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Over the Wire ranks 27 in the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards

Over the Wire ranks 27 in the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards The awards season keeps on giving for Over the Wire, who were ranked 27 last night in the 2018 SmartCompany Smart50 awards. The 2018 Smart50 Awards showcase Australia’s fastest growing small to medium sized businesses from 2017-2018.


Managing Director Michael Omeros said, “Being recognised in the Smart 50 wraps up a very successful awards season for Over the Wire after having been recently recognised in the Financial Review Fast 100, Deloitte Tech Fast 50, CRN Fast 50 and the Forbes Asia 200 Best under a Billion. I am very proud of our achievements and these awards are a reflection of our amazing and dedicated staff, as well as our customers who continue to support us.”


OTW Wins Awards in CRN and Deloitte Ceremonies

Over the Wire wins Deloitte and CRN awards Over the Wire are the proud recipients of awards from both CRN and Deloitte ceremonies last night. Ranking in at 36 in the CRN Fast 50 2018 and 40 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 2018, both up several ranks from last year. However, it was ranking 7 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Leadership Awards that really stole the show for Over the Wire.


These awards recognise Australian IT and technology companies that are achieving remarkable growth. Over the Wire are honoured to be ranked again and higher from previous years, recognising the success of our hard work.


This has been a successful awards season for Over the Wire, also ranking in the 2018 AFR Financial Review Fast 100 list and Forbes Asia’s 200 Best Under a Billion 2018.


What Impact Does a Data Breach Have on Your Customer Base?

What Impact Does a Data Breach Have on Your Customer Base? We have gone through the technical aspects of data breaches in some detail, notably in our recent eBook. However, the business impacts are just as (if not more) important.

When your organisation suffers a data breach, the damage is more than lost data or costs to restore a system. Reputational damage can result in significant customer churn.


How do data breaches impact customer churn?

In IBM and The Ponemon Institute's research report on data breaches in Australia, the organisations outlined the exact breakdown of breach costs.

On average, a data breach cost businesses $139 per compromised file. That breaks down to $60 in technical costs, and $79 to indirect costs like customer churn. That's an average of 56 per cent of data breach costs coming through issues of customer retention.

Some sectors are more susceptible to this than others. Financial services and technology companies recorded higher than average churn after a data breach, while hospitality and retail are among those with more limited churn impacts.

At its core, this is an issue of trust. If your organisation deals in personal or private information, particularly financial data, there is an expectation that your company will be able to keep it secure. When it fails to do this, it fails at the core of its business. That is perhaps why churn in those sectors is so much higher than in retail or hospitality, where data security is not a core theme.

Lost records mean lost trust, which in turn means lost business. But how can you go about minimising this churn?


How to minimise the business impacts of a data breach

In trend terms, the churn-related impacts of a data breach are on the decline. IBM and Ponemon's research noted a 5.3 per cent drop in these costs over 2017, particularly among companies that had a lower technical cost per record.

One of the keys to this could be brand management. Your response to a data breach shouldn't just be in line with the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme - it should be part of a wider strategy to regain the trust of your customer base.


1. Future-proofing and transparency

Consider Facebook's response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal - one of the most reputationally damaging events in history. Beyond repairing the immediate harm, the company completely overhauled its privacy settings and communicated those changes to users clearly. Well, relatively clearly. The company's stock continued to fall after the event, but this is a prime example of future-proofing in a transparent manner, of demonstrating a commitment to safety and security in the eyes of your customers.


2. Implement best practice early

Data breaches will, to a certain degree, always have an element of embarrassment to them. However, if your company can demonstrate to customers that it has a strong history of best-practice data security, this may go a long way towards minimising churn.

As an example of this done wrong, look no further than the Australian government. Early 2018 saw the leak of confidential written documents that were stored in a cabinet that was sold in a second-hand store. Regular audits of your information storage and best-practice rules on digitisation are a must at the very least.


