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EY acquires Melbourne-based software startup Open Windows to boost APAC cybersecurity offering

Global professional services company EY has announced the acquisition of Melbourne-based identity and access management (IAM) software provider, Open Windows.

Under the agreement, Open Window’s management tools will help form the basis of a new centralised IAM advisory platform within EY, led by Open Window’s CEO, Simon Adler. The acquisition amount was not disclosed.

Speaking about the announcement, Adler said the acquisition will allow EY’s global customer base to tap into Open Window’s well-established capabilities.

“By joining EY clients gain access to Open Windows’ already recognised IAM delivery capability, now backed by an extremely well-resourced, large scale vehicle for delivering IAM services as part of an integrated cyber practice. It puts us on enterprise footing, which opens up significant new opportunities for the team and our clients,” he said.

Open Window’s ‘modular procurement’ software suite offers solutions tailored to managing projects, compliance, budgets contracts and processes for both private and government organisations.

Over 45 of Open Window’s IAM professionals will move to EY to work on the new platform, which is being developed exclusively for the Asia Pacific region. Once developed, the platform will offer Identity-as-a-service, in addition to EY’s existing identity capabilities.

Lynn Kraus, EY’s Oceania Managing Partner Advisory, said Open Window’s network provides the firm with the “foundation” for creating an IAM hub in the APAC region.

“Open Windows gives us the foundation for creating a hub for our identity management capability across APAC and we will be investing in people and assets to build on this regional capability. Our clients will benefit from access to integrated identity management advisory expertise, rather than having to engage a multitude of suppliers,” she said.

According to Richard Watson, EY’s Lead Partner of Cyber Security Risk in APAC, the acquisition will help strengthen the company’s cybersecurity advisory capabilities services, helping defend the APAC systems again increasing cyber threats.

“Connected infrastructure, growing networks and internet-enabled devices mean our communities are increasingly vulnerable to risk of attack from sophisticated cyber criminals, who often use weak identity management controls to compromise systems,” Watson said.

“With an end-to-end cyber advisory and implementation capability EY is now better placed than ever to help clients protect critical systems.”

Watson added the centralised platform will also help the company trump its offshore competitors.

“This central IAM platform complements our offshore capability and we see it is as a key point of differentiation from competitors who in the main offer offshore identity work only, without the implementation advisory,” he said.

Looking to bolster cybersecurity in the APAC region, the Australian and Singapore government recently entered an agreement to corporate on cybersecurity.

Named the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU), the two-year agreement was signed during the Singapore-Australia Leader’s Summit last Friday, and will see both countries exchanging information on cybersecurity incidents and threats, driving cybersecurity innovation and training in cybersecurity related skillsets.

The MOU will be led by Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency, and will also see both countries participate in cyber security exercises based around protecting critical infrastructure.

Image: EY Lynn Kraus. Source: AFR.

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