Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s investment company, Turnbull & Partners, has put money behind industrial cyber security vendor Dragos, which unveiled a local expansion.
Turnbull made the investment in Dragos’ series C funding round in December last year, though it was not disclosed at the time.
In a video released today, Turnbull said the cyber threat to operational technology “has never been greater than it is today”.
“In an entirely connected world there are so many vital systems - industrial control systems or operational technology - that are really vulnerable to adversaries,” he said.
“Dragos has a particular leadership in this area. It was an area that was of vital interest to me as Prime Minister of Australia when I launched our first national cyber security strategy and when I launched our first critical infrastructure strategy.
“Now that I’m out of politics and I’m able to become an investor once again, I was delighted to be able to join Dragos which has a leading technology - the world’s best, I believe - to address the challenges to operational technology.”
Turnbull said mining and resources; energy generation, distribution and transmission; and telecommunications are key critical sectors that could benefit from stronger cyber security.
Dragos said in a statement that it is using “part of the proceeds from its series C funding round to accelerate the next stage of the company’s worldwide operations in order to address the burgeoning market for industrial cybersecurity solutions.”
This specifically includes an expanded presence in Australia and New Zealand, though it was unclear exactly what shape this would take.
“Our expansion into the Australia and New Zealand markets will enable us to not just better partner with companies in the region to ensure that they are successful in their industrial cybersecurity journey, but also to help foster the local ICS/OT cybersecurity practitioner community through ongoing education and engagement,” co-founder and CEO Robert Lee said.
Dragos said it is already working with energy infrastructure operator Jemena under a deal signed last year.
“Cyber attacks pose an increasing risk to businesses like ours which are relied on to deliver energy to many homes and businesses across the country,” Jemena’s digital security and risk manager Dave Worthington said in a statement, adding that the company was tapping Dragos’ threat intelligence.