Every business is addressing Digital as the approach to drive a better customer experience and to reduce costs through the introduction of self-serve channels.
In the Digital world, everything is open 24 hours per day and that is the basic expectation. Recently SKYPE had an unexpected outage and all customers received an apology with an offer for a week’s free calls.
We expect systems to work 24x7 and that there be no downtime. I’ve seen myself access closed on weekends for basic maintenance and have to do a double take. Oh yeah that’s correct.
Digital is clearly the Glue for Business, even in Australian Government we are seeing the focus on ‘e’ across all portfolios and there are a series of Digital Disruption Government Conferences that have emerged.
Digital has a Massive IT Dependency
Moving into the Digital era, means often that you require capabilities that are not in-house and therefore have to be acquired. This starts to open the Enterprise Fortress and while, openness is not a bad thing this has significant implications for security.
These partners also become the targets for cyber security hackers, which is sobering and we all have existing vendors that may or may not meet the security requirements that we enforce in the Enterprise. If they don’t then it is clear then that you are accepting that risk whether you realise it or not.
Accenture have noted in a recent Strategy document that: “Downtime is not just costly but untenable. Failures and hostile cyber actions have profound impacts on enterprise performance—even enterprise viability”.
In every organisation there are usually two CXO parties that are responsible for Cyber Security. This might be the CISO and CIO \ CMO\ CRO or in many organisations this also includes the CEO.
Cyber Security is all about protecting one’s reputation and in a Digital world this is not a domain that can be delegated. It is becoming too important and every breach that has occurred and is going to occur is going to reinforce this position.
The CEO has to take this onto his personal agenda, if he or she doesn’t then it will result in scenarios like we saw in Target USA and many other organisations.
It is reality that cyber security is no longer a backoffice concern and the expectation of Digital Resilence. Our thought leaders at McKinsey have noted that this shift from cyber security as a control function is in the past.
There is a greater integration of Digital IT with Business Processes (the Glue), and with these raised stakes Cyber Security becomes critical.
Extending the Perimeter
This means that our staff, their families and partners that we work with all become part of the security ecosystem. With this scope it is not really possible to simply extend the security perimeter but we have to find mechanisms to educate and provide safeguards for these players.
It won’t be acceptable for staff or partners not to take cyber security policies as serious and it becomes a dismissible offence.
The CEO will also have to provide the input around risk – resource tradeoffs. To actually assume more risk has a real cost and that’s not just Cyber Security Insurance Premiums but largely reputational risk.
For any Digital business ‘trust’ is a critical element of the transaction. It is assumed that you can trust this organisation with your sensitive and valuable data. Any breach of that trust has a cost that is impossible to fully recover from. Just ask any of the Executive teams from organisations that have had major cyber security incidences.
A growing challenge for CMO
Enterprises will progressively embrace greater sources of data and even in the absence of Big Data, this will be sources of data from objects, such as sensors, drones and devices.
Some cool data, but of this information will be sensitive and private. It will require the CXO – perhaps the CMO to be working with the CISO on understanding cyber security which becomes part of the brand.