Cyber Security: be paranoid not afraid

cyber security 2

What you need to know about Cyber security. 

I recently attended a workshop with several Chief Data Officers and led by Dr Phil Jones MD and Head of Cyber Security for Airbus Defence and Space, and it focused minds on the challenges around CYBER SECURITY. 

Lots has been written about Cyber Security. The new Cyber World of Big Data and connected or networked devices is GOOD. The digitally connected world is an opportunity for the 21st Century, with data stored, processed , discovered and used to make the world better and easier. The CHALLENGE around Security is the Risk and Danger if not properly looked after. 

Cyber Security should be on the mind of all CEOs but in essence is part of any retailers loss prevention team. We wouldn’t leave a shop without a front window, or leave the doors open or unlocked during the night when no one is there. So we should just orientate ourselves to thinking about Cyber Security in the same way we look at Loss Prevention. 

There are 3 categories of Cyber Attacks and Cyber Security

  1. Hacktivists
  2. Cyber Criminals
  3. Nation State Asymetric Warfare.

Cyber Attack costs money : the costs of cyber attack are in the P&L: operational, financial and intangible assets on the balance sheet: brand image / trust. 

Organisations need to have strategies against all three types of attack: . 

  1. Most Hackers attack organisations where there is a large amount of Kudos to be gained from exposing them ( eg Ashley Madison  ) and/ or its relatively easy compared to other sites.The best defence against Hacking attack is to have an organisation that hackers love and trust  ( relatively ) and wouldn’t want to expose, and make it difficult enough to stop them trying ( because there are easier places to hack for the same kudos) 
  2. Cyber Criminals: Go where it’s easiest to attack. don’t leave the front door open, or make it easy to get it. There are some simple things organsisations can do to BE CYBERSTREETWISE. GCHQ and the government have laid out advice on cyberessentials and cyber essentials plus that will significantly reduce threat.
  3. Nation State Attack: if the Chinese Or Russian or any other Government wants to attack your organisation there is probably not that much individual organisations can do in this DAVID vs Goliath battle. But don’t make it too easy for them. If your organisation is of Strategic importance to UK Government then get GCHQ to advise. (Tip: if you’re not sure or don’t know , you probably aren’t )

Cyber Security may appear to be highly technical but the same principles can be applied it as you do to Physical Security

Author: Andrew Mann

Managing Partner at NorthBailey. Having had senior marketing & insight roles at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Coop and M&S, I'm now using my experience & network to solve strategic marketing problems for NorthBailey clients

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