Peter Wood is a key member of UNE’s cyber security team under Deputy Chief Information Security Officer Rob Laurie, and responsible for boosting our cyber security awareness and helping to roll out Multi-Factor Authentication.

After completing a Bachelor of Criminology with UNE in 2019, Peter was offered a job in IT Client Services. While this job provided a thorough introduction to the complex hardware and software configurations of UNE’s IT architecture, his interests leaned toward the security aspect of Information Technology. When the role of Cyber Security and Infrastructure Operations officer became available, he jumped on the opportunity.

In the role, and in addition to cyber security awareness, Peter assists with the rollout of the Rapid Uplift Program – a huge undertaking to implement technology-based controls to protect UNE’s data and information.

“Criminology may not be directly linked to cyber security but there are a lot of fascinating similarities. Both traditional criminals and cybercriminals leverage human emotions to achieve their end goal. The two most common emotions they manipulate are trust, and fear,” Peter explains.

“Both criminals often attempt to manipulate the victim into performing a certain action or trick you into doing exactly what they want. A frequent example of this is when you receive an email urgently directing you to perform a certain action or something bad will happen, such as losing your account access or losing money. Our best defence against these kinds of attacks is to be cyber aware so we can recognise them.”

The good news, says Peter, is that our cyber security training numbers have steadily increased since last year. He believes recent well-publicised cyber breaches such as Optus and Medibank are contributing to the increase in awareness but cautions that there is room for further improvement. 

“It’s important for everyone to be able to recognise these types of attacks as deceit and trickery are key tools in a hacker’s arsenal. People are not the weakest link, they’re the primary attack vector,” says Peter.

“We will implement various technical controls to secure the environment but at the end of the day it is up to each one of us to recognise these types of attacks.”

“This is where training and awareness is so important, increasing our human firewall is one of the best defensive measures we can implement. This year we have already seen our training prevent fraudulent login attempts. Roughly 91% of all attacks begin with phishing emails, and 95% of all cyber security breaches are caused by human error.”

Cyber security training assignments are designed to be short and informative, to prevent interrupting your day. Staff will either be assigned training via email, or find more information in the Operations newsletter that is distributed every Tuesday. <Links to include>.

Read up on recent developments and attacks here: