Cyber Security: A Board Dilemma

Tobby Simon, the president of Synergia Foundation has written a report on ‘ CyberSecurity- A Board Dilemma’. In his report, he has brought out aspects that members of the board needs to understand about the asymmetric nature of Cyber-attacks. The globalization of value chains, increased..

Tobby Simon, the president of Synergia Foundation has written a report on ‘ CyberSecurity- A Board Dilemma’. In his report, he has brought out aspects that members of the board needs to understand about the asymmetric nature  of Cyber-attacks.

The globalization of value chains, increased financial integration, rapid urbanization, the Internet of things and its ubiquity have all accelerated worldwide economic growth over the past few decades. Unfortunately, the same developments have also significantly increased our vulnerability to external shocks and global crisis. In most OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, the digital economy has become the economy.

In an interconnected world, enterprises everywhere, from small business to the largest, are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Criminals deliver spam, cast phishing attacks, facilitate click-frauds and launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks with high precision. A thriving underground economy fuels the growth of innovative malwares and incentivize cyberattacks.  

Tobby Simon

Tobby Simon, President of Synergia, a strategic think–tank & advisory company that works with industry and government. He is one of the twenty-two Global Commissioners on Internet Governance and Cyber Security, a member of the Trilateral Commission and a core committee member of the Munich Security Conference. He is a University topper and a special invitee of the Indian Prime Minister in 1988. Tobby is a graduate of Harvard University and a Research Affiliate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, US.

The Morris worm-1988

The Morris worm - one of the first recognised worms to affect the world's nascent cyber infrastructure - spread around computers largely in the US. The worm used weaknesses in the UNIX system Noun 1 and replicated itself regularly. It slowed down computers to the point of being unusable. The worm was the work of Robert Tapan Morris, who said he was just trying to gauge how big the Internet was. He subsequently became the first person to be convicted under the US' computer fraud and abuse act.

The Threat

Cyber threats today go well beyond network security. They are asymmetric, continually evolving and becoming more sophisticated.  Cyber threats encompass external and internal intelligence, Web Intelligence (WEBINT), Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), Supply Chain Security and Social Media. IT managers in most instances are not equipped to handle such interdisciplinary threats and tend to inadvertently put organizations at a strategic disadvantage.

Assessment

The stakes involved in cyber threats to businesses are growing exponentially. Companies have to digitize their business processes to meet high customer expectations.  Thanks to companies such as Amazon and Apple, customers expect every organization to deliver products and services swiftly, with a seamless user experience.  Intuitive interfaces, around –the clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalized treatment global consistency, and zero errors – this is the world to which customers have become increasingly accustomed.

Many CEO`s and board members may not be able to contribute to the strategic narrative because of their inability to determine the seriousness of the threat. This reality warrants that corporate boards make the defence of their digital assets a top priority through committed and systematic preventive measures and preparation to detect and respond to breaches. Cyber security comprises a complex gamut of issues, going to heart of health of the modern corporate enterprise – it is arguably, of an utmost importance as well as an area of concern for the board. 

Source: Synergia Foundation

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