Timing of WhiteHawk’s entry couldn’t be better
Published on: | by Trevor Hoey
Online cyber security group, WhiteHawk, is believed to be preparing to list on the ASX, perhaps as early as November.
The company has already established a strong presence in the cyber security space, counting multinationals such as McAfee and Symantec as part of its 150 vendors.
Also of note is the fact that within one year of operation it formed a relationship with the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Energy.
In a sense, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise because founder and chief executive, Terry Roberts formally served in the US Naval intelligence, during which time she addressed areas and compiled assessments regarding the migration of ISP aboard ships.
Roberts’ expertise in this area was recognised as she was appointed to the position of Deputy of Naval Intelligence. This involved the management of more than 20,000 intelligence and information warfare military and civilian professionals. At that stage the resources, technologies and programs supporting these initiatives were valued in the order of US$5 billion.
However, Roberts’ passion lay in the world of cyber, prompting her to accept the role of Executive Director of Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute.
In this role she led the technical body of work for the entire US Interagency, with a special focus on leveraging and capabilities, and establishing the Emerging Technologies Centre and Cyber Intelligence Consortium.
In founding the WhiteHawk business, Terry Roberts has established the first CyberSecurity Online Exchange, enabling all businesses (especially mid-sized and small companies) to have continuous online access to tailored learning, smart buying, and connections to the best products, services, insights, and trends industry wide.
One certainly couldn’t say Roberts was under qualified for the position of Chief Executive, with her personal awards including the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service; the Navy Senior Civilian Award of Distinction, the NGA Personal Medallion for Excellence; the Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award; the Director of Central Intelligence National Intelligence Certificate of Distinction; the National Intelligence Reform Medal; and the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation.
It should be noted that WhiteHawk, is believed to be preparing to list on the ASX, perhaps as early as November.
The company reportedly has a pre-IPO value of $9 million, and is expected to raise circa $4.5 million in order to expand its business. As such investors should seek professional financial advice if considering this stock for their portfolio.
Recent data breach highlights the need for improved cyber security
It was only this week that the Sydney Morning Herald reported one of Australia’s largest ever data breaches. According to the report nearly 50,000 Australians and 5000 federal public servants have had sensitive personal information exposed online.
This is believed to be the second largest data breach in Australia, only eclipsed by last year’s leak of information on 550,000 blood donors.
The Sydney Morning Herald highlighted the fact that employees of the Department of Finance, the Australian Electoral Commission and National Disability Insurance Agency had been caught up in the leak caused by a private contractor, along with more than 40,000 private sector workers from insurer AMP, utility UGL and Dutch multinational Rabobank.
According to iTnews, leaked information included names, passwords, ID data, phone numbers, as well as credit card numbers and corporate information including salaries and expenses. AMP was apparently the most impacted with 25,000 staff records exposed.
Highlighting the need for external expertise in countering situations such as these, iTnews said that they were provided with the statement from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the parent agency for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), saying it had been alerted to the breach in early October, and once the ACSC became aware of the situation they immediately contacted the external contractor and worked with them to secure the information and remove the vulnerability.
This harks back to the relevance of WhiteHawk’s business model which is essentially a one stop shop for all things cyber security related. The group not only assists in identifying a business’s cyber security risks, but it also provides management with information regarding the products that best address those needs.
As indicated recently, new cyber risks are continually evolving, and the fact that WhiteHawk constantly monitors risks that may pertain to its various clients, helping to defuse potential breaches before they occur should appeal to small and big business alike.