IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Experts comment on Aus Parliament breach

By Kai Ping Lew
Mon 11 Feb 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Late last week, Australian security agencies reported they were looking into a security breach of the Federal Parliament’s network. 

The Federal Parliament has said in a statement that authorities have yet to detect any evidence that data was stolen as a result of the breach. 

Here’s what security experts have to say about the breach and the possibility of it being a thwarted nation-state cyber attack:

LogRhythm APAC sales director Simon Howe

The attack on the Australian Parliament is a timely reminder for both citizens and those in power to take note of the Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD) Essential 8 recommendations for cyber hygiene and for ongoing awareness and education of the potential harm which an attack can create on a nation’s infrastructure or  business operation.

This latest attack shows that no organisation is exempt from being a target from hackers who have proven time and again that they are capable of infiltrating critical infrastructure and causing disruption.  

Proactive security controls, including network monitoring and analysis, and both timely and rapid detection within seconds, can circumvent the risk of data loss and limit an attacker’s ability to move about a network.  

Ultimately, however, public and private sector organisations need to think more strategically about the type of attacks at hand and understand the end goal of the game being played here, namely prized access to highly sensitive data.

WatchGuard Technologies A/NZ country manager Mark Sinclair

A sophisticated attack requiring a mature skill set is highly likely to be executed by a foreign state-based actor or a very well-funded organisation.  

The fact that it is targeting an MP is a strong indication that it is a foreign nation.  

Any MP can be the target of such an attack since the attacker may be able use it as a springboard to launch subsequent attacks on other MPs on the network.   

If this attack was the result of weak or stolen credentials then the use of multifactor authentication will play a big part in preventing further attacks.

Ping Identity APAC regional director Geoff Andrews

Although Ping Identity has no specific insights into this incident, we are aware of several highly active state-sponsored cyber actors who have successfully compromised other government entities worldwide.  

Government ministers and MPs are high-value targets for hackers.

Highly sensitive information assets should at a minimum be protected by multi-factor authentication, including something you are (biometric), something you know (for example, a password) and something you have (a one time code or token).

Sophisticated protections will overlay intelligent, dynamic step-ups in authentication based on other factors such as location, time, changing IP addresses, or other behavioural characteristics.

Government and commercial enterprises need to secure user access via strong authentication, using secure but user-friendly methods, like industry standards like FIDO.

Aura Information Security Australia country manager Michael Warnock

This breach once again confirms that distance is no defence for the Australian public and private sectors.  

Both individuals and their employers need to have proactive cyber defence measures in place day in day out and also ensure that they have a strong focus on educating their employees.  

As with the community in general, the Australian public sector is in the sight of cyber criminals and we should all continue to take note of the ASD Essential 8 strategies to mitigate cybersecurity incidents.

Thycotic chief security scientist & advisory CISO Joseph Carson

The latest cyber attack against the Australian Parliament shows that nation state actors and cybercriminals will continue to target humans in an attempt to gain access to their email and passwords

Email and Password theft is the first step in trying to gain access to sensitive information and networks.

This is typically one step in the door for attackers who can then use those credentials to elevate to privileged accounts that could then allow unfederated access to the entire network.

Sometimes elevated accounts to privileged users can be as easy as exploiting vulnerable systems, or the compromised account is already overprivileged allowing the attackers to bypass any security controls in place.

The incident at AMP highlights the risks of overprivileged insiders who can abuse their access to steal sensitive information from their employers.

Third party suppliers and contractors are a major risk to organisations and it is critically important to ensure that strong privileged access management is in place to secure access to customer data, intellectual property and sensitive systems so they must satisfy strong security controls and are prevented from moving data to personal accounts or outside of the organisation’s data vaults.

Carbon Black security strategy head Rick McElroy 

Democracies around the world are under attack.

Governments, which are often understaffed and underfunded for cybersecurity, must craft and implement strategies to address the rising number of attacks they face. 

The bar for cyber attacks is so low in some instances that it invites various repeated attacks.  

