Sophos honored with Partnership Award by law enforcement in Queensland, Australia

qps-rob-96Twelve years ago, the police in Queensland, Australia, realised that cybercrime was costing the state some tens of millions of dollars a year.

That was the cost to Queensland alone, only the third most populous Australian state, with about 4.5 million inhabitants. Most of the money was leaving the Australian economy forever, often as cash transfers, stolen by criminals who had never set foot in Australia, and probably never would.

This was not a problem that the Queensland Police Service (QPS) could solve without building partnerships with the computer security industry and with fellow cybercrime fighters overseas.

So they started up Project Synergy, a series of activities, including annual conferences.

Sophos has been an enthusiastic supporter of these events right from the start.

That’s because the events are intended not only to bring together practitioners from around the world who share an interest in helping to protect our economies from cybercrime, but also to agree on some activities for the year ahead that will actually do something about it.

Over a similar period, Sophos has been running regular Signature Luncheons in the Asia Pacific region.

These luncheon events are Sophos’s own sort of Project Synergy, intended to bring together experts and thought leaders in IT security for frank and open debate about the future of computer security.

We use the Chatham House Rule, which means you can tell other people what was discussed, but without mentioning who said what.

This encourages openness and the sharing of information, since all of us, competitors though we might be in day to day business life, face a common enemy: the cybercriminals.

The Signature Luncheon series has helped us not only to keep track of the changing nature of security threats, but also to agree on activities for the year ahead that will actually do something about it.

Anyway, to close the circle: last week, at the Queensland Police Fraud and Corporate Crime Symposium 2013, Sophos was honoured with a Partnership Award from the QPS.

The things we did that QPS particularly liked were:

  • Providing educational material for community groups.
  • Hosting the Signature Luncheon events to explore current and emerging issues.
  • Raising greater awareness in government and business communities regarding fraud and cybercrime.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay, Head of Fraud Division, QPS, gave us high praise indeed, noting that:

“Sophos has shown the courage and character to step forward to participate with the Queensland Police Service since Project Synergy’s inception, and we look forward to continuing our ongoing relationship, to further build and enhance innovative strategies to protect Australia and indeed global communities.”

Thank you, QPS!

We appreciate the recognition; we salute your efforts in tackling cybercriminals head on; and we look forward to more Synergy in 2014.

PS. Let me say publicly what a great job Sophos Australia Marketing has done, all these years, to run the many Signature Luncheons we have held. They take a lot of organising – just getting IT security speakers lined up is like herding cats, and that’s before you arrange a venue, and an audience, and, of course, the luncheon itself. Thanks, guys.

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