There are managed service providers (MSP) and there are really good managed service providers!

Paying a standard fee for your technical support through your Managed Service Provider (MSP)  is an idyllic solution in today’s business and organisations.

It allows the organisation to focus on business, core business, what you do to make money, without having to worry about technology, policies and people.

The original idea for managed services, you pay a monthly fee for all technical support is failing as greed sets in.

A true managed service provider should be doing it all for you.

Anything that is part of your business and the technology required to achieve your goals should be their responsibility.

Most MSP’s have change the contractual obligations in their service level agreements (SLA) to improve their bottom line at the detriment of the client.

The small print usually states all care but no responsibility.

To increase profits they have changed the way the SLA is applied to business.   They have moved the risk back to your organisation.

Instead of mitigating the risk of something happening by putting in self repairing software or moving your data to the cloud without soverienty, compliance and governance implications they have put it back onto your organisation where you now pay the additional costs.

If your MSP has a clause in their SLA that states you have to pay for time on site, additional costs for policies and plans then they have moved the risk back to your organisation.

Check your SLA / contract have they moved the risk back to you.

The clients interest.

When it comes to a SLA, it should change the onus of technical support away from your organisation to the expertise of the MSP.

The MSP have the skills, training and capabilities to make the technology that your organisation uses to increase revenue and in that profit for your organisation.

A MSP should remove the responsibility on the clients side by having the expertise to fix problems.

They are also the trusted adviser.

In that role they should be advising on the businesses requirements to improve the capability of your business to increase profits and build rapore between you and the them.

This should all be done without pushing a particular vendor, supplier or system.   It should all be based on YOUR requirements!

The capability of the MSP organisation to ensure both functionality and security in the client organisation is the reason that they are there.

There should be a single point of contact, email or phone, that can be contacted to resolve any issue from user to internet.   This single point of contact should have the authority to speak on your behalf to resolve the issues and to improve your bottom line.

The MSPs interest

The MSP role is all about visibility.

Visibility of the system by reporting in all facets of the systems and security.

The reporting has to be done in such a way that management decisions can be made simply and easily.

There are no vanity stats in this process.   The facts are of paramount importance and to get those facts, systems have to be implemented and managed correctly.

The visibility of the people is as important as the technology in showing what is happening behind the scenes and gives an indication in education and training requirements.

The MSP should also be implementing policy and procedures ranging from disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) to audit capabilities and user policy.

This is not an additional component of the environment, an MSP cannot do its job for the client if it does not understand the importance of your data, where it is located and who has access to that information.

 Why is this important?

Yes, a SLA with these requirements is more expensive.

If you think about it, it has to be.    They are taking their role in your business seriously.

They are allowing the management team to delegate the business requirements to a group of people who should have the expertise to actually do the job, improve the efficiency and security of the organisation and do it with the expertise required to ensure your organisation is going in the right direction.

if you are paying for a SLA that is not doing all of this then you need to look to an organisation that will.   Look to a better way of managing your systems.

Why we need to treat business risk properly!

Risk Management – Today’s Balancing act is all about Business Risk

Why is it that until you are knee deep in a full blown cyber event, it is still just someone elses problem.

Or,

Until you have limited or no access to business resources, do we still think that it is someone elses problem.

When does it become a business problem?

When does it become something that YOU, as a manager, C level executive or board member, have to think about.

I have been asking that for years.

Risk management and reducing the impact of residual risk has been around for centuries.   We have always looked at natural disasters as a risk to the business.

When it comes to the digital components, the ones we use to do business, the ones that have a critical impact on every organisation, the ones we use to invoice, communicate and socialise with our clients and staff, why do we fail to see the impact.

We get blinders, a narrow viewpoint, we fail to see the risk that the digital world can deliver to the organisation.

We fail to see the significance of the risks that comes from our digital world.

If we do see it, it has to be an ICT problem.

We are talking about computers and data, therefore it has to be an ICT issue.

This is definitely one of the strangest attitudes in today’s world.

