TAFE Response to COVID -19 



Investing in people, communities, networks and a sustainable future, Optus’ focus is on creating a better connected future for Australia by re-imaging what is possible.  In current times connectivity, collaboration, and re-imaging what is possible is paramount.

As global partners of TDA we recognise TAFEs, like many organisations globally, are having to fundamentally rework their delivery models and operating models in an extraordinarily short space of time, and without the comfort gained from in person project governance.

The cyber-risk profile of our national TAFE institutes is likely to have fundamentally changed in that process, in particular as IT resources within educational institutes are diverted towards delivering the best teaching and learning experience possible for our student and our teachers.  The risks we are seeing first hand across the education sector that are likely to have been introduced or changed (i.e. either the likelihood or the consequence has increased) include:

  1. The risk of a home network compromise for students who are now learning remotely or teachers and staff who are working remotely
  2. The risk of compromise of an insecure (non-hardened or non-patched) device being used to process sensitive information
  3. The risk of an attack going undetected due to the reduced visibility of systems and users
  4. The risk of an attacker going unnoticed in the increased noise of legitimate external access
  5. The risk of a physical breach of a ‘closed’ office site
  6. The risk of a critical cyber security team member being quarantined and unable to work
  7. And of course, the risk your security is fine, but the business can’t operate


From unique governance models, to shadow IT, and niche technology requirements and platforms for specific teaching needs, the tertiary education sector’s needs are different to government and to private sector needs.

We have evolved our service response accordingly.  Optus’ focus right now is on helping educational institutes identify, qualify and mitigate these risks, and to provide a back-fill capability that enables institutes to focus on their core business of education while catering for a new online world of teaching and learning.

We have developed a “virtual CISO” service to provide a dedicated point of contact for Optus to work with your institute on a x-days-per-week basis, whether at a strategic and reporting level, or a hands-on operational level.  Onboarding of our team to your team is key, and to help mitigate the cost of onboarding and preparation for new vCISO services we are offering a week of a consultant’s time, at no cost, to work through onboarding activities, mindful of the current COVID-19 situation.

This means when the vCISO service officially starts, our team member knows the organisation, the platforms, and the requirements, and can maximise the value from day 1.  We will also include a 1-year ‘Core’ level subscription to Security Colony (www.securitycolony.com) at no cost, to provide access to a huge range of security resources to speed up security projects.

We have included two documents:


Should you wish to understand further detail please contact Mr Jason Bamert, National Education Lead for Optus at jason.bamert@optus.com.au

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