David McClure
May 1, 2017

Israeli CyberGym arrives in Aust

Cyber Leaders

Israeli CyberGym arrives in Aust

Avi Schechter: Australia is a source for skilled cyber people to roll out across the region

Israeli cyber security specialist CyberGym will open its doors in mid-July at Melbourne’s Docklands as the company pursues the Asia Pacific market for its intensive digital threat reaction training.

CyberGym, will relocate its global headquarters to Melbourne, building out to 60 new jobs over the next three years.

“We see Melbourne as our hub for Australia and the South Asia region,” says CyberGym non-executive chairman Avi Schechter, who is heading up the Melbourne operation.

He sees Australia as a good source for skilled cyber security people. “We can train them, develop their skills and knowledge and work with them across South Asia.”

Mr Schechter says CyberGym views the cyber defence holistically.

“The way we look at cyber defence is different from a product company. There are a lot of niche products and solutions for specific problems, and the market approach to cyber has typically been very niche.”

The CyberGym approach to digital defence looks at three primary areas – people, policies and processes and technology.

The technology, in the CyberGym slant to cyber security, is usually not the problem.

“From our perspective, in most cases, organisations have the right technology in place. That’s not the main issue. The main problem we see is in the threat definition and analysis, and in the people, policies and processes. These are the weak links in the chain and what we are trying to address.

The method for turning these weak links into strengths is for the company’s clients to practice their response to cyber threats within a cyber arena.

“This is what we call the CyberGym,” says Mr Schechter.

“We look at each threat differently. A ransomware attack on a bank is completely differently to the same ransomware attack on a hospital.”

“With our technology, capabilities and experience we can mimic almost any known environment in the enterprise market today. We play with it offline to improve our client’s people skills, policies and processes, and tweak their technology in order to address the real threat.”

The CyberGym training arena can host a client’s technical people onsite at the Docklands facility while board and management respond to the exercise from their own offices.

“We conducted an exercise with a bank in Europe where the Security Operations Centre team and the IT team were in the CyberGym arena, and the management were in their board room in the city. We conducted an exercise on a ransomware attack and it worked as if in real life.”

The idea is that a client can feel what it’s like to be attacked, then react and recover ‘before a real one,” says Mr Schechter. “Their first time won’t be under the pressure of a real-life attack.”

“Setting up the technical environment for a client exercise is completely customised, says Mr Schechter. “It’s real industrial controls, software, servers and firewalls. You can build any IT environment,” he says.

The CyberGym approach fits in with the cyber health check initiative where the Federal government, the ASX and ASIC have urged Australia’s top 100 companies to explore their resilience to threats.

CyberGym is half owned by the Israeli Government’s Israel Electric Company.

Mr. Schechter joined CyberGym in March and was previously a senior vice-president with Amdocs, a NASDAQ listed US$9 billion market cap Israeli technology company.

Melbourne, meanwhile, has been positioning itself as a hub for all things cyber security and has a cyber security cluster at the Goods Shed in Docklands which includes the CSIRO’s Data61 Cyber Security and Innovation Hub and the Oceania Cyber Security Centre.

The Andrews Government also has research agreements with Oxford University’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, Israel’s Tel Aviv University and the US state of Virginia.

The deal for CyberGym to settle in Docklands got serious after initial meetings with the company during a cyber security trade mission to Israel in November last year.

When the CyberGym/Docklands hookup was announced earlier this month, Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis indicated there were more digital security deals to come.

“We will continue to pursue investment from companies like CyberGym that will grow our cyber security sector and not only help safeguard our digital economy but create more jobs for Victorians into the future,” Mr Dalidakis said.

“Victoria is already home to the largest cluster of cyber security organisations and businesses in the country and is fast becoming the Asia Pacific’s hub for tech and business investment.”

CyberGym was attracted to Australia as an English-speaking country with deep capital markets and a regulatory system with international credibility.

CyberGym has partnered with InnovationAus.com as a sponsor of the Cyber Security – The Leadership Imperative 2017 forum

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