How Cybersecurity Can Unite the CFO and CIO

first_imgIn my previous blog, I shared some thoughts about why a strong CFO-CIO collaboration is the key to success in the digital world. With five new types of cyberthreats popping up every second, business success is about more than just innovation and growth. It is also about protecting the company’s intellectual property, reputation and shareholder value – and this means incorporating a comprehensive security strategy.Even though CFOs fully understand the reality of cyberthreats and they have witnessed the financial and reputational impact of attacks, they don’t always recognize the need for their involvement in a cybersecurity strategy. But, here again, it is the joint responsibility of the CFO and the CIO to protect the company’s key assets, and that includes the digital ones as well. Only by working hand in hand will they bring cybersecurity awareness to a higher level within their company. Being a CFO myself, and with assuming my share of the responsibility for the company’s assets, I thought I would share some of my experiences with you and explain why such a step is becoming much more than a necessary evil.Attacks are inevitable“It can’t happen here.”This is a sentence I used to hear when visiting customers. But the truth is, we all know now that nobody’s 100 percent safe in the modern age, either on a personal level or from well-publicized, organization-specific ransomware cases like WannaCry (300,000 computers infected) and NotPetya (several well-known multinationals in panic). Add to this daily reports of data breaches involving major retailers, financial institutions, internet companies and even dating sites, and it is not very difficult to understand why individuals and businesses alike are becoming less self-assured when it comes to cyberthreats.“I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be.Share“I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again,” said former FBI director Robert Mueller, quoted in the Connected CIO booklet from Dell EMC.Understandably, today’s businesses would prefer to stay off the radar of cybercriminals. Even the most serious banks now play it low-profile. The key is to not tempt hackers, whose favorite techniques now include cryptojacking or fileless malware. In a recent IMF blog, Christine Laguarde estimates the cyber risk for the financial sector, labeled as a significant threat to the financial system. The IMF suggests that average annual potential losses from cyberattacks may be close to nine percent of banks’ net income globally, or around $100 billion. These are staggering numbers, indeed, and do not even cover the worst case scenario. Taking into account that the financial sector has always been one of the most protected segments, this leaves much room for thought about the extent of potential losses in other sectors such as manufacturing. The figures above are based solely on those data breaches that are publicly known. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I would bet only cover something like 10 percent of the all the real cases.Traditional ‘product’ approaches not enoughLast year, a leading manufacturing company specializing in personal care was crippled by a huge data breach. They turned to my employer, Dell EMC, to help them build and implement a multi-layer cybersecurity strategy, encompassing everything from data encryption to tape backups and cyber insurances. For years, they had been a bit lax in terms of security, but it turned out that traditional strategies, relying on a collection of heterogeneous products, were no longer enough to cope with the ever-increasing ingenuity of hackers.Joint custodiansExamples such as this highlight where a strong CFO-CIO collaboration can make a substantial difference. Given that the CFO is responsible for the company’s assets and the CIO is the gatekeeper of the IT infrastructure who makes security happen, they have a joint responsibility to build a comprehensive strategy that relies on more than a few randomly assembled ‘magic’ security products.Keep your friends close, but your enemies closerThis means analyzing all your organization’s vulnerabilities in detail and taking appropriate actions. It starts with very simple and practical solutions, such as making sure employees change their passwords regularly and log off their computers when not in use. CFOs should make sure that sufficient funding must go into workshops, training and communication efforts to raise security awareness company-wide. Do not forget to take social networks into account during this exercise. There are facts employees should never expose on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn if they play a role in the security chain, such as holiday times or function descriptions.Get your cybersecurity toolbox organizedTogether with a trusted partner on the technical side, CFOs must take a hand in directing the implementation of security tools, data encryption techniques and recovery solutions. One key point in an age where data is the new oil is the ability to prioritize or tier the data that is backed up so as to quickly recover the most critical data in the event of a breach or attack, in addition, the most critical data should have the most secure and frequent backups. And that is right up the CFO’s sleeve, where they can prove their added value to the CIO, both literally and figuratively speaking.Given that a security strategy will never be 100 percent successful (80 percent of incidents are caused by humans), the essential questions the CFO can help the CIO answer are:How do I protect the heartbeat of the business if I am the victim of a cyberattack ?What loss of assets would affect the daily operations of my business if the organization were under attack?How could we lose consumer confidence?And what could have an impact on shareholder value and our reputation in the market?Usually, less than 10 percent of the total data needs to be recovered quickly to avoid major losses.While the CFO frees up the necessary budgets, the CIO should offer technical advice on the IT choices as well as actually embed the cybersecurity strategy within the daily operations. For any new IT project, the Connected Partnership needs to reflect together on the security risks, finding the right balance between openness and isolation. In our interconnected world, you cannot close all the gates, but you can proactively incorporate the right tools to detect when something goes wrong. By doing so, CFO and CIO will be well-positioned to move from a strategy of detection to one of protection.To put on my CFO hat for a moment, I confirm that lots of money does indeed flow into cybersecurity and threat prevention. But cutting costs on that post because ROI is difficult to calculate is presupposing a false economy. The risk of investing insufficiently in cyber protection is losing hard-earned goodwill for both your company and your customer. Who would take the risk of cutting costs on the smoke detectors and fire alarms in their office building?Have a wonderful, safe and cybersecure summer vacation!last_img read more