We can no longer treat business risk with the same attitude we have always done.

Today’s Business risk is a whole of business problem and needs a whole of business approach to manage it.

No matter the risk, all risk has an impact on your organisation.   All risk has to be treated.

No matter the system involved.

Business risk has to be treated by one of the following treatments.   Mitigate, accept, transfer or reduce,

Before you can apply a treatment to it you first need to acknowledge the risk itself.

To do that you have to think them through.

Every little thing that could and would impact the organisation and how the organisation will react needs to be processed.

This includes risks to reputation, data loss, finances as well as the impact of ransomware.

Have you taken all of your risks into account.

When it comes to cybercrime, protecting 100 clients should be no different from protecting 1,000,000

cybercrime - putting the pieces togetherThe bulk of cybercrime and cyber events in the news are focused on large multi national organisations and government departments.   Newsworthy events are in fact always newsworthy.

These are the organisations we hope and believe are focused on protecting the information that we unwittingly give them through our interaction.

An attack on them makes for great copy.   But, the overall problem with cybercrime and cyber events is not the big fish.   The big fish are known to have millions of records that should be protected from a cyber attack.   Not protecting them reflects in spectacular thefts and large scale reputation failures.   Newsworthy events!

The biggest problem is not the theft of 1,000,000 records or more, although this will be pretty damaging in itself, the real big problem is the theft of 100 or 1000 records.

Large organisations have the expertise, the finances and the understanding that they have to protect their clients information in the best way possible.   SME’s do not!

Large organisations have the technical skills to not only protect the information but also the expertise to forensically dissect an attack and find out what happened, how they got in, where they went and what did they have access to.  SME’s do not!

Large organisations have the ability to test their environments through penetration tests and vulnerability scanning as well as the understanding that education is really important when it comes to a cyber event.   SME’s do not!

How many SME’s have gone out of business after a cyber event is unknown.   Some of the statistics are available, but not many are focused on whether it was poor management and cash flow or a cyber event that damaged their business to a point where it was unrecoverable.

Did it put them out of business?

One of the things I discovered a couple of years ago is the way the cyber criminal works.

There are 3 types of cyber criminal, 5% are hackers (criminal group or nation state), 10% are hacktivists (nation states and concerned citizen?) and about 85% are what we call script kiddies.

The script kiddies are the 12 – 30 year old who are interested in how things work, what they can do and how much damage can I do.   What I like to call the EGO warriors.

There is a large correlation between the script kiddies and the true hackers, one that is not really known, but every now and then becomes visible.

The internet is a great resource.   It is a great resource for us but it is an even greater resource for the budding cyber criminal.   The internet can put the budding script kiddy in contact with the true hacker.   That contact can be very problematic for SME’s.

For example, I am a hacker, and I develop an automated system for checking vulnerabilities of connected devices on the internet.   I do not want to or want to be seen running that automated system so I ask a couple of thousand script kiddies to do it for me.

I now have an army of automated systems, run by my ego warriors, that are testing the internet, the whole internet, for those vulnerabilities.   My automated system feeds back to the ego warriors with information about vulnerable systems (SME’s) and puts that information into a file that they can use to attack those systems.

There are even legitimate cyber protection businesses using this strategy.

But, it is also sent back to me when the automated system is run.   I can now pick and choose an attack vector as well as pick my targets.

For instance, there are ongoing vulnerabilities in Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a system that is used a lot by SME’s.   A large multi national organisation will use virtual private network access (VPN), a SME will not.   They will expose that protocol port to the internet to make their lifes easier not realising that they are susceptible to an attack.

What are my targets, after a little research – SME’s with access to trusts, intellectual property, large amounts of cash or the new one, critical infrastructure.

These targets have reduced business intelligence, lack complex systems, lack digital expertise, but more importantly have a blaze attitude to security.

You know the attitude well – it will not happen to me, we have nothing worth stealing or she’ll be right.

Will an SME survive having its trust fund drained – probably not!

Will an SME survive having all of its research and development stolen – probably not!

