A black swan event is an unexpected, high-profile event that is large in magnitude and consequence and is extremely difficult to predict. If cyberattacks are the next black swan event, is it possible for organisations to prepare themselves for it?


The term black swan dates back to a period when it was widely believed that all swans are white. However, in 1697, after Dutch explorers first sighted black swans in Western Australia, the phrase came to indicate an occurrence that was previously thought to be inconceivable and has widespread ramifications. Black swan events are rationalised after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.

Increasingly, cyberattacks are being classified as black swan events.

The recent outbreak of WannaCry ransomware and other such occurances reinforce that cyber threats that were once considered impossible are now occurring on a daily basis and the ramifications are not limited to just one organistaion, industry or country. Cyberattacks have resulted in billions of dollars being lost to ransomware payoffs, shutting down of systems forcing companies offline and mass leaking of confidential customer data leading to loss of reputation and customer trust.

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) chairman Greg Medcraft recently warned businesses that a significant cyberattack could be the next black swan event. Medcraft attributed the increasing number, and impact, of attacks to a lack of transparency and reporting of such attacks. ASIC has been urging companies to review their exposure to cyberattacks and to step up their plans for more cyber security. Cyber resilience gains even more importance when organisations are faced with stricter laws governing data breaches and privacy and higher community expectations.


Can SMEs prepare themselves for the next event?

For many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a cyberattack is not a black swan event, but an inevitability. From malware to DDoS attacks, from phishing campaigns to ransomware, today’s threat landscape is expanding continuously.

It is no longer a viable strategy for organisations to just respond to security breaches, rather the emphasis is on preventing them. This requires a proactive approach to security that covers everything from firewalls to end point security, where staff are informed and aware of potential threats and there are regular backups of all critical systems and data. For many SMEs this is a big ask.

This is where the ‘as a service’ model can bring the benefits of industry leading experts and technologies within easy reach of SMEs in an affordable, scalable and predictable offering. Security as a Service (SECaaS) is a growing industry that is set to be worth $US8.52b by 2020. This model eases the financial and resource constraints faced by SMEs and transfers accountability to a single trusted SECaaS provider.


For more information on SECaaS (or to validate your existing security strategy), contact the blueAPACHE security team.


Contact blueAPACHE

    First Name*

    Last Name*



    Type of Enquiry*:


    Please phone me back.

    Subscribe to the latest news and events.