Alastair MacGibbon pops up as strategy chief at CyberCX, a new firm built via 12-way merger

By Stephen Easton

October 16, 2019

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Former federal cybersecurity chief Alastair MacGibbon has emerged as chief strategy officer of a new Australian firm, CyberCX, which was created from a merger of 12 existing IT security firms.

The key figure behind the amalgamation is former telco executive John Paitaridis, who will lead the new company. This year Paitaridis became chief executive of the technology portfolio at private equity fund BGH Capital, which is backing the complex business deal, and he is also chair of the Australian Information Industry Association.

CyberCX is expected to grow further by subsuming more companies in the future, but it’s already fairly sizeable, having combined the resources of Alcorn, Assurance, Asterisk, CQR, Diamond, Enosys, Klein&Co., Phriendly Phishing, Sense of Security, Shearwater, TSS, and YellIT.

“These companies represent the brightest minds in cybersecurity in the country, selected because of the high quality of the leading individuals and deep bench of talent in each organisation,” reads the announcement. One of the firms, TSS or Trusted Security Services, was established in 2011 by former signals intelligence officer Richard Byfield and staffed with other federal government intelligence and cyber security specialists.

MacGibbon said the firm would aim to be “the employer of choice” in the cyber field and try to “recruit, develop and grow the best talent in the country”.

“Cybersecurity is a global problem that is growing,” said MacGibbon, repeating a previous dire warning about the risk of cyber doom.

“It is the greatest existential threat we face as a society. The reach of cyber threats is pervasive, from websites, email and mobiles, to cars, financial systems, power grids, industrial systems and the internet of things. There is no safe harbour.”

CyberCX is already boasting it will be the biggest and the best “full service” purveyor of cyber services in the land, starting with about 400 staff, 25 offices covering all the mainland capitals except Darwin, and over $100 million of annual revenue.

“The rapid increase in the number of cybersecurity threats globally is creating unprecedented risk and exposure for organisations in Australia which must be addressed,” Paitaridis said.

“Cybersecurity risk should be a number one priority for business owners, senior executives and board directors as organisations increasingly embrace digitally connected technologies.

“It is clear that many businesses, enterprises and government organisations are not yet well enough advised, supported or equipped to defend their mission-critical assets.”

The statement announcing BGH Capital’s grand plans contains one caveat: “The transactions are subject to satisfaction of typical conditions, including regulatory approval.”

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