Tesserent (ASX:TNT) cybersecurity specialist


by Jessica Amir

Tesserent Limited (ASX:TNT) CEO Julian Challingsworth discusses cybersecurity, the company's end-to-end solution, strategy and recent funding to drive growth.

Jessica Amir: Hello. I'm Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network at FNN's Small Cap Investor Event today with Tesserent CEO Julian Challingsworth. Hello, Julian. Welcome to the network.

Julian Challingsworth: Thank you. Thank you for having me in.

Jessica Amir: Thank you for coming along. First up, for those who are unfamiliar, would you mind just giving us a quick introduction?

Julian Challingsworth: Tesserent (ASX:TNT) is Australia's only pure play listed cybersecurity firm. We deliver services and support to our customers globally, with a large number of customers in Australia, London, and throughout Asia, and South Korea.

Jessica Amir: And now to the IT landscape, which you fit in, just tell us where you fit, and how you're so competitive, and why you're so unique?

Julian Challingsworth: Tesserent is a managed security service provider, so we look after the applications. We look after the way our client's systems solutions run to protect them. That includes both their internal and external networks. We're one of the few organisations that can work with our clients to provide detailed and comprehensive security from right across their organisation. We work with their people, and their technology teams to ensure they have the best possible cybersecurity posture.

Jessica Amir: Now a more general question to cyber attacks. We often hear about cyber attacks in the media, but how prevalent is the issue?

Julian Challingsworth: Cyber attacks are really prevalent, probably more prevalent than you can imagine. In fact, cybercrime is a $1.5 trillion problem globally. If it was a country, it would be in the G20. It's everywhere. When we really say there are two types of organisations, those that know they've been hacked, and those that don't know, but in reality, everybody is a target for cyber crime. Everybody really needs to pay attention to this as a very serious business issue.

One of the easiest ways that people are attacked these days is through emails. Emails, we all receive them. We receive dozens, if not hundreds a day. It's very easy to be targeted in an email scam, and simply opening an email from somebody you don't know can be the basis of a serious cyber attack on you personally, or for your organisation.

Jessica Amir: Changing pace now to the business's strategy and growth, just give us an update on your acquisitions?

Julian Challingsworth: Acquisitions are very important to our growth. What we've noticed is the Australian market is very fragmented with a number of small providers of cyber services. This has enabled us to do a detailed assessment and identify the organisations, which would really help us flesh out our strategy. We're actively in the market to acquire these businesses. We recently announced the acquisition of Rivium, and we're looking to close a couple more in the very near term.

Jessica Amir: What can you tell us about partnerships?

Julian Challingsworth: Partnerships are really important. The landscape is changing a lot, and we need to partner with some great organisations that deliver excellent products. An example of a recent partnership is our work with Darktrace who is a leading artificial intelligence provider into the cyber space. We've been very successful working with them, and they're an excellent partner. We also work with Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) who are the world's leading firewall provider. Both are outstanding partnerships and examples of how we can bring the world's best technology to Australian organisations to improve their cyber defence.

Jessica Amir: Can you just give us an update on professional services?

Julian Challingsworth: One of the key areas of cyber attack, and defending your organisation is the people in your company. 60 per cent of attacks now come from within your organisation by staff opening emails, or introducing a USB device, or some other uncontrolled device. We work closely with our clients to deliver training and awareness programs, so that the staff really know what they do and how they can play a part in defending their organisation, and keeping their company safe.

Jessica Amir: Changing pace now, can you give us a comment about your finances and your share price?

Julian Challingsworth: We've recently completed a $2 million cap raise, which is really enabling us to accelerate our organic growth and complete the due diligence on a number of acquisitions that we have in the pipeline.

To our share price, well it's not something I can control, but if I look at my current share price and market capitalisation, it's less than my annual revenue on a go for basis with the Rivium acquisition, so compared to my peers and others, I think we're really undervalued. It's because we fly under the radar. I think as more people get awareness of Tesserent, the cyber security story, and how we're supporting Australian and global organisations there'll be a material change upwards for our share price.

Jessica Amir: And just lastly, Julian, bringing the interview to a close, is there anything that you'd like to share with investors?

Julian Challingsworth: Cyber security is really becoming a high priority for most organisations. It used to be something that was considered by technology people, and not really a key agenda item for boards and executives. It really is top of mind now. We read about it in the press all the time, there are articles. There's dinner parties where friends have been hacked. It's a growing market, and Tesserent (ASX:TNT) is the only listed opportunity for investors to get involved, and invest in an organisation that's delivering growth into that market.

Jessica Amir: Julian Challingsworth, thank you so much.

Julian Challingsworth: Thank you very much.