Will an SME survive the reputation hit of having its customer database stolen – probably not!

Will an SME survive the compromise of its website / eCommerce site – maybe but probably not!

Will an SME survive a cryptovirus attack – again maybe, but probably not!

Protecting our digital assets is no longer a multi national organisations problem, it is everyone’s problem, everyone with a digital device has the problem and has to be part of the solution.

The solution is a change of attitude.   Changing our attitude to:

  • it will happen to us so we better do something to protect ourselves,
  • we have something of value worth stealing so we better protect it as well as possible and
  • there is no such thing as she’ll be right because when it comes to a cyber event, it will happen.

Doing X things to protect your organisation is not the best cybersecurity strategy.

It is no longer a case of do these ‘X’ number of things and your business, organisation or self will be secure from a cyber event.

We have all seen, read or been told that you need to do this or don’t do that (I even wrote an article recently on just that) to fix your cybersecurity.

This attitude is wrong.

All it does is focus you on the ‘X’ number of things that are considered important, it does not fix the overall problem of digital protection, cybersecurity and protecting the organisation’s data against a cyber event.

Today’s threat market is all about two things:

Risk management

Managing the risk to your organisation is totally dependent on the organisation.   Get it wrong though and the organisation is open to litigation, compliance and reputation challenges.

Defining the risk and then mitigating, reducing or ignoring the risk depending on your organisations risk posture.

That risk posture has to have a basis in fact.   Every organisation is different, therefore every organisations risk posture will be different.

“She’ll be right”, “it will never happen to us” and “we have nothing worth stealing” are stupid risk postures and should be avoided at all costs.

Lets take patching – you can not implement a patching process if you have not looked at the associated risk of applying, waiting or ignoring a patch to software or operating systems.

Some patches are critical and the risk to the organisation outweighs the impact of a cyber event.   These need to be applied immediately.

Other patches could mitigate some risks to a system and can be applied as part of the patch process.    We recommend within 15 days.

There are also patches out that would have minimal impact on a system.   If the system was not patched and it was compromised they would not get access to critical data.   These can be applied based on the organisations risk posture.

Looking at the overall risk to an organisation will drive the security around that organisation and the underlying risk associated with a breach can be discussed as part of the overall business risk assessment.

Using frameworks

When used correctly a framework increase the awareness and security around an organisation.

We use NIST, but any framework will do.

A framework allows an organisation to take the blinkers off and focus on the organisation as a whole.

It is a holistic approach to protecting the organisation from a cyber event because it looks at a number of related but often overlooked,  important features of digital and cyber protection.

Each of the components of the framework allows the organisation to implement change in a managed and focused way.

It allows an organisation to improve security, with each change benefiting the organisation.

It is a process, not a knee jerk reaction to the next threat.

Business security is not about implementing a decent firewall, installing end point protection and sitting back because you think you are safe.

Business security is about education, policies and procedures, business continuity, visibility and viability.

This solution cannot be achieved through reaction, it needs to be a proactive process embraces by all members of the organisation.

What can be protected without a cybersecurity professional.

Cybersecurity choices in today's worldWhat Protection can be achieved without a Cybersecurity professional?

That is a loaded question, because most professional cybersecurity experts believe that nothing can be done to protect an organisation without said expert.

There are a number of things that can be done to make your business environment secure, but all have to be driven by management with the vision to protect their organisation.

If management, C Level execs, board members and owner beleive that business security is important, vital in fact, then it will be picked up by everyone else in the organisation.

The introduction of cloud computing and everything stored in the cloud has exposed more and more data. This data is targeted by the bad guys.

Here are 6 tactics that can be implemented by any organisation without the need for a security expert

Patch it

The constant barage of patches and updates that come from microsoft, apple and android are exceedingly annoying.

In fact they can have an impact on business.

The reason that they are produced is to protect the operating system.
Patches are developed because someone, somewhere has found a way to compromise a piece of software, the manufactrer has found out about it and the software has been rewritten or changed to stop it from happening.

