IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Universities turn to privileged access management as they adopt Essential Eight cybersecurity strategies

By Shannon Williams
Tue 25 May 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The education sector continues to be a key target for a cyber attack, according to cloud identity security solutions firm ThycoticCentrify. 

In the second half of 2020, the Asia Pacific education sector experienced a 21% increase in cyberattacks, compared with just an average 3.5% increase across all other sectors.

Inr esponse, ThycoticCentrify announced that it is working with Australian universities to adopt the federal government's Essential Eight cyber mitigation strategies.

A new case study demonstrates how one of ThycoticCentrify's customers, Victoria University, has implemented privileged access management strategies a key part of the Essential Eight to improve its cybersecurity posture.

ThycoticCentrify has a number of other higher education customers in Australia following a similar path, with security initiatives becoming more urgent after high-profile data breaches in the sector. It is estimated that more than 80% of successful data breaches including the cyberattack on the Australian National University revealed in 2019 target privileged accounts.

Privileged access management works by restricting the data access that systems users have to a minimum. It also safeguards passwords and other credentials associated with administrator and other privileged accounts often called the keys to the kingdom and monitors their use to detect suspicious behaviour.

According to ThycoticCentrify, universities are adopting privileged access management to improve cybersecurity because:

  • It is a newer, more effective and generally less widely implemented strategy than many previously employedIt is a key part of the Essential Eight cyber mitigation strategies, which prevent the vast majority of cybersecurity incidents
  • Universities need to demonstrate progress in adopting the Essential Eight, which privilege management allows them to do relatively easily
  • Privilege management solutions like ThycoticCentrify's are more mature, cost-effective, easier to adopt, and less disruptive to staff than many alternative solutions

When Nitin Singh, Director, VU Cyber for Victoria University, first evaluated strategies to improve VU's security posture, he identified governance, management and visibility around privileged user and account management as key challenges. 

He said that historically, password and access management for privileged users across VU was manual, inconsistent and lacked oversight and audit controls. Singh also found that use of shared and default credentials across privileged accounts posed a significant risk, making VU an easy target for cyber threats.

"We've overcome these challenges by adopting a practical, rational and risk-based approach," says Singh.

"Our mantra of using fit-for-purpose technology solutions led us to Thycotic. We were able to start small, get our IT staff comfortable with the product and are now expanding use of Thycotic across our critical business applications," he says. 

"Thycotic's Secret Server solution has become much more than a privileged credential vault. We are now planning to extend its use for access governance, session recording and integration with our Security Information and Event Management solutions. 

"It has brought in much needed simplification and consistency, along with strengthening VU's security posture."

Andrew McAllister, Adelaide-based VP for ThycoticCentrify Asia Pacific, says many Australian universities are now well down the privilege management path.

"Most start with the discovery of key accounts and password management making sure credentials cannot be exposed to attackers," he says.

"They quickly progress to monitoring suspicious use of privileged accounts and, over time, restricting access to a minimum."

Scott Hagenus, senior sales manager for emt Distribution, a rhipe company, which manages ThycoticCentrify's distribution channel in Australia and New Zealand, says the Essential Eight and many, if not all, of the Australian Government Information Security Manuals mitigation strategies are key to higher education institutions ensuring a consistent approach to threat mitigation.

"ThycoticCentrify meets this challenge head on when it comes to privilege access and activity," he says.

"Channel partner companies play a vital role in strengthening cyber security.

"The understanding and close connection with the various models our education institutions have coupled with the incredibly strong backing ThycoticCentrify give their channel perfectly places our partners to assist higher education get the best privilege access controls in place, that fit their needs."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Examining the future of ransomware threats with Vectra’s CTO
As customers' valuable data move to the cloud, so will ransomware. What is the current landscape and what do we need to know?
Story image
Your tools, your choice: why allow employees to choose their own devices?
Jamf Australia says giving your team the freedom to work with their digital device of choice could help to attract and retain top talent in a tight labour market.
Story image
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Story image
Palo Alto Networks' cloud security platform receives IRAP assessment
"We provide help protect all forms of compute, cloud native services and access to data within public and private sectors."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Vectra AI named as AWS security competency partner
Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has announced that it has become an Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner.
Story image
MYOB snaps up Sydney-based management software specialists
MYOB has announced the acquisition of Sydney-based business management software and support specialists, GT Business Solutions.
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Story image
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
What brands can expect from Amazon Prime Day in Australia
Amazon Prime Day is the annual two-day shopping event, kicking off this year from July 12-13 and is the global online shopping platform's biggest sales event. 
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Honeywell named Frankston facility services provider
Honeywell has been named the joint facility services provider for Frankston Hospital’s AU$1.1 billion redevelopment.
Story image
Appian unveils low-code certification program in Australia
Appian has announced a program to provide the next generation of low-code developers with access to education on the subject and certification to foster career opportunities.
Story image
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Australian consumers loyal to retailers who deliver speed and visibility
SOTI finds extensive order visibility and speed are the most important factors for turning one-off customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
NEC expands Open RAN ecosystem with Aspire Tech acquisition
With its agreement to acquire Aspire Technology, NEC Corporation has further increased its capacity to deliver End-to-End Open RAN ecosystems.
Story image
Intel Labs unveils integrated photonics research advancement
"This new research demonstrates that its possible to achieve well-matched output power with uniform and densely spaced wavelengths."
Story image
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Dynatrace extends automatic release validation capabilities
Dynatrace has extended its platform release validation capabilities to improve user experience at every stage of the software development lifecycle.
Story image
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.