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Working together to strengthen our defences

On 16th November 2022, Catholic Network Australia (CNA) and CEnet collaborated to run a Cyber Security Forum hosted by Sydney Catholic Schools.

The forum was open to every diocese across Australia, and roughly 80 participants from 15 diocese, the CNA and CEnet attended. The interactive event consisted of a range of security and technology experts who provided updates and a workshop in which participants explored what the Catholic sector can do to understand the challenges, improve security and strengthen our defences.

Keynote speakers included:

· Ashley Jones, Razilio

· Dan Bowen, Microsoft

· Steven Woodhouse, Fortinet

· Narelle Devine, Telstra

· Nick Long, Orro

What did we learn?

The day was filled with opportunities for participants to learn from one another and industry experts to help inform their individual security strategies. Some of the lessons shared by participants included:

  • There is inherent risk in permitting schools / users to self-select digital tools and equipment as assessments on cyber security are often overlooked;

  • There are gaps in the levels of visibility of security risks associated with devices and software;

  • Resourcing to manage ‘zero-day’ events is a challenge;

  • User error, poor password management, system management hygiene are areas of high risk;

  • Improved education and awareness are vital to help reduce the risk;

  • Cyber Security / Safety is everyone’s responsibility;

  • Effective management and control will require support from key vendors / partners;

  • Unanimously candidates agreed there is more work to do.

Following the Cyber Forum, Catholic Network Australia has worked with National Catholic Education Committee (NCEC) and CEnet to develop a governance structure and a Cyber Security Working Group (CSWG) reporting into the NCEC Information Technology Working Group (NCEC ITWG).

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