Fortinet has appointed Michael Murphy as head of operational technology and critical infrastructure for Australia. Murphy’s role will focus on assisting organisations to build cyber resilience for operational technology (OT) and helping them understand how to achieve strong outcomes for OT security. This will include demystifying and clarifying the different requirements of the OT and IT environments, reducing the friction points and finding mutually beneficial objectives, solutions and incident responses in organisations’ cybersecurity landscapes.
This newly created role has an important part to play as critical infrastructure (CI) organisations continue to face increased threats from malicious actors. The Australian Government introduced the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Act 2021, which came into effect in December 2021. Further amendments are likely.
Initially two separate Bills, the Critical Infrastructure Act includes three key aspects: registration of critical assets, reporting of compromised assets and systems of national significance. CI organisations must conduct vulnerability assessments against these assets, apply automatic shutdown (ASD) sensors to monitor and protect assets, and conduct incident response plans and scenario testing. The new Act covers 11 sectors and more organisations than before, creating an increased need for targeted cybersecurity within these organisations.
Murphy has held roles as a cybersecurity practitioner and has built OT incident response teams in organisations including Hewlett Packard Enterprise in APAC and NTT Ltd. in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. He then returned to Australia, taking on a senior sales engineer role at McAfee Enterprise, followed by a solutions architect role at Trellix before joining Fortinet in May 2022.
Jon McGettigan, regional director Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, Fortinet, said increased cyberthreat has created a complex and challenging security environment.
“Cyber attacks are affecting CI operators at increasing rates and the threats come from a myriad of sources. This is a highly complex issue made even more challenging by the fact that traditional IT security methods and approaches simply don’t work for OT in a CI environment. Fortinet has created the role of head of operational technology and critical infrastructure in response to the changing legislative environment and threat landscape coupled with significant and rapid growth in this area at Fortinet. The aim is to help CI operators create genuine and lasting cyber resilience in the face of escalating cyber attacks.
“Fortinet is thrilled to have Michael Murphy in this role. He brings a wealth of experience in responding to cyber incidents in critical OT environments and understands clearly how to help CI operators drive their security agenda forward, which will complement Fortinet’s position as a leader in securing OT environments.”