5 Minutes With... Jonathan Horne, CEO, Cyber Aware

22nd September 2020


  • Jonathan Horne is CEO of Cyber Aware,  working to make cybersecurity easy for businesses of all sizes.

  • Jonathan and his team at Cyber Aware were named Gold Disruptors in the 2019 ACS Digital Disruptor Awards, and recently winners of the Best Cyber Security Project, Product or Pivot for the YBF Ventures Australia, Online Startup & Innovation Awards. 

1. What do you enjoy most about working in tech? 

Working with business owners and everyday Australians across a range of industries. I’m in a position that enables me to provide a better understanding of cybersecurity, and what that means for a business's functions at large. In helping individuals identify their “digital footprint”, I’m constantly learning through the process alongside them. 

2. What is the key piece of advice you’d give to your younger self? 

Appreciate every opportunity! Sure, you can bask in your existing accomplishments, but you’ll miss some pretty unique chances if you get too comfortable. Your strengths only matter when you’re aware and hungry enough to put them to use. Remain entrepreneurial even in times of success! 

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” - Seneca 

3. Tech changes fast. How do you keep your tech skills up-to-date? 

I keep active and involved in all of my business ventures, and across all levels. Whether it’s a platform update, a hardware installation, or an opportunity to look at new tech for the business, I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty and become involved in the process! Further to that, I’m constantly absorbing information from colleagues and through your own channels here at the ACS! 

4. What has been the greatest challenge you and the team have overcome? 

Entering the field of cybersecurity, which has a reputation of being littered with tech-jargon and intimidating services, and translating it to the everyday Australian. It took a long, hard period of upskilling for myself and the team to be able to simplify cyber, and we’re still existing in that up-skilling period when facing new challenges today! 

5. What’s the biggest achievement you’ve celebrated as a team? 

If I had to choose an individual moment, it’d probably be when we had the first look at the results from Cyber Aware’s beta service, wherein we achieved an average risk-reduction of over 80% for a pool of 25 small-to-medium-sized enterprises! 

We also had a rather ironic celebration of the platform, when we noticed a unique issue following feedback from one of our cornerstone clients. 72% of their staff had consumed a year’s worth of content within only a month, mainly by binge-watching lessons outside of work. We celebrated this because we’d clearly nailed engagement, ease-of-use, and light-hearted content! Although, it did mean that we had to work in some restrictions on learners who were too eager to finish the content. 

Who would have thought that we could get people binge-watching security awareness training! 

6. How has ACS membership supported you and your organisation’s journey in tech? 

Cyber Aware presented as a Gold Disruptor in the ACS Digital Disruptor Awards, which enabled us the amazing opportunity to put ourselves out there and network with fellow members. The resources in training material have been a fantastic asset to our team, and we’re constantly across the weekly ACS newsletter to keep informed on the Australian tech-space. 

7. What would Cyber Aware recommend to businesses in the current climate to safeguard their data and avoid breaches? 

Companies have spent the last decade securing and improving their IT systems, in an effort to protect their businesses and clients. For this reason, hackers have changed their approach, increasingly targeting staff & exploiting human error.

At Cyber Aware we have been running free workshops to help businesses educate staff on identifying phishing attacks, password hygiene, confidential data management and what to do in the event of a ransomware attack. 


"5 Minutes With..." is a series of articles showcasing exceptional ACS Members and their amazing, innovative, and game changing stories. Representing over 48,000 tech professionals across Australia, our Members work across industry, government, research, and education organisations and each edition highlights the role they are playing in making Australia a world leader in technology talent, fostering innovation, and creating new forms of value.