Macquarie Cloud Services today announced it has developed a cyber threat intelligence capability for independent regional Victoria community services organisation, Cafs (Child & Family Services Ballarat).
Founded more than 160 years ago, Cafs prioritises the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families with a range of more than 50 inclusive and accessible programs. Its services are used by more than 6,500 people and families across the Grampians and Central Highlands in Victoria.
The nature of Cafs’ work means it holds sensitive information its communities trust it to protect. The organisation needed to bolster its cyber security systems and resilience, particularly as it is currently undertaking a range of digital transformation initiatives. The company selected Macquarie Cloud Services to develop a cyber threat intelligence (CTI) capability equipped with real-time detection and response and the ability to integrate and correlate threat intelligence from multiple sources.
The platform will integrate with Azure Sentinel, a cloud-native security incident and event management (SIEM) that provides AI-powered intelligent security analytics across Cafs’ entire environment. The organisation also has 24×7 access to Macquarie Cloud Services’ more than 200 NV1, government data security-cleared personnel for mission-critical detection and response, governance, and strategic support.
“We have a small ICT team, so we rely on external partners to help deliver certain functions and capabilities, particularly when specialist skill sets are involved,” said Chris Hunter, Cyber Security and Infrastructure Specialist at Cafs.
“I started researching security operations centre (SOC) and SIEM services, and Macquarie Cloud Services emerged as one of the leading Microsoft security partners in Australia. The team took the time to understand our business and requirements as an NFP, which other providers didn’t really bother to do. They were also willing to be flexible in the commercial arrangements, helping us to make the business case with key stakeholders and get the investment over the line.”
Hunter added that as well as becoming cyber resilient, the company wanted to leverage the opportunities of technologies including AI and automation.
“We know these technologies can make service delivery better and easier, but you need to have the right foundations to support all the data, and they need to be secure,” he said.
Macquarie Cloud Services is also streamlining Cafs’ workflows to capture the full potential of Microsoft’s Extended Detection and Response (Defender XDR), which accelerates response and automatic disruption of attacks such as ransomware. This establishes a cohesive set of security tools and governance while facilitating a Zero Trust framework architecture throughout the environment.
$190 Billion Australian NFP Sector a Key Target For Cybercriminals
A recent report crystallised the importance of this kind of cybersecurity uplift; one in eight Australian NFPs have experienced a cyber incident in the past year, while just 13 per cent had a documented plan to improve cyber security protection.
“The NFP sector is one of Australia’s largest employers and revenue sources accounting for 10.5 per cent of the Australian workforce and $190 billion in revenue. There’s a strong desire to bolster cyber security standards within the sector given the high volumes of sensitive data, and it’s a real pleasure to be able to meet that demand head-on and within already tight budgets,” said Naran McClung, Head of Azure, Macquarie Cloud Services.
“Cafs is setting the bar for what secure, and secure planning, looks like for an organisation in this sector. There’s a common misconception that the tools and systems it has in place are only within reach for large enterprises and government agencies, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The key is to find a trusted, communicative, and flexible partner to take you on that journey.”