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
APAC
Automation to take over 63 million jobs in APAC by 2040 - report
Forrester forecasts that working populations in the five largest economies in APAC are more at risk of physical robot automation than in Europe and North America.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Adobe and FC Bayern collaborate on a multi-year partnership
Adobe is embarking on a multi-year partnership with FC Bayern, using its enterprise solutions to carry out the club’s digital transformation.
Story image
Gigabit
Keysight Technologies and Nokia’s public test of 800GE success
Keysight and Nokia have successfully demonstrated the first public 800GE test, validating the readiness of next-generation optics for service providers and network operators.
Story image
Microsoft
Spectralink DECT devices now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway
Spectralink DECT devices are now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway to help create better results for business-critical frontline workers.
Story image
SaaS
AvePoint rebrands SaaS learning product to MaivenPoint
"Our mission with MaivenPoint is to make your learning experience limitless and inspire everyone to achieve their aspirations."
Story image
Storage
DCI Data Centers breaks ground on AKL02 center
DCI Data Centers has commenced construction on Auckland's largest data center.
Story image
Inde
Exclusive: Inde provides innovative solutions across the tech sector
Inde likes to call its approach the 'power of the collective', which essentially means that if a client approaches the company with a problem, they'll get the team's collective insight to help drive the best outcome.
Story image
Enterprise
Fortinet reports second quarter 2022 financial results
“We delivered strong revenue and billings growth in the second quarter driven by an increase in the number of transactions larger than one million dollars."
Story image
LG Electronics
LG Electronics’ revenue in NZ grows by 57% in FY 2021
The New Zealand branch of LG Electronics Australia's total revenue shot up by nearly NZD $45 million reaching a total of $123.7 million for FY 2021.
Story image
Payroll
Exclusive: UKG brings a people focused approach to workforce management
Managing an effective and efficient workforce is the crux of any business operation, and in today's climate, it's more than just work employers need to be aware of.
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
Netskope acquires Infiot, delivers integrated SASE platform
Converged SASE platform provides AI-driven zero trust security and simplified, optimised connectivity to any network location or device, including IoT.
AWS Marketplace
See how managed security services (MSS) have evolved to Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR). Learn how these new holistic solutions can simplify security management and improve your threat detection and response.
Link image
Story image
Customer
OfficeMax NZ sees significant growth through Seismic partnership
OfficeMax New Zealand has announced it has seen a significant increase in customer and sales confidence as a result of Seismic’s digital enablement software.
Story image
Compliance
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Heidrick & Struggles
Graham Kittle joins us today to discuss how the company is helping organisations bring about change within their business.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
Open source
Flashpoint acquires Echosec Systems, elevates OSINT capabilities
Flashpoint has acquired Echosec Systems, a provider of open-source intelligence and publicly available information.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Talend
Stu Garrow joins us today to discuss the company’s key solutions, and how they can help organisations thrive in the data management space.
W.Media
Register now for the Sydney Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2022 and learn about topics ranging from digital transformation to data center sustainability.
Link image
Story image
Financial results
Facebook NZ financial report reveals notable revenue increase
Revenue from contracts with customers increased by $NZD 1,089,292 compared to 2020's figures.
Story image
API
Security gaps in APIs plague organisations - study
Together, the findings highlight that existing solutions and API security tactics focused on shift-left strategies are failing to adequately protect APIs.
Story image
Healthcare
Why the Metaverse could be the key to enhancing the healthcare sector
The experts at Accenture understand that the programmable world is about building the next version of the physical world in healthcare, understanding complex layers in order to fully utilise technology to its maximum effect.
Story image
Gartner
Veeam named Leader in enterprise backup and recovery
"We believe our innovation and ability to execute validates our solid standing as the #1 trusted provider of modern data protection."
Story image
Data Protection
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Alexey Pinchuk joins us today to discuss the role the company plays in helping organisations manage risk and provide better security outcomes.
Story image
Financials
Google NZ numbers show strong comprehensive profit increase
The latest financial report from Google New Zealand Limited has revealed an increase in total comprehensive profit of over $NZD 7 million.
Story image
SaaS
Claroty launches new cloud-based industrial cybersecurity platform
The company says Claroty xDome is the industry's first solution to deliver the ease and scalability of SaaS without compromising on visibility, protection, and monitoring controls.
Story image
Ransomware
Ivanti and SentinelOne partner on patch management solution
Ivanti and SentinelOne will integrate their technologies Ivanti Neurons for Patch Management and SentinelOne's Singularity XDR platform.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Rubrik
Gartner names Rubrik Leader in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Rubrik has been positioned by Gartner as a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions.
Story image
Data
Talend announces support for Amazon Redshift Serverless
Talend has announced its support for Amazon Redshift Serverless, with the company saying the integration reinforces its commitment and leadership in supporting businesses.
Story image
Data Protection
CyberRes partners with Google Cloud in lead up to BigQuery release
CyberRes, a Micro Focus line of business, has announced a partnership with Google Cloud to support the upcoming release of BigQuery remote functions.
Story image
Apple
2degrees unveils eSIM functionality for selected devices
2degrees has enabled eSIM functionality to work with a variety of Apple, Samsung and Oppo devices, including a range of iPads.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Phishing
Norton research finds NZ threat landscape diversifying on social media
Norton's quarterly report has highlighted the seriousness of the threat landscape in New Zealand.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Chromebook and tablet shipments see another rapid decline for the year
According to research from Canalys PC Analysis, Chromebook and tablet shipments have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row for Q2 of 2022.
Story image
Gaming
Chorus announces Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports
Chorus has put its support behind New Zealand's Esports community with a newly announced three-year Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports.
Story image
Pure Storage
Pure Storage named leader in GigaOm report for Kubernetes storage
Pure Storage named the leader for the third consecutive year by GigaOm Radar Report for enterprise Kubernetes storage.
Story image
Neat
Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.
Story image
Firewall
Fortinet unveils compact firewall for hyperscale data centres, 5G networks
"Fortinet’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in security performance has yielded the most powerful compact firewall yet."
Story image
Sustainability
Visa launches Eco Benefits solutions in Australia and NZ
Eco Benefits is a suite of sustainability-focused solutions that will help Visa cardholders better understand the environmental impact of their payments.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cohesity, Equinix, IDC, Proofpoint & Xero
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Indusface
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.