Saint Mary’s hosts Cardinal for annual Aquinas lecture

first_imgSaint Mary’s hosted Cardinal Peter Turkson, first prefect of the dicastery for the promotion of integral human development, as its annual McMahon Aquinas lecture speaker Tuesday night. Turkson spoke of the Vatican’s perspective on helping the poor and vulnerable.Turkson discussed a three-part approach to identifying ways to assist the needy in society. It begins with seeing, he said, followed by judging and ending with acting.“We look at examples of representations of the poor and the vulnerable in our midst,” Turkson said. “This would be the moment of seeing for us, and then we shall seek to understand the humanity of the existence and the experiences of the poor and the vulnerable in our midst in the light of the Biblical Christian tradition, and that would be the moment of judgment. Finally, we should consider what concrete action may be formulated and applied as responses and remedies to the existence of the poor and the vulnerable in our midst, and then we act.” Anna Mason | The Observer Cardinal Peter Turkson addresses the Saint Mary’s community at the annual McMahon Aquinas lecture Tuesday night. The lecture explored the manner in which the Vatican works with the poor and the vulnerable.The inciting forces for Turkson’s work within the Vatican were one of Pope Francis’ Masses, during which he spoke about Catholics being guardians of the poor and environment, and later meetings Turkson had with leaders of popular movements.“Pope Francis’ invitation to be guardians drew attention to the poor in our midst,” Turkson said. “Then the invitation to the organizations meeting for the popular movement drew attention to the hopelessness of situations the poor … in our cities, the need for land for work, a roof over their head and what to do.”Turkson said the enemies to developing the poor are indifference and apathy.“We must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us and to make us incapable of feeling compassion for the outcry of the poor, weeping of other people’s pain and sense the need to help them at all,” he said. “We cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded, nor can we continue to move forward if the spread of poverty and injustice has not healed.”This apathy and indifference can be healed through the realization that all of humanity is rooted in Genesis from the same first family, Turkson said. This realization naturally leads to the necessity for equality.“The fact that they [humans] come from the same womb means that they share the same nature, that they are equal in dignity,” Turkson said. “One brother does not have more dignity than the other brother so that equality as an equal sense of dignity is very crucial and that means that it is crucial for both the rich and the poor.”All of humanity has an interest in promoting the human dignity of the poor, Turkson said.“There is nobody who can live full human dignity so long as there is another who cannot live in full human dignity,” he said.Turkson said he sees the end of inequality to come through the development of the poor and vulnerable in ways that recognize their God-given dignity. This development, Turkson said, comes through seeing that the world is equally given to all of humanity.“Development as a realization of human dignity must apply to all,” he said. “True development must then be universal, developing what every person possesses by nature. Everything that is created is destined for all of humanity, all of humanity is meant to benefit.”Human dignity and the responsibility of development applies not only to Catholics but also to political leaders. Turkson said the goal of a leader should be “an inclusive society and an inclusive political system.”“People who are responsible for public authority must have a valued conception of the common good, to promote and implement some of those conditions which permit and foster the human beings,” Turkson said.Tags: cardinal peter turkson, mcmahon aquinas lecture, Thomas Aquinaslast_img read more

Semi finals down for decision in Paris

first_imgAfter a week of severe rain delays, all the big guns will return to action today at Roland Garros.Serena Williams will be first in action in her semi-final against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands while the men’s semi-final between defending champion Stan Wawrinka and second seed Andy Murray looks set to be the game of the day.last_img

England’s Six Nations prep underway

first_imgEddie Jones’s men were hit with a handful of injuries after last weekend’s Premiership rounds, but plenty of hopefuls will still have a chance to impress before the January 18 announcement of the Six Nations squad.Charlie Ewels (hamstring), Piers Francis (concussion), Jonathan Joseph (dead leg), Jack Nowell (ankle) and Harry Williams (concussion) were all absent from the camp, while lock Courtney Lawes was already ruled out for personal reasons.Giant London Irish wing Joe Cokanasiga and Bath’s Henry Thomas have been called up as injury replacements.England stars Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola have been included in the squad, after lengthy injuries, in a boost to England’s Six Nations hopes.Jones said this two-day camp, in Brighton, was critical.”This camp in Brighton is important for us to set the tone as a squad ahead of the Six Nations,” he said.”We will need to improve if we are to hunt down our opponents and beat them.”This tournament will be exciting and challenging, as we know we will play against some very strong teams.“Brighton will provide a great base to begin our preparations with players coming away with a clear plan for our opening match of the campaign against Italy.”England has won the past two Six Nations title, losing just one match in the process, to Ireland in 2017.England opens its Six Nations campaign on Sunday February 4 against Italy.last_img read more