Cybersecurity has risen as a key issue on the radar of virtually all organisations. As a recent AT Kearney report suggests, cyber-attacks have been topping executives’ lists of business risks for three straight years. In fact, the overwhelming majority of organisations have experienced some form of cyber-attack at some point over the past few years.
The same title often hides a large diversity of roles, positioned differently across their respective organisations. It often reflects the maturity of each firm towards the appreciation of the threats it faces, the need for business protection, and its appetite for controls.
For large groups, in particular where business units or geographies manage their own bottom line and have a significant degree of autonomy in real terms, it can result in a large population of security practitioners across the group with very diverse approaches, objectives and priorities.
In many of the places that I have worked, both as a consultant and as a part of a product delivery team, it is usually a case of keeping the Enterprise Information Security team (EIS) at arm’s length. Truth be told, many teams hold to the old adage that the less EIS get involved, the better. Even more so with agile delivery, as the focus towards shorter, more targeted delivery means that EIS is a thorn in product delivery’s side. And though this article leans towards agile delivery, the points made are equally applicable to any waterfall delivery.
The GDPR is not just about Security, but it has been dominating the life of many CISOs since last year.
Cybersecurity is rising as a key issue on the radar of virtually all organisations. According to a recent AT Kearney report, cyber-attacks have been topping executives’ lists of business risks for three straight years. This concern is also driven by security and privacy becoming increasingly valued by customers, and by regulators stepping into the topic (GDPR in Europe, California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018).
The last SASIG meeting in London on 8th May 2018 examined the role and career of the CISO. It is hard to walk out of an event like this one not feeling that a number of things are seriously going round in circle in the security industry.
Constant firefighting downgrades the role and the CISO must fight to avoid its gravitational pull
So … May 25th came and went, quickly followed by the football world cup and a heatwave which wrecked most of Europe and many other parts of the world …
Around GDPR, bureaucracy claimed birthrights over the act and things went back to normal: Snake oil vendors packed their stalls and alleged experts headed for the beach … The anti-climax was predictable, and we are still going through that phase where all players are expecting regulators to set their first fines and wondering “where the big one is going to come from”.
Driving security transformation is becoming key; not justifying investments
The age-long debate around security metrics and dashboards seems very much alive within the CISO community. But it is often positioned in an outdated historical perspective.
For many CISOs, it seems to be still about “justifying investments” or articulating some form of “return on security investment”.
Spectacular recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are feeding many fantasies in the world of cybersecurity. Almost everything can be heard on the topic, from the looming obsolescence of even the best defence solutions to an open war between AIs developed by various tech powers – including states. It often feels very complicated for executives to prepare themselves for what’s ahead.