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With almost 170,000 members across 19 countries including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and parts of Asia, CPA Australia provides education, training, technical support, and advocacy services to the accounting profession.
CPA Australia works closely with Tesserent, previously known as Pure Security, to detect and defend against cyber attacks.
CPA Australia holds a vast amount of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on members and must ensure assets are protected. Mr Nigel Hedges, the Head of Information Security at CPA Australia, explains, “Our previous security approach was tactical, fighting fires as they came up. We needed risks to be visible to the leadership team and to shift treating security as a technical challenge, to being a strategic business imperative.”
The Challenge: Creating a 360-degree View
CPA Australia’s engagement with Tesserent commenced in 2019. Mr Hedges, as the newly installed Head of Information Security, found that the security team was conducting security testing on a project basis and spending enormous time being defensive. Engaging with Tesserent has dramatically transformed CPA’s approach and replaced it with one that is highly customisable and responsive to risks and opportunities to strengthen defences. “Tesserent is a valued extension of our cyber team” he enthuses.
The Solution: Getting the Security Strategy and Execution Right
Tesserent has worked with CPA Australia to develop a proactive approach to cybersecurity and incident response, providing greater visibility and ongoing assessment of the controls the business needs to put in place to protect its systems and information assets.
The engagement with Tesserent has given Mr Hedges and his team more ‘boots on the ground’. He says, “My team has been busy with digital transformation and our response to the pandemic. Our business continuity plan has meant a big shift to remote working and pivoting parts of our business. “The partnership with Tesserent means I've been able to delegate many tasks so I can focus on the strategy.”
Recently, Tesserent facilitated a 15-day security awareness training program for the entire CPA Australia team. “Everyone from frontline staff to board members attended sessions and we received extremely positive feedback,” he explains.
Appointing Tesserent has provided strong value and cost savings and enabled us to strengthen our team through access to Australia’s leading security experts
Winning from the Budget to the Boardroom
Having access to Tesserent’s team of experts provides coverage of the entire gamut of information security and that deep knowledge and experience has given the security team at CPA Australia significant advantages.
“To do the same amount of work we’ve accomplished with Tesserent, we would have needed to hire five or six full-time people, costing the business a massive $1 million a year,"
According to Mr Hedges, Tesserent has made reporting to the board and C-suite more meaningful. “It’s easier to make business cases for controls and improvements in processes as we have far greater visibility and understanding of where our risks lie,” he says. A recent investigation into CPA Australia’s endpoint security assessed that the controls in place are appropriate given the increased reliance on remote working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the coming months, CPA Australia will partner with Tesserent to enhance automation capabilities and improve the structure of security reviews. With a website update looming and a new member management finance program set to be rolled out shortly. CPA Australia relies on Tesserent to help protect the business and members.
Tesserent’s depth and breadth of experience enables CPA Australia to deliver a secure experience for its members and stay a step ahead of potential threats so members can have complete confidence in service delivery.
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