SYDNEY, 28 September 2023 – Australian-owned and operated cyber security business, CSO Group, today announced the appointment of Retired Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Rear Admiral, Jaimie Hatcher AO, DSC, to the role of Strategic Advisor.
Hatcher spent 36 years with the RAN in a range of national security roles, including in the National Security Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as Capability Director for Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyer program, and most recently as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Deputy Chief of Joint Operations.
In his later years and since leaving the Navy, he has focused on cyber security risk and capability and was appointed project lead for the Review of the ADF’s Contribution to the Defence Cyber Enterprise. He is also part of a consortium providing national cyber security risk advice to the New Zealand government, where his particular responsibility is in national security and Defence.
Working closely with CSO Group’s CEO, Michael Simkovic, Hatcher will advise where he believes the business can deliver the greatest security outcomes, identifying gaps in government, commercial and societal cyber security systems, and assessing future cybersecurity needs. Speaking on his appointment, he said the proliferation of knowledge sharing between nation states and non-state threat actors is a major challenge to Australia.
“Nation states saw the opportunity that cyberspace presented more than 20 years ago, particularly to support espionage activity, Now, however, we’re seeing a significant increase of state-sponsored or supported actors, some involved in military offensive planning and operations. It is notable that some nation states are increasingly willing to engage these services, and this has expanded to cyber criminals,” said Hatcher.
“This proliferation has led to the industrialisation of cybercrime, where the barrier for entry and cost is now incredibly low, certainly lower than our society’s current ability to defend against it. Virtually anyone can leverage AI tools to create malicious software or even buy it cheaply on the dark web. Motivation, not skill, is now the key driver of cybercriminal activity and Australia needs to respond to that reality.
“It’s promising that Australia’s governments are making cyber security centre stage across the national security landscape. This is an important message for all Australians to understand.”
Hatcher also believes AI can be a vital part of the toolset to solve the challenge of cyber incidents caused by accidental human error or malicious intent. A recent study highlighted human error was the cause of 64 per cent of data breaches in Australia last year.
“Organisational and security leaders know people are the gateway to most cyber issues, either by accident or design, but when businesses and government have large or dispersed workforces, including working from home, it’s harder to zero in,” he said.
Hatcher and Simkovic said Australian organisations need a more coherent system level approach to cybersecurity, particularly for governments, critical infrastructure providers and their supply chains, given the threat from nation states.
“Jaimie brings a nation state security view to the industry, which is how our most critical national institutions need to think about security,” said Simkovic. “We are seeing increasing risk to Australia’s economy, our government institutions and general way of life. We need to focus on outcomes and culture, not just the transaction of security products and services. We all have a role to play in elevating Australia’s sovereign security posture.”
With this opportunity, Hatcher believes he can continue to be a part of protecting the Australian community and contribute to the response to the important and quickly evolving threat Australia is facing.
“Throughout my former military career, I’ve strived to serve and protect Australia and all Australians. I firmly believe malicious cyber activity is one of the most important emerging threats to this country and its economy, and I hope to support CSO Group’s approach and proven expertise to make a positive difference.”
About CSO Group
At CSO Group, we work with organisations to demystify cyber security and simplify the end-to-end thinking, process and management of security capability and strategies to mitigate business risks and threats.
Watterson (for CSO Group)