Cybersecurity - Don’t expect the geeks to do all the heavy lifting


Cyber awareness is the responsibility of all board members. That’s the message from Women on Boards ahead of our WOBMeet cybersecurity series starting this month.


Women on Boards Executive Director, Claire Braund, said cybersecurity should be front of mind for all directors and board members.

“Just as you cannot shift responsibility for the finances to the accountants, you cannot expect the geeks on your board to do all the heavy lifting on cyber. You need to upskill and at least have a working understanding of threats, risks and how to minimise cyber attacks and fraud.”

From digital forensics experts to cyber risk specialists, Women on Boards has connected with the country’s leading cybersecurity minds for our WOBMeet series starting 21 February. 

In the series, which will be held across hosted WOB events in Sydney, Gosford, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, our guest cybersecurity experts will be asking members - ‘Cyber - are you aware of your obligations’. 

The seven guest speakers (including four from McGrathNicol) will join WOB executives and state representatives to talk about how boards can ask the right questions around cyber and get the level of oversight needed about the risk their organisations are facing. The speakers are:


Director, Technology Strategy and Risk , PwC

Cristina Paetsch is a Director of Cybersecurity & Digital Trust at PwC. She helps organisations understand and manage their cyber risk, as well as identify technology improvement opportunities.

Over the past 16 years, Cristina has worked with over 150 clients in Australia, the UK and New Zealand - ranging from small family businesses to government agencies and major international firms. She specialises in helping senior management better understand cyber - what is important, what isn't, and where more focus is needed.

  • Meet Cristina and our SA Rep Wendy Teasdale-Smith at WOBMeet Adelaide on 21 February, Mayfair Hotel, King William Street, Adelaide, 5.30pm - 7.30pm.
  • Register HERE 


Director at McGrathNicol | Forensic Technology & Cyber

Brendan Payne is a forensic and technology specialist with more than 15 years of experience specialising in digital forensics, cyber and information risk, data information and governance, eDiscovery and technology-led investigations.

He has undertaken a number of complex digital forensic and technology-led engagements for corporate clients, legal advisors, local and overseas government departments and regulators. Recent engagements include assisting multiple clients with responding to various Royal Commission and Class Action proceedings.

His understanding of current cybersecurity trends and threats enables Brendan to help clients respond to cyber breaches and assist with remediation works, as well as provide training in the form of Cyber Resilience Assessments and workshops.

As a highly regarded specialist in his field, Brendan has also been engaged as an independent expert to provide evidence in court. His use of industry standard methodologies ensures that the evidentiary value of information recovered is not diminished.

His extensive experience spans across a wide range of industries including energy and natural resources, construction, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, retail and technology.

  • Meet Brendan and our WA Rep Kylah Morrison at WOBMeet Perth on 21 February, McGrathNicol Perth, 5.30pm - 7.30pm.
  • Register HERE 


Partner of McGrathNicol Forensic

Darren Hopkins specialises in advising businesses on both proactive and reactive uses of technology in the areas of cybersecurity, privacy, digital forensics and technology-led investigations.

Darren is a highly respected, qualified investigator and forensic technology expert with more than 20 years of specialist forensic experience and more than five years as a foundation member of the Forensic Computer Examination Unit with the Queensland Police. Held in high regard by attorneys and the courts, he has undertaken complex computer forensic examinations for both criminal and civil litigation in Australia and overseas.

He works regularly with boards, executives and senior business leaders in organisations of every size to consider and set technology strategies for cyber, privacy, data protection and information risk management. Darren also regularly applies his digital forensic and investigative expertise to help resolve time-critical and highly sensitive issues as they arise. These matters range from large-scale data breaches or theft, through to employee misconduct or intellectual property matters.

  • Meet Darren and our Queensland Rep Anna Hebron at WOBMeet Brisbane on 22 February, McGrathNicol Brisbane, 5.30pm - 7.30pm.
  • Register HERE 

Melbourne | LYNN WARNEKE

Lynn Warneke is a Non-Executive Director and advisor specialising in digital and data strategy, organisational transformation, innovation and emerging technologies, cybersecurity and risk governance. Her multi-industry experience includes government, tertiary education, retail/wholesale, and professional services and consulting sectors.

In addition to holding a number of board, industry and advisory roles, Lynn is a tech diversity advocate and member of the ACS National Diversity & Inclusion Council, and an industry mentor with Stone & Chalk and AustCyber. A former COO and award-winning CIO, her career has included executive business, IT and consulting roles for a diverse range of companies, from tech start-up to major enterprise. Lynn has a Grad Cert in New Technologies Law and is currently completing her Master of Laws.

  • Meet Lynn and our WOB COO Nicole Donegan at WOBMeet Melbourne on 22 February, McGrathNicol Melbourne, 5.30pm - 7.30pm.
  • Register HERE 


Director at McGrathNicol and Associate Professor in Cybersecurity

Dr Dave Ormrod specialises in providing expert cybersecurity strategy and risk management advice. He has over 25 years of experience securing organisations from advanced persistent threats, managing blue and red security teams and enhancing the resilience of Federal Government agencies and commercial organisations.

Dave is an experienced cybersecurity program manager and information systems assessor. A long-term member of the Information Security Registered Assessors Program he has delivered training as a subject matter expert on behalf of the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre. 

He is also an Associate Professor in Cybersecurity, with a Doctorate in Computer Science, a Project Management Professional, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Meet Dave and our WOB ACT representative Dr Kath Hall at WOBMeet Canberra, McGrathNicol Canberra, 5.30pm - 7.30pm (21 March)
  • Register HERE 


Cybersecurity Partner, McGrathNicol

Joss Howard has led teams in delivery of technical, information security and cyber resilience projects for over 25 years. She has held senior security management positions in military, industry and professional services. Joss has advised companies globally, including in the aerospace, defence, finance, government, healthcare, leisure and retail, transport, telecommunication and utilities sectors.

Her professional services career has included working with an extensive number of clients globally, helping to tackle cyber risk and increase security posture. She specialises in assessing security posture, developing strategies, and identifying investments, resources and initiatives to achieve optimal cyber security growth for her clients. Further, Joss advises boards and senior management on initiatives to improve their business resiliency against cyber threats, reduce risks and protect profitability.

  • Meet Joss and WOB Executive Director, Claire Braund at WOBMeet Sydney on 23 February, 5.30pm - 7.30pm.
  • Register HERE 


Anne Garlick is a recognised leader in technology and cyber risk management has led and delivered transformational technology and business change during her career. She has a passion and track record for driving business outcomes through leading people and transforming process and technology whilst having a strong risk mindset. Anne helps others understand the increasing complexity of the digital, cyber and regulatory risk landscapes.

A highly motivated C-suite executive Anne has successfully transitioned from Chief Information Officer roles to a Chief Risk Officer with a focus on technology, cyber and operational risk. Anne has experience working with Boards both within Financial Services and as an independent director of education organisations.

Anne has a Masters of Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Meet Anne and WOB Executive Director, Claire Braund at WOBMeet Central Coast/Hunter in Gosford on 2 March, 5pm - 7pm.
  • Register HERE

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