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Q&A: Meet the Leader of the Sydney Advanced Security Operations Center

Trustwave and Optus Business - part of Australian telco giant Optus, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singtel - have opened a new Advanced Security Operations Center (ASOC) located on the Optus campus in Sydney. Optus Business is using the Trustwave ASOC to deliver managed security services, powered by Trustwave, to help Australian business clients fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce risk.

Gino Ferraro
Gino Ferraro

We sat down with industry veteran Gino Ferraro, Trustwave's Sydney-based manager of the ASOC, to learn more about how the new center operates, as well as why managed security services are so important and how they represent a giant leap forward in protection for Australian businesses.

Gino is a 20-year IT veteran with extensive security operations experience with managed security service providers that have serviced global enterprises and Australian government entities.

Tell us about the new Advanced Security Operations Center.

This is the first Advanced Security Operations Center in Australia. It uniquely combines Optus' network security capabilities and is part of a globally federated network of Trustwave-powered Advanced Security Operations Centers. It's designed to help protect Australian organizations from threats regardless of where they originate globally.

How is this different than other security operations centers located in Australia?

What that means is that the new ASOC delivers protection on a truly global scale, while enhancing the ability for both Optus Business and Trustwave to serve our Australian clients. Our globally federated ASOCs feature capabilities, threat intelligence and expertise that go beyond what other managed security services providers can do today. It combines local threat awareness from the Optus network with global threat visibility from the worldwide Trustwave ASOC network supported by a team of more than 1,500 security-minded professionals worldwide. The ASOC is staffed, run and powered by Trustwave, which industry analysts named the fastest-growing, global managed security services provider.

What are Advanced Security Operations Centers?

Security operations centers are mission control for delivering managed security services to businesses and government agencies. We use the "Advanced" designation to demonstrate that our ASOCs are secure facilities that house the infrastructure and teams delivering customer service, platform management, threat detection, threat hunting and incident response to clients. These are more advanced services that businesses need to better fight cybercrime given today's sophisticated attacks.

Why are managed security services so critical in protecting organizations in Australia from cybercrime?

Cybercrime is a growing underground business and a threat to every single legitimate organization in Australia. The 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report revealed the global median time between security breach intrusion and detection was 15 days for self-detected breaches, and alarmingly, 168 days when breaches were detected by an outside group like law enforcement, card brands or the media.

How do managed security services specifically help?

Managed security services help businesses address advanced information security threats while alleviating the pressures created by resource constraints, skills shortages, compliance requirements and the rapid adoption of new technologies. These services provide the security businesses need without requiring them to install and manage technologies themselves, to retain and train staff to run and configure those systems, or to worry about aging levels of protection. By partnering with Trustwave as their trusted security advisor, businesses can focus more on their priorities and core competencies.

How does the ASOC team work with the SpiderLabs team at Trustwave?

The SpiderLabs team at Trustwave includes security experts, ethical hackers (penetration testers), forensic investigators and security researchers. They work side-by-side with ASOC personnel to bring real-life expertise and threat intelligence into the ASOC. For example, new malware discovered in a forensic investigation is sent to the ASOC team so we can build protections for use across the global network of Trustwave ASOCs and security solutions, protecting customers from new and zero-day threats.

You mentioned the Sydney ASOC is part of something bigger globally. Where does this ASOC fit in the broader global network?

The Sydney ASOC is part of the industry's first global network of federated ASOCs designed to power a new generation of managed security services. Unlike traditional security operations centers, federated ASOCs are united worldwide and usher in a new level of local threat awareness combined with global threat visibility and intelligence - delivering protection on a truly global scale. Trustwave will operate nine ASOCs worldwide strategically located across the globe to provide a footprint that best services global customers. Trustwave most recently announced plans to open a new ASOC in Japan.

Learn more about Trustwave Advanced Security Operations Centers here.

Cas Purdy is vice president of corporate marketing and communications at Trustwave.