Cyber Essentials – What’s in it for UK businesses

20/09/2014

Source: Global Banking and Finance Review

The problem with security infrastructure is that we only pay attention when it fails.

In November 1979, the Soviet Union launched over 2000 intercontinental ballistic missiles at the United States, an overwhelming first strike intended to wipe the country off the map. Hawkish National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski was on his way to awaken President Carter so that the counterstrike could be launched, when the news came through – a triple check had revealed that the apparent Soviet launch shown on their screens was actually a computer error.

Fortunately, somebody had put a sensible security measure in place – triple checking – and prevented a disaster. Do we remember the men who prevented world war three that day? Of course not – but everybody knows about the world wars that we didn’t prevent.

A cyber security failure can destroy your business

Cyber security is not very different: a failure can destroy your business but we rarely give credit to the system when it protects us, and all too often the subject is entirely ignored until after a successful attack. Executives generally prefer to focus on other areas – sales, finance, innovation, and so on – often ignoring IT security. What few realise is that IT security has to be addressed at every level and across all business departments – it cannot be separated from the business, but must be truly integrated. The responsibility for making this happen lies with the board.

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