28 Apr Cyber leadership
Just as we expect strong leadership on climate change action in 2021 from federal governments, so too we demand that boards of corporations have an arsenal that includes reforming climate policy, gender equality and some kind of mental health support for employees. An integral part of that kit that has been missing is leadership on technology and digital security.
Leaders cannot be good at one thing at the expense of a diligent all round approach that encompasses all the aforementioned policy items. Each policy needs to be signaled and running to successfully compete in 2021 and cybersecurity needs to be prioritised.
John Mullen, Toll’s chairman, knows too well the financial fall out and credibility lost when cybersecurity is not well established and maintained. In 2020, Toll had 2 significant cyber attacks that left them reeling while customers left seeking alternative logistics providers.
A survey conducted in Australia by PWC cited 95% of CEOs believed that cybersecurity was the biggest threat to growth and profit margins. The BOSS (Australian Financial Review) article citing these figures is about directors taking charge of cyber security and asking a few key questions.
Directors can ask themselves about their understanding and knowledge of cyber security and upskill where there are gaps. It is too great a risk to learn about the ins and outs of cyber security when the bomb has landed on the target. Test your knowledge and meet with the security team to get a real feel for the department, strategies to protect data and discuss plans for when things go wrong, which they inevitably will. ANZ bank reported 8-10 million attacks per month and remember Nine Entertainment’s recent disruption of print and broadcast operations all because of a cyberattack.
Money spent on cybersecurity lessens profit, however, data protection is an insurance policy. Do you have car insurance? Why? Because the car is only convenient when it is working and if something goes wrong it will cost you more to fix it than the peace of mind that insurance buys you to drive around without worrying about an unaffordable accident, which is almost inevitable. Investment in cybersecurity is insurance for the future.
And then there are the questions which are much harder to answer but integral to cybersecurity being prioritised, especially at the juncture we find ourselves, with at-home digital office extensions spread far and wide from headquarters. Where is the data stored, actually physically, where are the servers? Who is protecting the data?
The separation of IT departments from the rest of the business is a tenuous and unhelpful tradition and the synchronicity of various departments might actually go some way to help employees understand their own cyber responsibility. Educating employees through training about phishing attacks for example could be an excellent path to greater cyberliteracy across the board.
Faster Networks help businesses protect their digital assets. We are a cyber security partner that brings the best software solutions that anticipate and fix digital vulnerabilities. Our areas of expertise includes Vulnerability Management, Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR), Application Security, Infrastructure Security, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection and Application Pentesting.