Rapid technological growth over the last decade has brought with it an explosive proliferation of data and as technology evolves, so do security issues. The connectedness of today’s world requires a new outlook on dealing with cybercrime.
An internet penetration of almost 46% of the global population has resulted in an exponential growth in cybercrime opportunities, with attacks costing around $400 Billion per year. Currently, 15 to 20 percent of value created by the internet is lost to cyber-attacks, and cyber threats are the new entry in the top ten global business risks over the next decade. Violations of privacy, losses of corporate data, and the interruption or shutdown of business operations are becoming more common in today’s connected environments, and the important question is how quickly and efficiently you can respond if you are compromised.
Businesses face increasing scrutiny for their choices in minimising global risk, and cyber risk that has been previously underestimated will attract increasing focus in the coming years. Shareholders and customers are aware of these threats and their potential impact on service continuity and supply chains, so business leaders need to develop greater resilience in these areas to protect profitability. Customers are keen to know how the businesses they deal with are handling security issues, and are more likely to patronize businesses that are transparent and upfront about the protections they are using.
Investing in Resilience
Resilience is the ability to recover from and adjust to change. For companies, this requires preparation and planning for cyber-attacks, and enterprises must focus on boosting resilience as high as possible or reducing risk by reevaluating their highest-risk activities. Risk can no longer be viewed as being binary or perfect; it is a continuum that must be continuously improved and reevaluated. Key to this is being a fast learning organization.
Taking a Top-Down Approach
Cybersecurity can no longer be treated as a mere add-on to the IT budget, and must be treated as a core boardroom issue, encompassing cyber security as a business risk, not simply a technology risk. Taking more of a holistic approach to business security allows companies to integrate cyber protection into all aspects of the business, from the IT department, to security policies, to training. Risk management must become part of day-to-day operations.
Paramount to this is the creation of a top-down culture of security awareness, and management of cybersecurity on an organization-wide basis. It is an issue that cuts across finance, human resources, legal, compliance, technology and the business front end of a company.
Businesses moving towards a safer cyber environment must have input from all areas of the enterprise to strengthen their preventative strategies, and minimise major disruptions to business operations when the inevitable happens. Cyber security cannot be performed by one department alone, and is a team sport from within the business.
Now more than ever, professionals and IT experts can communicate more efficiently and disseminate information in a collaborative environment, with new concepts and ideas shared to address and improve security concerns. Businesses will be able to secure and share information, revolutionizing the way private enterprise, government, education systems and customers navigate our rapidly transforming digital world.