Why Cyber Security Cannot be Ignored
Daily Safety Check

To understand why cyber security is important, we must firstly understand what cyber security is. It isn’t restricted to just making sure your website is good enough to withstand cyber attacks. It encompasses all your supply chain, including your user experience of buying your service or product.

Every single area where data is generated (including websites, registration forms, buying pages, etc.), stored (CRM systems) and managed (servers and cloud systems) can be accessed and attacked by hackers. Every email an employee sends needs to be secure and every part of the business that needs to be recorded digitally needs to be protected.

But why now? There are a number of factors why securing your business processes is more important than ever. The price of technology is decreasing, making IT a more global pursuit. Social media is more prevalent – making it easier for hackers to get into an organisation’s business. And, as children are growing up with technology all around them, it is literally child’s play to understand how a computer and IT works.

So cyber security is growing in importance and the number of hackers is increasing so much that President Obama in the last week urged Congress to introduce legislation that would “increase information sharing… introduce new penalties for cyber criminals… and streamline data breach notification laws”.

This is of course a reaction to the recent hullabaloo about the North Korean hack on Sony which resulted in a film, The Interview, being firstly withdrawn, then eventually shown on VoD, where it attracted record viewings. Maybe the reaction from Sony and then the US government is strong, but nonetheless significant. Cyber security is here to stay. But what does this mean for risk management?

IT is the heartbeat of every business. No business can survive in the 21st Century without a fast, reliable computer system and/or network. Part of the risk management protocol is to recognise and mitigate every risk in the business. Recognising IT as a risk is the first step to a strong risk management programme.

Ensuring every part of the user experience is not and cannot be compromised by bugs, viruses and hackers, will lead to a competitive advantage. Your customer may not be aware of it, but any company that is not on top of their cyber security will learn the hard way – and they will not only be attacked but lose customers.

So, managing your cyber risks and improving your cyber security are both part of a successful risk management paradigm. And not being vulnerable to cyber attacks will mean not losing customers, when your more vulnerable competitors are – turning risk into reward.