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Cyber Security - Understanding the Threat

In today’s world, data is fundamental to the structures and dynamics of any organisation. It is an essential and critical element in the effective and efficient delivery of its purpose, as judged by its various stakeholders. It is therefore a key component of an organisation’s potential prospects and risks as it operates under a myriad of uncertainties that is made worse by the ongoing data revolution, with technology at its core.

In a 2013 government commissioned report, 87% of all UK SMEs and 93% of larger firms had suffered some form of data breach. But how many actually knew?

The way data is held, processed, shared and communicated is becoming increasingly sophisticated through globally advancing technical innovation. It is essential that organisations engage with this ongoing change in the way data is used in their internal and external operating environments in order to exploit the upside, guard against the downside and remain competitive.

At the same time as the innovation of legitimate software we have seen the rapid emergence and deployment of illegitimate solutions to steal, destroy and cause chaos across the global business community. The ongoing data evolution will create new opportunities and threats that will, in turn, present new management challenges.

Internal and external system interfaces will become more dynamic, complicated and blurred, making analysis and prediction much more difficult. This will necessitate the need for increasingly advanced risk management systems, which will need to be holistically and systematically applied to an organisation’s overall business systems and not just to IT systems viewed in isolation.

Organisations must not blindly follow IT fashion and its persuasive marketing but should ensure that its systems, supply chain and delivery chain are resilient and able to deliver its purpose with a high degree of confidence. Governance must be holistic, systematic and comprehensive, and delivered through a fully integrated management system recognising no artificial boundaries.

How well equipped are the risk managers of today and tomorrow to advise their business leaders or manage the risks facing their own business? During the coming months IIRSM’s technical committee will provide an overview of the risks faced by organisations, and issue guidance on the mitigation solutions available as well as giving our members a clue to the future threats in this fast changing arena.

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