IT professionals see gap in Australia's security services

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This article appeared in the June, 2009 issue of CRN magazine.

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IT professionals see gap in Australia's security services
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Starting off in a small serviced office, the business now has 12 employees, most of which are IT security technical consultants. Just last year Sense of Security opened its second Australian office in Melbourne.

"We started off with the two of us and our business has thrived from day one," says Murray GoldSchmidt, managing consultant and director. "We have no debt and it has always been profitable."

GoldSchmidt and Edelstein met while working at Dimension Data as IT security consultants. GoldSchmidt, a qualified electrical engineer, had worked in IT security firms, and Edelstein, who has a Bachelor of Economics in Accounting and Masters of Commerce, was previously employed by Ernst & Young and Deutsche Bank.

"We took a hobby and a passion and made a business out of it. Everyone who works at Sense of Security shares the same ethos," says GoldSchmidt.

The pair recognised the complex and sensitive nature of information at a time when access to information and the speed at which it flowed was increasing.

More importantly they understood the importance of ensuring the secure transfer of information, a segment of IT they say lacked attention.

"We believed there was a requirement in the market to service Australian companies and organisations, particularly focusing in matters around information security," says GoldSchmidt.

"We think to be a leader in this space security has to be your prime focus. We cannot be distracted by services in unrelated areas. And that philosophy has proven true to ourselves.

"We have attracted many leading organisations as clients. They come to us specifically for our expertise in a space that they can't find elsewhere," says GoldSchmidt.

Today, the consequences of data loss are a costly concern. In the US, regulation in most states forces businesses to publicise the issue by disclosing data breaches. That's not yet the case in Australia however the lack of publicity doesn't mean breaches don't occur here.

A recent Symantec survey found that more than half of small businesses in Australia said they had experienced a security breach which included instances of unauthorised access to information where data was lost, stolen or hacked. 

"Cybercriminals are making a living out of stealing data. Their business is ahead of the game," says GoldSchmidt.

"Overall, and not only for Australia, things are getting worse before they get better. The fact is that there are more security attacks every day," he says. "People really need to take it seriously if they want to take care of their information."

The growth of virtualisation also poses a concern, says GoldSchmidt. At the AusCERT Conference in May, Sense of Security presented a paper on the pitfalls of virtualisation in which they claimed that most implementations of the technology are insecure.

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