Devastating cyber attack turns Melbourne victim into evangelist

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Devastating cyber attack turns Melbourne victim into evangelist
Alex Woerndle
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Victim warns others

After spending over a year attending to obligations related to the transfer of his business, he was approached by industry bodies like AISA to speak about his experiences.

"'No way! I'm not doing that,' was what I said initially," said Woerndle. "A lot of people saw me as the idiot who lost all his customers' data and I didn't want to talk about it."

But the requests kept coming in, and he realised that very few victims are "willing to say 'yes, that was me'", even though personal testamonials are crucial in convincing companies to implement rigorous security measures.

"Somewhere along the line, I thought that in a cathartic way [speaking out] would help."

Woerndle said that he then put together a presentation and toured it around to CIO groups and eventually to an AISA conference.

The job

While on the speaking circuit, an employee from IT security provider CQR spotted him at an AISA conference and the meeting led to a job.

“A few eyebrows were raised when we appointed Alex but the merits were always obvious to us," said CQR's national director of information security Phil Kernick. "As a former business owner, he has instant credibility and has also become very knowledgeable on the technical side of information security."

Woerndle has now built a team of consultants around him for CQR's Melbourne operations.

"My days now involve speaking to clients and working with clients to give them the right security advice," he said.

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