Use people you trust

Click here to download the White Paper

In many cases, businesses simply won't have the in-house expertise required to implement proper data security strategies. And that's OK! The team at Over the Wire are network specialists - local experts who will partner with you to understand exactly what your business needs.

It's a surefire way of tightening up security, demonstrating to customers that you take handling their information seriously, and mitigating the churn that results from a data breach. Don't forget to download and implement our white paper, 6 Steps to Improve Your Business Cyber Security here.

Act early, act in good faith and act smart. Get in touch with the Over the Wire team to minimise risks today.

Access Digital Networks and Comlinx join the OTW family

Access Digital Networks and Comlinx join the Over the Wire family Over the Wire Holdings has completed the acquisition of Access Digital Networks Pty Ltd and Comlinx Pty Ltd, welcoming the team members of both companies into the Over the Wire family. Commenting on the acquisitions, Managing Director Michael Omeros said,

“We are very excited to be able to welcome the teams from Access Digital Networks and Comlinx to Over the Wire. These acquisitions are a great result for the Over the Wire group, with Access Digital Networks expediting our geographic expansion into South Australia and Comlinx broadening the product offering we are able to offer to our customers and enhancing our data networks capability. Our selective quality acquisitions and strong organic growth ensure that we continue to execute on our strategy for growth, and we look forward to a positive 2019.”

More details about the companies and the acquisition process are outlined in our original announcement of acquisition article, or can be found in our ASX Announcements.


OTW #69 in Financial Review Fast 100 - 2018

Financial Review Fast 100 - Over the Wire ranked 69 The Australian Financial Review has released the Financial Review Fast 100 list for 2018, comprising of Australian businesses that have shown consistent, high growth over time. The rankings were calculated on a 3-year average of year-on-year growth percentage.

In the FY16 - FY18 period Over the Wire achieved an average year-on-year growth of 49.2%, which placed us at Rank 69 on the Fast 100 list. This is the second year in a row that Over the Wire has made the list published by AFR, ranking 74th in 2017.

Thank you for the fantastic, ongoing support from our clients and the amazing commitment from our team; we could not have achieved this result without you.


Team Mo-ver the Wire 2018

Mo-ver the Wire 2018 The staff at Over the Wire are banding together for another year in support of the Movember Foundation and to bring awareness to men's health issues. Last year, in 2017, our team of Mo-Bros and Mo-Sistas raised over $7,500 and a challenged themselves with a host of events, physical challenges, and team activities (you can check out an infographic of the highlights here). This year we're back again and looking to keep up the tradition!

You can see our team Mo-Space by visiting our team page.



About the Movember Foundation

Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent. That’s why we’re taking action.

We’re the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. We’re addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

We know what works for men, and how to find and fund the most innovative research to have both a global and local impact. We're independent of government funding, so we can challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works. In 13 years we’ve funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030 we’ll reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. Help us stop men dying too young. Join the movement.


Prostate Cancer kills 45 men every hour

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, and rates are on the rise. By 2030 there’ll be 1.7 million men living with prostate cancer. It’s already killing hundreds of thousands of men each year, and those who survive face serious side effects.

We can’t afford to let this continue. So we’re taking action. Learn more.


Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40

In most cases, the outcome for men with testicular cancer is positive, but a 95% chance of survival is no comfort to the 1 man in 20 who won’t make it. When testicular cancer strikes, it strikes young. Most of those men are between 15 and 40 years old.

We have to help them, and stop men from dying too young. Learn more.


Every minute a man dies from suicide

To speak with someone immediately, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If life is in danger, call 000 or go directly to emergency services.

Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Around the world, on average we lose a man to suicide every minute of every day. Three out of four suicides are men. Too many are toughing it out and struggling alone.

We have to take action to improve mental health and reduce the rate of male suicide. Learn more.

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What is SD WAN?

