Wynyard Group signs Telstra in AU$3.2m cybersecurity deal

New Zealand forensic analytics software company Wynyard Group has launched its Advanced Cyber Threat Analytics solution, signing Telstra as its first public customer in a AU$3.2 million, three-year deal.

Crime analytics software company Wynyard Group has signed Telstra as its foundation customer for its Advanced Cyber Threat Analytics (ACTA) solution, which according to the company, discovers cyberthreats inside a network aimed at preventing infiltration.

The three-year, AU$3.2 million deal will see the New Zealand-based Wynyard charged with protecting high consequence cyberthreats against the telco giant.

According to Telstra CISO Mike Burgess, Telstra will leverage ACTA to identify anomalies and unusual patterns within the network which he said will provide the telco with a deeper understanding through the discovery of previously unknown threats.

"ACTA will provide Telstra with a powerful intelligence and analytics platform that will allow us to quickly identify and explore key cyberthreats and to contain those first seen cyber issues before they become a serious breach," Burgess said.

"A data analytics capability that identifies true 'unknown-unknowns' should be a fundamental part of any organisation's cyber defence."

Telstra has been trialling the ACTA technology over the past year.

Wynyard initially unveiled ACTA in August, citing the "high consequence of cyberthreats against high value crime targets in government, financial services and critical national infrastructure" as its motivation to provide such a product to market.

Wynyard found itself listed on the New Zealand Exchange (NZX) in 2013 after it separated from business technology firm Jade Software Corporation.

In March, Wynyard announced its plan to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in a move which would see Wynyard dual-listed on both the NZX and ASX. In June, Wynyard picked up NZ$40 million and the backing of MYOB founder and Xero investor Craig Winkler, which re-sparked discussion around when the Auckland-based company was going public in Australia.

The dual-listing is currently tabled for the fourth quarter of 2015.

According to Wynyard, there has been a 37 percent increase in cyber attacks against Australia in the last year, which, according to Russian-based security firm Kaspersky, have been predominantly in the financial services sector, with financial institutions in Australia and New Zealand amongst the first to fall victim to distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in the third quarter of 2015.

Wynyard said ACTA is suitable for the world's "largest and most complex companies", such as those listed under Forbes 2000. Wynyard also said that ACTA is suitable for organisations with an existing cybersecurity team, such as Telstra.

In December last year, Telstra announced the AU$697 million acquisition of Asian telecommunications network company Pacnet.

At the time the telco giant said the deal would double its presence in Asia, with Pacnet operating in 11 countries throughout Asia, Australia, the US, and the UK, boasting over 2,400 customers.

A few months later, however, Telstra discovered a security breach on Pacnet's corporate IT network, finding that an SQL injection on a web application server in Pacnet's network had allowed access to its network, and that a third party had gained access to Pacnet's corporate IT network, including its email and administrative systems.

According to Telstra, Pacnet discovered and fixed the vulnerability on April 3, just under two weeks before Telstra finalised its purchase of Pacnet on April 16.

"Now we have addressed the breach and understand its potential impacts. We are in the process of advising our Pacnet customers worldwide of what occurred and reassuring them that we are now applying the same high level of security we apply to Telstra's networks," group executive of global enterprise services, Brendon Riley, said at the time.

Earlier this month, Telstra entered into an agreement with Singapore-based DeClout which would see the cloud and datacentre provider purchase Telstra's Pacnet ISP assets and business in Singapore and Thailand for a total of $4.4 million.