How Australian Company – Tesserent – Became A Force In Cybersecurity

Tesserent CEO, Kurt Hansen

At the recent Tech Leaders Forum for 2023, held in the Hunter Valley of NSW, we spoke with Kurt Hansen, CEO of Tesserent – a full-service cybersecurity and cloud services provider which is now a home-grown cybersecurity success story. Tesserent now partners with customers across Australia and New Zealand in many industries and areas of government – protecting their digital assets.

Founded in Melbourne and originally focusing on Managed Security Services and funded almost entirely by local investors, Tesserent has since grown to become Australia’s #1 ASX-listed cybersecurity provider. Now with offices across Australia and New Zealand, the company partners with clients to provide not just Managed Security Services – but a full suite of cybersecurity services as well.

Now Tesserent delivers tailored solutions in cybersecurity in order to prevent, detect and mitigate potential cyber-attacks. Women Love Tech spoke with Tesserent’s CEO, Kurt Hansen, about the journey the company’s been on and how it came to arrive where it is now – with a large number of customers, over 500 staff and $200 million in revenue.

Here’s what Kurt told us:

Tesserent’s CEO, Kurt Hansen spoke with Women Love Tech at the recent Tech Leaders Forum 2023.

Kurt Hansen: “Tesserent has been listed for about six years on the ASX, But about four years ago, some new leadership came to Tesserent – including myself – and we took Tesserent on a journey. At the time, it probably had 50 customers and was doing about $6 million in revenue.

Over the last four and a half years, we’ve grown the business to just under $200 million run rate.
We’re at about 500 people. And that’s been a combination of 13 different acquisitions, six of them
actually in one financial year – the FY21 financial year.”

The reason Tesserent went in this direction was because they could see the cybersecurity industry was dominated by multinationals – particularly the ‘Big Four:’

Kurt Hansen: “So, we’ve been quite busy at the Tesserent building. The whole reason we did this was because we saw the industry back in 2016 and 2017 was pretty well dominated by multinational businesses and particularly by the ‘Big Four’ consulting crew around cybersecurity consulting services and managed services.

The majority of the Australian grown industry and New Zealand grown industry was really a number of smaller boutique type companies. So we really wanted to build something that was at scale. And those boutique companies were wonderful, but they generally either had geographic connections – so they only operated in Sydney or they only operated in New Zealand – and they generally only operated with one or two, what we call service lines or one or two specific areas in cybersecurity.”

Kurt Hansen, CEO of Tesserent, was one of the speakers at the Tech Leaders Forum 2023
held recently in the Hunter Valley.

Tesserent wanted to expand what they offered in the cybersecurity field: “So we wanted to bring 13 businesses, which has created nine specific categories or service lines that we do for clients with about five or six different types of consulting, business consulting through to technical testing and so on. Provision of full provision of managed services including supply of some of the critical software controls that you need in order to protect yourself.,” said Kurt.

In addition, the company has added an ‘innovation division’ and the Tesserent Academy where they’re developing their own, new ideas and training people on these: “And then, we’ve also added an innovation division where we’re creating some of our own innovative concepts. And then recently we’ve added the Tesserent Academy to actually build out a training division within Tesserent for our own needs, but also for the needs of our clients who provide services of us, but they still need to uplift the skillset of their employees,” explained Kurt.

Kurt added that the industry in Australia is extremely short of fully-trained, cybersecurity staff so the Tesserent Academy is one way they can redress this situation.

“Also, the industry is very short of cybersecurity professionals. So we wanted to kick something back into the industry around the Tesserent Academy.”

Kurt Hansen, CEO of Tesserent.


For more information about Tesserent and what this company is achieving in cybersecurity, visit here.

For more from Women Love Tech on cyber security, visit here.

Robyn Foyster: Robyn Foyster is an award-winning journalist and former Editor-In-Chief of The Australian Women's Weekly and Publisher of the Hearst Group in Australia, responsible for Harper's BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan and madison magazine. Robyn is the owner and editor of Women Love Tech, Game Changers and The Carousel. Robyn's tech company AR TEch produced the augmented reality app for Sydney's Vivid Festival in 2018 and the retail app Sweep. She is a speaker and a judge of the Telstra Business Awards and Mumbrella Awards. Robyn is passionate about supporting women in STEM. She is also a 2022 B&T Women In Media Awards Finalist and a multiple Finalist in the 2022 Samsung Lizzie's Awards.

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