What is SD WAN? SD -WAN is a prominent buzz word at the moment in the world of corporate telecommunications. Literally, it is an acronym for Software Defined Wide Area Network(ing), but what does that mean in practice? In this article we explore some of the capabilities of SD-WAN and what it might mean for your organisation.


The Basics of Corporate Networks

Most corporate networks in Australia today are built on private MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Switching) technology. These private networks are distinct and separate from the public Internet, and are only able to interact with it based on the business’s security policies. These policies are enforced by a firewall which separates and regulates the flow of data between the public Internet and the private corporate network.


A different paradigm: SD-WAN

When people talk about SD-WAN in a corporate network setting, they are usually referring to an approach which uses CPE’s (Customer Premise Equipment) that run more advanced software to effectively build a virtual network over the top of any underlying network – public or private.

Each branch typically ends up having its own firewalled Internet link, and the corporate network itself might even be run over the Internet through secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnels.


What are the Pros and Cons?

MPLS and SD-WAN each has advantages and disadvantages which may be relevant depending on an organisation’s requirements. It can be optimal to combine elements of both approaches to deliver what is knowns as a Hybrid WAN solution. A comparison of the two approaches to some key areas follows.

Security

To be secure, SD-WAN requires encrypted VPN tunnels between sites and relies on firewalls at each Internet connection point to secure your corporate data. These are proven technologies, but is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) over the Internet as secure as an ACTUAL private network that doesn’t run over the Internet at all? The answer to that is more complex than the scope of this article.

With proper configuration either a VPN or private MPLS approach can be considered secure. An even more secure solution can be achieved via a hybrid WAN configuration that uses encrypted VPN tunnels over private MPLS links. The best approach depends on your organisation’s needs and budget.


Network Visibility and Orchestration

The more advanced software that runs on SD-WAN devices can give improved visibility and orchestration of network traffic. In practice OTW’s Advanced ESP firewall can provide similar network edge reporting for a private network.

The ultimate in network reporting and orchestration can be delivered via an integrated solution between Advanced ESP and compatible SD-WAN devices. Once again, the best approach comes down to your organisation’s needs and budget.


Critical Traffic: Application Prioritisation vs QoS

Certain types of network traffic are affected by fluctuations in network performance much more than general traffic. Examples of sensitive traffic include voice, realtime video and terminal services. SD-WAN and private MPLS each have the capability to provide priority to critical traffic, but they use different approaches which can lead to different outcomes.

A private MPLS network provides priority to critical traffic such as voice using end-to-end QoS (Quality of Service). End-to-end QoS is the gold standard in traffic management, with every step in the data’s journey managing its priority and ensuring that it will be delivered promptly and in the same order it was sent. Assurance of voice quality can only be achieved with the benefit of end-to-end QoS.

An SD-WAN network cannot deliver end-to-end QoS over a public network like the Internet. Instead, SD-WAN can make decisions about which link to send traffic along depending on what application the data belongs to, and the current performance of the available links. This makes SD-WAN adept at optimising the utilisation and performance of multiple links to a single site, whether this is implemented as providing active/active load balancing between links, split tunnelling based on application, or low priority traffic being sent down cheaper low quality links, while high priority traffic is sent down the best available link at a point in time.

The flexibility of application prioritisation has many uses, but it should be noted that application layer priority cannot provide the same consistency and assurance of voice quality as end-to-end QoS. For an SD-WAN solution to achieve that standard, the underlying network layer still needs to be an appropriate high quality private MPLS link that supports QoS, effectively making it a hybrid WAN solution.


International

When a corporate network involves international locations, the cost and logistics of deploying private MPLS connectivity to those locations can be prohibitive. SD-WAN shines in this situation, allowing an office to be connected to the network simply by sending an SD-WAN device to the site and connecting it to an easily available Internet link.


Cost

There is significant hype in the market about SD-WAN enabling organisations to cut the cost of their WAN. The SD-WAN vendors who promote this claim are mostly based in the USA where the wholesale network connectivity landscape is quite different - in Australia, private MPLS links are more affordable compared to commodity Internet links. As a result, the higher cost of SD-WAN endpoints typically offsets the gains from reduced tail costs, resulting in a similar Total Cost of Ownership.

