Optus opens new globally networked security centre

Telco launches Advanced Security Operations Centre

Optus Business has formally opened its Advanced Security Operations Centre (ASOC) co-located with its network operations centre at its headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney.

Optus Business managing director, John Paitaridis, said the centre was unique in that it was one of global network of what will be eight federated security operations centres run by Singtel and Trustwave.

“We have about 2000 cyber security professionals around the globe and we leverage these global operations centres which follow the sun,” Paitaridis said. Other centres are located in Denver, Chicago, Waterloo (Canada), Singapore, Manilla and Tokyo (announced in October and due to open in early 2017).

“The centre is collocated and integrated with our network management centre which manages national and international traffic 24x7,” Paitaridis said. “It delivers proactive threat management with in-country forensics. It has best of breed cyber security technology partnerships and, most importantly it accesses threat intelligence from eight federated security operations centres around the world, in real time.

The new centre, in which Optus says it has invested $10 million, will provide businesses with managed security services supported by Trustwave, acquired by Optus’ parent Singtel in 2015. According to Optus it was the largest independent provider of managed security services in North America.

The centre will also offer security technologies from other vendors with which Optus and Singtel have formed partnerships. These include FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Checkpoint and Akamai.

Paitaridis said: “Our ASOC specifically provides proactive threat management, in-country forensic capabilities including incident response, access to best of breed cyber security technology partnerships and combined threat intelligence, all consolidated within the centre to provide a truly global cyber view.”

According to Paitaridis the new centre has been modelled on one opened in Singapore by Singtel in early 2015. “We have taken a lot of learnings from that centre. It was the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific. We have a lot of homegrown IP: more than 56 patents. This is the next cab off the rank.”

He said cyber security was the single biggest area of investment for Optus Business, and the biggest challenge facing enterprise and government. The new centre is the fourth Optus cyber-security initiative announced in 2016.

Singtel chairman, Simon Israel, said these and other initiatives by Singtel represented “the most significant investment to build out a cyber security ecosystem by any organisation in Asia Pacific.” He added: “We were recently cited by Gartner as having the fastest growing cyber security business in the world.”

Optus has already announced a range of security initiatives this year. They include co-investment of $10 million with Macquarie University to establish a multi-disciplinary cyber security hub to tackle Australia’s cyber skills shortage; a partnership with Data61 on its Cyber Security and Innovation Hub in Melbourne that will bringing together government, industry and academia; an $8 million partnership with La Trobe University to establish an industry-focused cyber curriculum; and the Optus Digital Thumbprint, an education program in Australian schools designed to develop cyber threat and security aware online users.

In addition to these Paitaridis told Computerworld that Optus would announce in the New Year an education partnership with Life Journey, a US based organisation that, according to its website, is an “online experience for schools that empowers students to test-drive future STEM careers and learn directly from top industry professionals.”

The organisation says its mission is “to provide students in schools across the nation the opportunity to learn about STEM careers, develop new skills, and understand industry challenges with the goal of helping them find their own passion.”

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