Cybersecurity Should Create Business Growth Strategies (£)

Boards, IT Management and CEOs are under pressure from from commercial and government regulators to monitor and secure their company’s cyber security. 

Cybersecurity should be an essential part of your Board’s longer term future strategy and should of course include cyber-security lessons learnt and future risk reduction but it should also include data analysis for the future and the opportunities offered by deep data reviews.

Understanding the implications and opportunities offered by digital analysis is now essential for grasping the potential of the markets and client understanding and requirements. The implications of not engaging with the deeper issues that cyber-security offers has enormous negative effects on any organisation’s ability to understand and grow in their market-place.
 
Two years ago in 2014, at the New York Stock Exchange on June 10, 2014, Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar declared that “board oversight of cyber risk management is critical to ensuring that companies are taking adequate steps to prevent, and prepare for, the harms that can result from such attacks. There is no substitution for proper preparation, deliberation, and engagement on cybersecurity issues.”

Cybersecurity has become an important topic in both the private and public sectors, and for good reason. Law enforcement and financial regulators have stated publicly that cyber-attacks are becoming both more frequent and more sophisticated. 

Indeed, according to one survey, US companies experienced a 42% increase between 2011 and 2012 in the number of successful cyber-attacks they experienced per week.  

Recently there have also been a series of well-publicized cyber-attacks that have generated considerable media attention and raised public awareness of this issue. A few of the more well-known examples include:

-    The October 2013 cyber-attack on the software company Adobe Systems, Inc., in which data from more than 38 million customer accounts was obtained improperly;

-    The December 2013 cyber-attack on Target Corporation, in which the payment card data of approximately 40 million Target customers and the personal data of up to 70 million Target customers was accessed without authorization;

-    The January 2014 cyber-attack on Snapchat, a mobile messaging service, in which a reported 4.6 million user names and phone numbers were exposed;

-    The sustained and repeated cyber-attacks against several large U.S. banks, in which their public websites have been knocked offline for hours at a time;

-    The numerous cyber-attacks on the infrastructure underlying the capital markets, including quite a few on securities exchanges.   

One of the ways of countering this understanding is to have secure hack attacks, or Penetration Testing, on different executives and management through-out the year and to report these white hacks back to the Board and especially when they are also attacked. 

An idea that is now being discussed is the Cyber Audit a white hack group that cyber-attack your organisation at different times during the year and report back the results on an on-going basis.
  
And another concept is to delve deeper into your data and to come up with the commercial results of your organisation verses the competition in your markets.

This strategy should be used to understand different elements of your business; 

  • From Public Relations, to employee company ratings; 
  • From customer understanding and comments to employee’s understanding and market analysis considerations; 
  • From product and services changes and enhancements taking place in the market to client requirements and changing uses.

In some organisations there is some growth and profit optimism in the cyber growth arena however others do not believe that big data analysis easily leads to growth and profit. There exists a real diversity in the understanding and engagement with the big data arena which, has been around for some decades now, ever since the concept and realty of big data has existed. 

 

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