One of Australia’s leading cyber operations providers and consultants, ParaFlare, has appointed the former Head of Information Warfare for the Australian Defence Force as Strategic Advisor.
Major General (retired) Marcus Thompson, AM, PhD was with the Australian Defence Force for 34 years and joins ParaFlare effective immediately.
Adam McCarthy, CEO of ParaFlare, said: “We are pleased to have Marcus onboard. His appointment adds depth and specialist expertise to the ParaFlare team.”
“In his previous role as the inaugural Head of Information Warfare, Marcus led the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) cyber capability. Since leaving the military he has remained passionate about active cyber defence.”
The ADF’s Information Warfare Division is tasked with the development and management of both defensive and offensive cyber capabilities across the ADF.
Mr McCarthy added: “I have known Marcus for over 20 years in both military and commercial life and we have mutual respect and trust, and a shared determination to make a difference in cyber space.”
Dr Thompson described his appointment as the continuation of building and supporting Australia’s cyber security capability.
“I’m passionate about what ParaFlare does, as I strongly believe active cyber defence is a critical a vital function in the protection of businesses and critical infrastructure. This is a specialist discipline within cyber security, and I’ve seen only a handful of providers in Australia with the credentials to deliver”.
The appointment comes as ParaFlare gears up to meet increased demand for cyber security. Leading IT consultants Gartner predict 40% of boards will have dedicated cybersecurity committees by 2025.
“Having a dedicated focus on cybersecurity is crucial, not only to protect the organisation but to win tenders,” Mr McCarthy added. “Many organisations don’t currently meet the standards required to work with the Government, particularly the Department of Defence*.”
“Traditional passive cyber defences do not adequately protect organisations anymore. We reduce the risk of breach and damage by actively defending organisations’ networks and constantly monitoring local and global threats.”
The latest advice from the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests Detection and Response should be a significant percentage of a company’s cyber strategy and budget. Aligned with this, the Commonwealth Government recently proposed amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 to address cyber security concerns and found more organisations may be deemed ‘Critical’ and subject to the legislation.
“From government to industry, there is a growing focus and urgency on cybersecurity and organisations need to be proactive,” Mr McCarthy concluded.
About Marcus Thompson
Marcus Thompson, AM, PhD graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1988 and spent his early years in the Royal Australian Corps of Signals (RASigs). RASigs is responsible for creating a “decisive information advantage” using all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems.
He also has practical experience, having been deployed on a number of overseas operations and commanded at every level from Troop to Brigade.
Dr Thompson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with honours from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Business from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from the University of Canberra, a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from Deakin University, and a PhD in Cybersecurity from the University of New South Wales.
Note to editors
* The Department of Defence notes that 40% of businesses that apply to win Defence work have insufficient cyber security measures to meet its standards and need to tool-up. Defence spending on information and cyber is set to grow substantially over the next decade, with around $15 billion set aside in a recent Strategic Update.
For more media information
0430 355 985