One of Australia's leading security experts has called for business to reprioritise the importance of cyber defence – to safeguard operational activities and drive improved business performance.
Cyber defences have long been regarded by business as a necessary form of security risk management. Now, with improved cyber security reporting, executives can clearly see and measure the relationships between effective cyber defences and resulting business risks.
Cyber threats now manifest as continuous digital attacks at all levels of business and society, from low level, personal identity thefts to sophisticated data and fund raids on national and global scales. Business needs to better understand their cyber posture and as a consequence their vulnerability to attacks.
Peter Woollacott, Chief Executive of Huntsman Security, an Australian 'defence grade' cyber security company, believes it's time for the C-suite to re-evaluate its relationship with its first line of digital defence.
Improved cyber risk management reporting now clearly visualises the relationship between effective cyber defences and good corporate GRC (governance, risk and compliance). Cyber risks can be measured and managed for improved business performance.
"Effective cyber security is a business enabler – and a significant business differentiator," he said.
"Good cyber defences will improve your cyber security posture, and as a result enhance your business reputation of protecting its stakeholders. That will drive improved business performance."
Woollacott highlights the introduction of the smartphone into the workplace and its escalating use as a business tool.
"Our world is on those phones and we happily use them to link ourselves to our personal, global networks. That's a great advantage, but we also have to manage the vulnerability this unintentionally introduces," he said.
"In the past an IT security chief would have just said 'no' to their use in the workplace, but that's no longer a viable response."
Machine to machine exchanges enable digital transformation and the requirement for them to be trusted conversations means they needed to be protected. Cyber security is meeting that need.
Woollacott said improved cyber security risk management tools will enable better business risk visualisation and transform the perception of 'IT security' from that of a business handbrake to one of an accelerator, an enabler and ultimately a differentiator. After all, who does business with an organisation with a poor credit rating; a poor cyber security rating is no different.
"Cyber security, with its emerging measurement and risk management capabilities, is maturing to become an asset that delivers a competitive advantage to any business. This is a shift that is gaining momentum in the mindset and culture of both security and business decision makers. If you can measure it, you can manage it. That's a significant step forward, because people aren't going to stop their love affair with the digital transformation.
About Huntsman Security
Huntsman Security offers cyber security risk management, monitoring and response capability in some of the most secure and sensitive environments within intelligence, defence, CNI and criminal justice networks across Australia, United Kingdom and Japan.