Australian cybersecurity pioneer Airlock Digital is using combined funding of $1.3 million through AustCyber to put application whitelisting within easy reach of small and medium enterprises and government organisations, accelerating Essential Eight compliance, addressing work-from-home risks and growing Australia’s cyber security ecosystem through MSPs and MSSPs.
Application whitelisting mitigates cyber attacks – which have increased during the coronavirus crisis – by blocking malware, ransomware and other unrecognised software. Application whitelisting is number one on the Essential Eight list of the most effective cyber mitigation strategies recommended by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).
“As the federal government builds up Australia’s cybersecurity – recently announcing $1.35 billion in spending through the ASD and ACSC over 10 years – we see application whitelisting and the Essential Eight becoming the cornerstone of the nation’s cyber defences,” said Richard Rundle, CEO of Airlock Digital.
Currently, however, application whitelisting is most commonly used by large, well-resourced organisations. Smaller organisations often lack the resources and cybersecurity knowledge to deploy application whitelisting. This can be a barrier to participation in the supply chains of the largest and most security sensitive organisations, such as Defence, many of which require Essential Eight compliance.
What will Airlock Digital use this funding for?
With the funding, Airlock Digital is engaging closely with Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) to understand their challenges and adding multi-tenant cloud and other capabilities to its software to meet their needs.
“Because they provide solutions remotely, MSPs and MSSPs are ideally placed to support smaller organisations during and after the coronavirus crisis,” said Rundle. “SMEs or small government organisations like councils may baulk at the level of training required for application whitelisting. MSPs and MSSPs can overcome that knowledge gap and provide the expertise that they lack.”
The funding supports AustCyber’s mission to grow a competitive cyber security sector and addresses challenges it has identified including a cyber skills shortage and the need to remove hurdles so local companies can scale, mature and export solutions. It comes at a critical time for MSPs and MSSPs that have been hit by a revenue shortfall during the coronavirus shutdown and will contribute to their recovery.
“Airlock Digital is honoured to receive this support,” said Rundle. “AustCyber and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, The Hon Karen Andrews MP, are great supporters of the industry and this funding recognises the enormous potential of MSPs and MSSPs to build a strong cyber security ecosystem.”
“Australia leads the world in the use of application whitelisting, but there is still a compliance gap with the Essential Eight,” said Rundle. “There is a real growth opportunity for MSPs and MSSPs to meet the pent up demand for strong cybersecurity solutions and help their businesses recover more quickly.”
“With more SMEs and other organisations looking to adopt application whitelisting as a primary cyber defence mechanism, we plan to significantly expand Airlock Digital’s partner network,” said Glenn Mahney, Sales Director for Airlock Digital. “Enabling MSPs and MSSPs to support application whitelisting as a cloud-based service that can easily scale to meet demand is critical for widespread deployment.”