The level of cyber attacks in today’s context has posed a dire need for stronger controls and policies, constant monitoring, and deflection of malicious activity, bringing on a different set of challenges for organizations in terms of resourcing and expertise. Establishing the right protections against these threats is now one of the most crucial business considerations and concerns, no longer limited to IT decision makers, but involving the entire board of directors. This is because the conversation around managing IT risk and ensuring compliance is no longer just an issue of how technology is used. Rather, the scope of cybersecurity risk extends to organizational goals, reputation, customer loyalty, profits, share price and much more.
The Board’s responsibilities in risk oversight and governance have always been on the agenda, but the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 cemented how critical these are to strategic planning, operations and profitability, and ultimately business survival. There are several determining factors when assessing corporate risks and putting control frameworks in place; the company’s vulnerabilities, current risk management systems and future requirements, people and process governance, ongoing awareness and mitigation policies are just some of the areas that come into consideration and need to be understood. In the digital age, cybersecurity has become a core component of risk control and mitigation strategy. For the reasons discussed, the onus for better IT governance and control is now on the entire Board and not just with the CIO.
Despite high risk operating environments, organizations cannot stop tracks in their digital transformation journey. Instead they continue to make investments in cloud, mobile, and IoT to drive competitive advantage and customer experience – bringing new opportunity to their offerings, but adding complexities to the IT ecosystem and altering security needs. By 2023, the average CIO will be responsible for more than three times as many endpoints as they did in 2018, just imagine the resource strain this entails! Other challenges can include shadow IT, unsecured devices, and digital applications prompting organizations to cast a far-reaching net in uncovering critical issues that can compromise enterprise security and business continuity.
I have previously discussed that as digital transformation accelerates, it is critical to strike balance between growth and risk management. Let’s take a closer look at how IT governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) will grow in prominence towards strengthening an organization’s security posture.
CenturyLink works closely with customers to help identify critical areas of security concern and defend against evolving cyber threats with an approach that adapts to the dynamic landscape. By tapping into our expertise and resources, we have provided security strategy, risk and compliance consulting offerings to uncover areas of high risk and offer remediation, helping businesses improve, maintain compliance and meet standards that are critical to customers.
Based on our global threat intelligence, we take down nearly 63 command and control (C2s) networks and criminal infrastructures per month and remove malicious traffic from our network to help keep the internet clean. This means less malicious traffic hitting customer firewalls and entering the internal customer network, reducing the number of alarms and events security teams must investigate.
Protecting the digital business demands that security is built-in and embedded, to maintain and help improve data performance on the network.
A network-based approach to security is a big step in providing the advanced protection needed to keep business running, by reducing a threat before it reaches the organization’s systems (such as if a DDoS attack slows connectivity and access to services). I’ve previously discussed at length about how the network must act as a threat sensor and an active defense platform, enabling the digital business to more accurately prevent, detect and respond to cyber-threats. If security gets in the way of the digital business to acquire, analyze and act upon application data, value is eroded.
For today's digital business, managing risk will continue to be at the forefront during the process of transforming technologies and processes. Embracing risk as opposed to being risk-averse will shift thought and planning processes towards a more holistic approach that brings together GRC efforts and investments in security.
As organizations continue to digitally transform, detecting and deflecting threats 24/7 will become an increased burden. By adopting the right security measures and ensuring proper compliance mechanisms are in place, today's digital business is well on its way to securing its survival in the future.