Creating a Cyber Security Culture at Sportsbet

A Q&A session with Dick Ward, Head of Cyber Security

How is Sportsbet using new technologies to mitigate and tackle cyber risk?

As a cloud-first organisation, Sportsbet heavily leverages IaaS and SaaS solutions. While this introduces risks that require careful management, the opportunities and capabilities now available to us is staggering. We’re able to address risks at scale, and with careful thought and design, are able to add new capabilities quickly whilst ensuring that they will work cohesively with our existing security technologies.

As an agile and innovation-oriented organisation, we do like to experiment and try new technologies in different ways. We’re happy to build a small capability ourselves to prove an MVP, before purchasing a more mature offering externally.

As we continue to invest across prevention, detection and response capabilities, we ensure that we always have an eye on emerging risks, and how we align with our broader technology ecosystem to ensure we protect our customers not just today but well into the future.

How is Sportsbet involving non-cyber security employees in the conversation about cyber risk?

Ensuring all team members across Sportsbet are cyber aware, have the right cyber skills and know where to get help is a key part of our role. To do this effectively, we know we need a multi-pronged approach. A key pillar of this is acknowledging that while the Cyber Security team sit within Sportsbet Technology, we don’t stay there. All of our team members engage across Sportsbet on a daily basis.

To make good cyber decisions, we need to have the right skills and the right context. To get achieve this, we work side-by-side with non-cyber team members. While the cyber team can advise on how to do something securely, it’s only by working with our commercial, business and product colleagues to ensure we collectively know ‘why’ security is important in a specific context. e.g.

  • This data is sensitive because…
  • The resiliency of this system is critical because….
  • I’m not too worried about xyz for these reasons…

Working closely together ensures we increase our collective awareness and skills, and ultimately lead to better protection of our customers.

What is Sportsbet doing to protect the privacy and cybersecurity of customers, and how are you and your team making that happen?

We work collectively, with an acknowledgement that all team members put our ‘Customers First and Last’. With a strong focus on Enterprise Risk Management, we then seek to make the right risk-based decisions and quickly follow-up to ensure improvement initiatives are prioritised and supported.

As part of the Flutter Entertainment group, we’re able to leverage the scale and capabilities from across divisions. While our SMEs collaborate daily across geographies, we also leverage entire teams to augment our local capabilities.

We leverage leading global technology and security partners, to ensure we have the right tools for the right job. We then work very hard to ensure that our tools and capabilities work together cohesively.

We are growing our local team and will almost double the Australian team in 2022. While we do this, we continue to focus on ensuring our existing team members are growing their skills each day.

Interested in chatting about a Cyber Security career with us? Check out open roles at Sportsbet here or get in touch with