EY boosts cyber credentials with new partner hire

EY boosts cyber credentials with new partner hire

Jacqui Kernot joins consultancy giant following security stint at Telstra

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EY has appointed Jacqui Kernot as partner of cyber security with the remit of building out the consultancy giant’s capabilities in Australia.

Kernot joins the business following a three-month sabbatical, having previously held the position of head of cyber security services at Telstra until late 2018.

“In the digital age, executives are increasingly accountable for protecting their customers’ data, even if that data is held externally in the cloud, on mobile and IoT devices, or with third parties,” Kernot told ARN.

“With increasing regulation in this space, including GDPR, the Australian Privacy Act and APRA’s CPS 234 standard, having a framework for pre-emptively assessing cyber risk and detecting threats is critical for all organisations.

“With over 250 cyber professionals in Oceania, I am excited to join EY at a time when we can help Australian business proactively respond to cyber issues."

EY’s cyber security division houses expertise across threat intelligence, breach response and penetration testing, alongside a virtual network of Advanced Security Centres (ASCs).

Forming a key focus for the business, EY also offers consulting and services across cyber risk management, operating technology and data protection, in addition to digital law, privacy and GDPR requirements.

As reported by ARN, Kernot - then McNamara - exited Telstra alongside Neil Campbell, having joined the company from IBM in 2014.

Kernot has also worked for Dimension Data - where she held several roles including account manager for Telstra - and Hewlett Packard.

“In previous roles I had a great opportunity to analyse the market and offerings,” Kernot added. “Many of them focus on monitoring and reporting of the cyber situation as it is rather than being proactive.

“What EY brings to the table is a unique way of quantifying the problem and aligning risk to effort.

“C-level execs are awake at night regarding cyber because they don’t have a way to understand and quantify their risk and then align effort accordingly, in a way that can pre-empt major data breaches or compliance issues.”

Locally speaking, EY boosted its cyber security capabilities with the acquisition of Melbourne-based identity management company, Open Windows, in June 2017.

Alongside intellectual property, terms of the deal resulted in the addition of more than 45 identity and access management (IAM) professionals to the consulting and advisory firm's roster, creating full service capabilities in the process.

Furthermore, EY recently unveiled plans to invest a billion dollars in new technology solutions, client services and innovation, as part of a two-year strategy.

Spanning global and local practices, the consultancy house aims to deepen “innovative offerings” to customers through emerging and disruptive technologies.

The new round of funding - emphasising EY’s commitment to advising and implementing technology solutions - is in addition to the existing, “significant” annual investment made by the business.

Specifically, the funding will be used to create new technology-based services and solutions in areas such as financial services, cyber, risk management, managed services, software services as well as digital tax and audit services.

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