SecureWorx, a managed services provider, has been bought by Ernst & Young (EY) Australia for an undisclosed sum. SecureWorx, based in Melbourne, specializes in multi-cloud services, managed security operations, and security advisory services for businesses that handle sensitive data. It also offers managed security operations services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with government-approved staff and facilities. 

“Cyber security is a critical business function that has moved beyond our clients’ technology agenda,” said recently installed EY Australia CEO David Larocca. “This is because we’re seeing a dramatic escalation in the frequency and impact of ransomware attacks that are changing the way Boards are accountable to stakeholders. Our clients are telling us that cybersecurity is one of their greatest concerns.” 

In response to new mandatory requirements in the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill 2020, including sovereign cybersecurity capabilities, EY said the purchase will boost its cybersecurity services portfolio. SecureWorx CEO Philip Mulley will join EY Australia as Sovereign Cybersecurity Leader as part of the acquisition. 

“We have long admired EY and in particular the work of their cybersecurity team,” Mulley said. “Joining gives us access to EY’s global thought leadership and deep industry knowledge. For our people it provides exciting career development opportunities through industry focus, technology career paths and global reach and mobility. EY’s Cyber team in Australia is a natural, cultural fit for us.” 

The purchase was motivated by EY’s desire to improve its ability to assist clients with their mandated duties under new security legislation. “The latest updates to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act outline new requirements that will require significant investment for onshore cyber capabilities to detect and combat threats,” said EY Oceania cybersecurity lead partner Richard Bergman. 

“SecureWorx has a set of cybersecurity assets that complement EY Australia’s existing cybersecurity team and capabilities including government-accredited hosting facilities in Melbourne and Canberra and an accredited Security Operations Centre in Melbourne,” Bergman continued, adding that the purchase would complement Aleron’s 2019 cybersecurity acquisition and Open Windows’ earlier acquisition. 

Over the last few years, the Australian consulting industry has seen a flurry of M&A activity in the cybersecurity space, which appears to be intensifying due to rising market demand. According to a recent Boston Consulting Group report, Australia’s cloud market will approach $10 billion in 2022 or 2023, up from under $5 billion three years ago.



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