PwC deepens cyber capabilities with SecurityAdvisor alliance

17 June 2021 2 min. read

PwC Australia is reconciling the human and technology aspects of cyber security through a new strategic partnership with SecurityAdvisor – a digital platform that helps make employees more cyber aware through real-time, data-driven feedback.

Headquartered in California with global distribution of its patented cyber security platform: SecurityAdvisor helps businesses personalise their security efforts – blending in with existing systems to help employees identify, avoid and redress cyber breaches.

The core understanding is that the most advanced of security systems are vulnerable to human error – a principle that PwC embodies across its cyber security services. Noting this synergy, the Big Four accounting and advisory firm has teamed up with SecurityAdvisor to beef up its offering in Australia.

PwC deepens cyber capabilities with SecurityAdvisor alliance

“Cyber criminals are relentless and becoming more brazen with their manipulation tactics to dupe employees into providing sensitive information,” explained Nicola Nicol, partner at PwC Australia’s newly established Cybersecurity and Digital Trust practice – a 275-strong outfit with 15 partners formed in October 2020 by merging the firm’s cyber, digital trust and digital law teams.

Nicol continued: “Organisations need to strengthen their defences by understanding cognitive biases and thought processes as they are used by hackers to target people.” And the new, complementary partnership is geared precisely towards this need. 

“Our alliance allows us to collect data from security tools, provide real-time information to individuals and show a tangible reduction in security events. We are able to take the 'what' and 'why' from our behaviour based approach and drive targeted, real-time changes to the 'how' and evidence the improvements through everyday security data and metrics.” 

Cyber imperative

The market is ripe for this multifaceted proposition. Broad-based transitions to remote working last year and persistent considerations of hybrid working models into the future are stretching business IT networks wide – opening up a host of new cyber risks. Indeed, cyber security emerged as a chief business priority across Australia in the immediate wake of the 2020 crisis.

Yet, a recent PwC survey revealed how three-quarters of Australian chief executives see no room for improvement in their cyber security and privacy reporting. According to PwC Australia’s cyber lead Rick Crethar, this is down to old-fashioned cyber thinking.

“A paradigm shift is required to make current risk techniques and practices more effective. This shift requires moving more into the less explored areas of behavioural and social aspects of cybersecurity,” he said. 

“It’s about identifying what biases, beliefs, values, perceptions and mindsets influence cyber-related decision-making, and designing solutions and operating environments to enable people to make optimal security decisions.”