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Monday, 05 June 2017 12:15

EY beefs up cyber security offerings with Open Windows acquisitions

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Professional services firm EY is acquiring Melbourne-based identity and access management provider Open Windows Australia.

EY will add 45-plus identity management and access management professionals from Open Windows to its operations, under an agreement entered into and announced on Monday.

According to Richard Watson, Lead Partner Cyber APAC, EY, the acquisition strengthens EY’s cyber-security advisory capability and positions the company to offer an integrated suite of cyber advisory services across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Watson said the need to protect infrastructure such as financial systems, power grids, telecommunication lines, transportation, commerce and health care systems from cyber-threats had never been more important.

“Connected infrastructure, growing networks and internet-enabled devices mean our communities are increasingly vulnerable to risk of attack from sophisticated cyber criminals, who often use weak identity management controls to compromise systems.

“With an end-to-end cyber advisory and implementation capability, EY is now better placed than ever to help clients protect critical systems.”

Watson said the acquired firm would become the central platform for a new regional Identity Management advisory practice for EY, to be led by Open Windows chief executive Simon Adler, and would provide "Identity-as-a-Service" (IDaaS) in addition to EY’s existing identity governance capability.

According to Watson, maintaining the Open Windows platform as a discrete platform within EY would help drive “innovation, delivery quality and client service in IAM”.

“This central IAM platform complements our offshore capability and we see it is as a key point of differentiation from competitors who in the main offer offshore identity work only, without the implementation advisory.”  

Adler said the deal with EY puts the business on an enterprise footing, “which opens up significant new opportunities for the team and our clients”.

A survey by EY released last month found that many Australian businesses believed their organisations would be at increased risk of being a victim of cyber attacks over the next few years and wanted corporate policies combating fraud, bribery and corruption to be simplified to ensure improved compliance.

The survey found that 51% of Australian respondents saw increased risk of cyber attacks, but more than 9 in 10 (93%) said they wanted to work for a compliant organisation, but were confused by inconsistent compliance policies that lacked clarity and were clouded in legal jargon.

The survey also revealed that more than a quarter of Australian employees (27%) believe it is common practice in their industry or sector to use bribery to win contracts while 31% believed Australian companies often report financial performance as being “better than it is”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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