Optus has fully acquired cyber security consulting company Hivint for $23.3 million.

Hivint, which was founded in 2015, will be integrated with Optus’s cyber security subsidiary Trustwave to bolster existing services.

The acquisition will help Optus provide cyber security services to its business clients.

“This acquisition is timely as an overwhelming 85% of over 200 Australian enterprises we surveyed cited cyber and information security as having the highest disruptive impact on their industries in the next three years,” said Optus Business Managing Director, John Paitaridis.

“Hivint’s reputation for providing high-quality advisory services to businesses facing the challenges of increased cyber security threats and digitalisation will strengthen Optus’ position as one of Australia’s leading cybersecurity service providers and trusted advisor to both government and enterprise customers.”

The Melbourne-based start-up, which last year won Telstra’s Victorian New Business Award, offers business services in consultancy, penetration testing, strategy and governance.

It was also part of an AusTrade’s Landing Pad program in San Francisco, working alongside a handful of other promising Australian security start-ups.

Hivint co-founder Nick Ellsmore shared his excitement on the move.

“Singtel [Optus’s parent organisation] is building a truly global cyber security business under the Trustwave brand. It’s a genuinely compelling vision and a great opportunity for the Hivint team on many levels.”

Singtel acquired 98% of the US-based Trustwave in August 2015 and bought out the remaining 2% earlier this year.

Since then, it has helped deliver specialised managed security services to Optus Business customers alongside existing ICT services.

But the telco’s new security arm is just one initiative in an enterprise-wide shift.

Late last year, Optus Business announced it was investing $3.5 million into the Cyber Security Cooperation Research Centre (CRC).

At an academic level, it has partnered with La Trobe University to launch a cyber security degree, and with Macquarie University for a cyber security hub.