Cyber Strategy is Business Strategy
2020-02-13 Daniela Previtali
Cyber strategy is business strategy, and C-suite executives and government leaders have taken notice. At least that’s one of the takeaways from the annual World Economic Forum held last month in Davos, Switzerland. Cybercrime was a key topic of discussion during the 50th anniversary of the world-renowned meeting of global leaders from government, business, and academia. It’s not hard to understand why, given the underlying backdrop of sobering cybercrime statistics reported in the Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study from the Ponemon Institute and Accenture. Here are just a few that stood out:
- 68% of business leaders believe that the cybersecurity risks confronting their organizations are increasing
- 74% of businesses expect to be hacked in 2020
- By the end of 2020, $3 trillion a year will be lost to cyber crime
The World Economic Forum points to the ubiquitous connectivity and digitalization of our culture, businesses, and economies as the driving force. And while digital connectivity plays a crucial role in enabling innovation and prosperity around the world, increasing cyber threats present a major obstacle to society’s continued progress down that path. They add that new technologies and new users will reshape cyber-risks this year. The emergence of 5G networks will result in substantially broader access for both devices and people. Emerging economies will see an increase in users as well, bringing with it the same cybercrime activities found in more cyber-advanced countries. By next year, they say, 20 billion Internet of Things devices will be in use; and that’s 20 billion potential points of entry for hackers to exploit.
On the industrial side, Industry 4.0 initiatives are being fueled by the integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other exotic digital technologies that are increasing the attack surface for hackers and leaving unimaginable amounts of data vulnerable. Hackers can now turn off electricity for entire cities and have targeted critical infrastructure like airports, road networks, and hospitals. The economic implications of such attacks can be significant as well. For example, analysts say just a six-hour winter backout in mainland France could cost over $1.7 billion
In an effort to present a unified front against these threats, in 2018, The World Economic Forum announced the creation of the Global Centre for Cybersecurity to help build a safe and secure global cyberspace. The centre, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is leading the global response to address systemic cybersecurity challenges, improve digital trust, defend innovation, and protect institutions, businesses, and individuals. Their mission is to bring together policy-makers and operational leaders from the highest levels around the world through ongoing collaborative action and partnership across our network comprising business, government, civil society, academic leaders, and top cyber experts.
What is very refreshing to hear is that they are embracing many of the best practices that security evangelists like Wibu-Systems have espoused for many years. For example, their Platform for Shaping the Future of Cybersecurity and Digital Trust seeks to “deliver impact through facilitating the creation of security-by-design and security-by-default solutions across industry sectors, developing policy frameworks where needed; encouraging broader cooperative arrangements and shaping global governance; building communities to successfully tackle cyber challenges across the public and private sectors; and impacting agenda setting, to elevate some of the most pressing issues.”
Global initiatives like these build upon similar efforts by organizations like the Industrial Internet Consortium and the Trusted Computing Group in conjunction with industry and academia to create security standards, reference documents, use cases, and other building blocks towards secure connectivity for consumers and industry. One such collaboration with Wibu-Systems, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and their research center FZI, resulted in the development and commercialization of a new revolutionary encryption method called Blurry Box.
It is also why Wibu-Systems is creating the House of IT Security, which will soon bring together the many different resources, competencies, and capabilities — from start-up incubators to training for established businesses and a dedicated agency for IT security incidents — needed to address the ever-changing threats encountered in the digital world.
Wibu-Systems Global Marketing Director – IIC Marketing WG Co-Chair
Daniela is a marketing veteran who has dedicated more than twenty years of her career to the service of world-leading IT security vendors. Throughout her journey in this field, she has covered executive positions in international sales, product marketing, and product management and acquired comprehensive knowledge of both digital rights management solutions and authentication technologies. Working from the German headquarters of Wibu-Systems, she is currently leading both corporate and channel marketing activities, innovating penetration strategies, and infusing her multinational team with a holistic mindset.