsolescence. Many of these options have been available for years with other IT solutions but for some reason security has lagged. As such, businesses are stuck with large, up-front capital investments which are infrastructure heavy and may struggle to defend against new and emerging threats for the duration of the designated investment period.

To help address these problems, the team from Cythera developed the Cythera Security Platform – Protection Bundles. The bundles utilise a combination of class-leading managed security technology to defend against common and advanced security threats. The bundles are cloud delivered, easy to set up and billed on a monthly basis, per user.  No longer do businesses need to complete complex, time consuming market assessments, technology testing and procurement processes. Cythera has already scoured the market for the best security technology, rigorously tested it in a production environment and developed an easy-to-consume, subscription based commercial model with low upfront costs.

Cythera has developed a platform which helps business save time, money and important resources while improving the security posture for the life of the subscription service.

For more information or pricing visit https://www.cythera.com.au/protection-bundles

How to securely remove MPLS from your network.

Businesses with multiple locations have been stringently handcuffed to costly, complex private networks such as MPLS for years. It’s been an unavoidable cost and it’s compounded if you operate in isolated areas throughout Australia.

 Even though MPLS is costly, it’s been extremely effective at securely transporting data around the world for decades. MPLS acts like a private toll road which ensures your information can travel securely from point A to B without crossing paths with anyone else’s information. On the downside, even though it’s a private road, MPLS can still get congested and there are speed limits in place to stop you going too fast. Businesses can increase the speed limit and add more lanes to the tollway but this simply pushes up the price. 

 Regardless, MPLS is fast becoming obsolescent. Many businesses are now utilising cloud applications like Office 365, Salesforce and 1000’s of other cloud delivered applications which can be accessed from any location using an internet connection. This has enabled employers to offer flexible working arrangements because employees can now access these applications from home or remote locations without an MPLS connection.

 There are security risks with this approach as hackers can get between users and unprotected internet connections with a well targeted attack. This is one of the reasons why businesses have been unwilling to completely remove MPLS or private networks when utilising cloud applications. 

Another reason is because the internet can’t provide guarantees around speed or availability. In other words, businesses are hesitant to push all corporate traffic including voice and video solely over an unmanaged internet connection.

 So where does this leave us? 

 Well, some businesses run a combination of networks including MPLS and Internet. Certain applications are delivered over the internet using VPN overlays, and others still use MPLS. This approach works, but it’s obviously tricky – especially when managing a sprawling application set and a conga line of security devices spanning data centres operated by your business and third parties. Business also need to establish various security policies for all the networks they operate.

 Cythera has a different approach which allows business to completely remove MPLS. It’s called Secure Network Fabric and utilises technology from Cato Networks. Secure Network Fabrics utilises intelligent SD-WAN controllers and a carrier grade backhaul network with points of presence across Australia and extending around the world to securely route application traffic. All you need is an internet connection. Secure Network Fabric includes a fully integrated, cloud delivered security stack including Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and detailed reporting to monitor performance and user behaviour. Secure Network Fabric is also optimised for voice and video and includes support for desktop and mobile users. 

 The Cythera Secure Network Fabric removes the need for an expensive, complicated MPLS networks whilst delivering enterprise-grade, unified security controls and granular network visibility.

 To find out more – visit https://www.cythera.com.au/secure-network-fabric

How secure is your business from cyber-attack?

There are two common answers to this question; 1) I don’t know. 2) I think we’re secure.

Either answer is unlikely to tell you much about your business cyber readiness, but to be fair it’s not an easy question to answer. There is a lot to know about cyber-security and the threats you will face before you can effectively start to defend your business.

Many businesses have a high-level awareness of cyber-security but unless you’re an expert – it’s nearly impossible to know your current security posture and what extra things you should do to stay protected. What your business spent money on in the past may not be enough to keep it protected today – especially with the emerging threats that are aimed at your users.

Cyber crime is a big problem across Australia. There has been a 712%* increase in reported data breaches over the last 12 months and 60%* of these breaches were caused by malicious or criminal attack.

Compounding the problem is many small to medium businesses don’t think they’re a target.  They think hackers are only chasing the big fish. Unfortunately, they’re very wrong. 83%* of reported data breaches affect companies with less than 1000 people. Hackers continually target smaller businesses because most lack the effective IT security systems and process controls, they need.

We constantly hear horror stories from small business owners that thought they were protected until a hacker gained access to one of their user’s email accounts, found an invoice and changed the payment details. Not only does this have a financial impact, it can carry a reputational impact, be it between your business and business partners, or between your business and your customers.

What can you do to protect your business from cyber-attack?

A good first step is to take Cythera’s FREE Cyber Health Check.  The Cythera Cyber Health Check accurately analyses your security posture and provides you comprehensive risk profile spanning 14 separate cyber security categories. The health check also includes a functional risk dashboard which displays your risk profile in comparison with the Australian Signals Directorate – Essential 8 and National Institute of Standards and Technology security frameworks; The global and local best practice cyber security frameworks.

Don’t guess, know the maturity level of your business to respond to cyber attacks and start planning to put in place the defences you will need to prepare for the cyber threat landscape of the future.

*https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches/notifiable-data-breaches-statistics/notifiable-data-breaches-scheme-12month-insights-report/

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