At the end of the day, whether a network solution is based on SD-WAN, private MPLS, or a Hybrid WAN approach, in most cases the only way to materially cut networking costs is to sacrifice link quality or network resilience.


The Right Solution for your Organisation

There is no “one solution fits all” when it comes to corporate networks. It takes professionals who understand the finer details of networks and business requirements to develop the best solution for your needs.

Over the Wire is uniquely positioned to design and deliver the style of network solution that makes sense for your organisation, whether it is based on private MPLS, SD-WAN or an integrated combination of both. Over the Wire’s years of experience in converged voice & data networks and managed security, combined with our status as a Fortinet Gold Partner, enables us to deliver a network solution which provides the standards of quality and security that you require.

Contact a member of the Over the Wire team today using the form below.

Acquisition of Access Digital Networks and Comlinx

Over the Wire Holdings Limited (OTW) (ASX:OTW) is pleased to announce that it has entered into binding agreements to acquire:

  • all of the shares in Access Digital Networks Pty Ltd and the business assets of Interactive Gateway Australia Pty Ltd (together, “Access Digital Networks”); and
  • all of the shares in Comlinx Pty Ltd (“Comlinx”)

(together, the “Acquisitions”).

Completion of the Acquisitions is expected to take place on 1 November 2018 and is subject to a limited number of customary conditions precedent.

Access Digital Networks joining OTW group Comlinx joining OTW group

Over the Wire has funded the Acquisitions by raising $21.5m through a placement of 5 million shares, to institutional and sophisticated investors at $4.30 per share, and existing cash. Over the Wire is also delighted to offer eligible shareholders in Australia the opportunity to participate in a Share Purchase Plan at the same price of $4.30 per share (SPP). The SPP will be capped at $5.0m with a maximum allotment of shares to the value of $15,000 per shareholder.

Commenting on the announcement, Managing Director Michael Omeros said,

“We are very excited to be able to welcome Access Digital Networks and Comlinx to the Over the Wire group. Access Digital Networks and Comlinx are high quality businesses with quality teams that will integrate well with Over the Wire.

"Access Digital Networks expedites our geographic expansion plans into South Australia whilst Comlinx introduces some complimentary new offerings via intelligent networks, contact centre / customer experience and cyber security solutions, which will be of great benefit to our existing customers.

"We will continue to target >20% year on year organic growth, together with achieving very high levels of customer retention.”


About Access Digital Networks

Access Digital Networks is a leading South Australian based provider of business grade telecommunications services including data networks, voice and private cloud solutions and services.

Established in 2005, Access Digital Networks is headquartered in Adelaide and employs approximately 10 staff. Access Digital Networks has approximately 250 business clients with high levels of customer retention.

Access Digital Networks accelerates Over the Wire’s expansion into South Australia.


About Comlinx

Comlinx is a leading provider of IT managed solutions to Corporate, Enterprise and Government customers offering numerous cross-sell opportunities to the Over the Wire group.

Established in 2006, Comlinx is headquartered in Brisbane and employs approximately 20 staff. Comlinx has approximately 100 clients with high levels of customer retention and long tenure of relationships with major customers.

Comlinx provides Over the Wire customers with a broader product offering and accelerates Over the Wire’s move into the provision of Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions, further enhancing Over the Wire’s data network capability.

OTW in Forbes Asia’s 200 Best Under A Billion 2018

OTW in Forbes Asia’s 200 Best Under A Billion 2018 It is an honour to be recognised by Forbes Asia in their 200 Best Under A Billion 2018! This annual list recognises 200 small- to medium-sized enterprises across the Asia Pacific region with sales under $1 billion and a track record of strong top- and bottom-line growth.

Of the 200 companies included, Over the Wire was the only Australian telecommunications provider to make it on the list, and one of only 5 Australian companies to be recognised.

We are delighted with the news of our inclusion in the Forbes Asia 200 Best Under A Billion 2018 list, and look forward to continuing our journey of customer service and growth.

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What protection does cyber insurance offer your business and who should invest in it?

What protection does cyber insurance offer your business and who should invest in it? Data breaches: they're expensive. Research from IBM and the Ponemon Institute puts the average per-record cost of breaches at $139. Given that 41 per cent of their survey respondents had more than 1,000 records affected, this takes the immediate cost impact of a data breach to over the $100,000 mark.

Considering how quickly a breach can impact numerous records, that's a cost that many businesses won't be able to bear. While we at Over the Wire will always recommend managed security services and prevention as the best cure, for the majority of organisations it’s the employees that are the weakest link. A mobile workforce, IoT devices and spear-phishing campaigns all present a potential cyber risk, and your security policies need to address them all.

Enter cyber insurance. A relatively new phenomenon, it seems to offer financial protection for businesses that do suffer a data breach. But what sort of coverage does cyber insurance provide?


How cyber insurance works for Australian businesses

Cyber liability insurance generally covers against two primary costs: keeping your data and networks secure and the price of disruption to business continuity. Many policies can also cover specific events or types of attacks, such as DDoS breaches or malware infection.

The Government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) noted in its 2017 threat report that cyber insurance was an industry undergoing rapid growth. As more high-profile attacks occur and businesses become more aware of the widespread impacts a single breach can have, it's popularity will increase.

For example, IBISWorld research from the USA in 2016 showed 15.3 per cent annualised growth in the sector over the previous five years. While this growth hasn't been reflected in the Australian market yet, it's only a matter of time before it gains more traction.


Can cyber insurance protect against every security threat?

This is unlikely. Insurance policies are, by design, tailored to protect a business or individual financially against specific events and have a wide set of exclusions. However, threats to cyber security evolve at an alarming rate, with new strains of malware or variants on existing viruses cropping up every single day. We've actually covered this recently - you can see three cyber threats that could defeat your legacy cyber security systems in 2018 highlighted by the ACSC here.

The point is, a cyber insurance policy would have to be impossibly broad to provide adequate cover for an Australian business. It can mitigate some of the cost of recovery or lost information, but the true breadth of a breach is as hard to cover as it is to predict.

Further to this, the ACSC argues that the allotted payment may not be enough to cover the true cost of a data breach. The IBM/Ponemon research shows that the costs of a data breach can include:

  • Information recovery and repair.
  • Breach identification and containment.
  • Notifying affected parts (including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) of the breach.
  • Fines for non-compliant reporting.
  • Customer churn and associated reputational damage.
  • Implementation of new security measures and training.
  • Lost intellectual property and reinforcing of this protection.

Put simply, cyber insurance is a useful tool for mitigating some data breach costs. It is not, however, a catch-all.


Should you cyber insure your business?

The problem may be that the insurer may not want to insure your organisation unless you have the basic controls for cyber security in place. Therefore implementation of the Government’s Australian Signals Directorate Essential Eight may be a pre-condition to obtaining a premium.

As the ACSC rightly notes, cyber insurance has its place, and that is alongside existing data breach prevention strategies. In particular, organisations should be implementing the Essential Eight, and take any extra steps that are easy to enforce at a business level.

This is the true prevention method. Educate staff, tighten up your security protocols, whitelist and constantly patch/harden software, and limit your administrator privileges wherever possible. Cyber insurance can limit your exposure to financial risk should the worst happen - but in itself is not a preventative measure.

Partner with the experts

Click here to download the White Paper

To start planning your cyber security strategy, make sure you partner with experts. Our white paper 6 steps to improve your business cybersecurity contains security tips you can put into action immediately to help protect your business.

Over the Wire's managed security services allows your business to mitigate risk by keeping ahead of security vulnerabilities. To learn more contact the Over the Wire team today.

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