These changes are called patches and are BENEFICIAL to you. Every organisation needs to have a process to implement those updates.

Complex Password

Passwords have to have 3 requirements.

They have to be complex, any character on the keyboard should be and can be in a password. Letters, numbers, symbols all mixed together to create a complex password.

But, it does not stop there – they also have to be unique, different for every digital location and that have to be longer that 10 characters.

We use to specify 8 but changes to technology and the speeding up of processing power has reduced the time needed to crack an 8 digit password.

2 factor authentication

Any additional protection to data is a good idea.

Two factor authentication relies on three things instead of two to access the information.

It is addirional to username and password and is only triggered if the combination of the first two is correct.

In todays world, we all have a mobile phone, this is used as the two factor authentication process.

User name, password and a code delivered to your phone means you are verifying who you are.

Separate and segregate data.

I can think of three areas in any organisation where information needs to be separated.

Email, financial data, trade secrets have seperate requirements within an organisation.

You do not need to have everyone access financial data.

In the old days it was called compartualisation, need to know. Today it is still very relevant.

Train and educate everyone

There are many free or inexpensive training and education programs available to suit any organisation.

Training needs to be focused on the individual.

Everyone needs to understand why the organisation is protecting the data, why certain things are done in a certain way but most improtantly why the organisaion is trying to protect their staff, clients and finances from the bad guys.

Back it up.

You never know when you are going to experiance a cyber event.

You have to know what information needs to be protected, how often it is accessed and what will happen to the organisation if that information is compromised or lost.

This should be part of your business risk management plan. (You do have one of those?)

The other part of backing it up is to test it.

All of these can be done without the aid of a professional cybersecurity expert.

There is one additional tactic.

Remain vigilant.

The bad guys are everywhere.

They target you, not because you have something worth stealing, but because you are connected to the digital world and you think that is a good idea.

The days of the gentalman cyber criminal are well and truly gone.

Everyone is out for themselves and even a basic hack, malware attack or cryptovirus can shut down your organisation.

Cybersecurity is your responsibility!

Roger Smith is funny, scary, on point and is focused on one thing – increasing everyone’s awareness and understanding of the problems and issues associated with the digital world.

He is the winner of the worldwide 2018 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award and was Runner up in 2017 .

He is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.

He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one on Amazon.

He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

Cybersecurity – we still do not have the correct focus!

focus on cybersecurity

With the expected $660 billion loss to cybercrime this year, we definitely have to change our understanding, our focus and most importantly our attitude when it comes to business security and cybersecurity.

We have to stop with the simplistic crap – I have been guilty of this myself but we have to stop.

Cybersecurity is not only about AV, firewall and patching.

Doing one is good, but the attitude of doing all makes you bullet proof is definitely stupid thinking in today’s business world.  The number of SME’s that adhere to that thinking is phenomenal.

Cybersecurity is about knowing your data, the location of your data and more importantly protecting it from people who should not have access to it.

It is about risk management and understanding that all risks associated with your data have been mitigated, differed or migrated.

There is a whole ecosystem of things that have to be done, as fast as possible, to reduce the risk of a cyber event, but the simplistic keeps getting in the way.

Attitudes like too small, nothing to steal and she’ll be right abound, and really does show that most people have a basic disdain for protecting their organisations.

Until this attitude changes, the basics are the only things that will be applied.

Introduction of the NIST framework (any framework), implementation of SOC and SEIM environments, an acceptance and adherence to policies, process and procedures and a basic understanding of what the bad guys are capable of is absolutely paramount for any organisation going forward.

But, we still rely on just or only the basics.

Without a change we will still go through the same solutions expecting a different outcome.   Definitely stupid thinking.

We forget the capabilities of today’s cyber criminal.

  • They are well educated in ones and zeros, in other words – the digital world.
  • They know how to bend and break the rules that society relies on to be a society.
  • They know how to bend technology to do things that even the designers never thought of.
  • They have a vast range of motivations to do wrong, and
  • They do not give a stuff about you.  To them you, your family, your business are cannon fodder.
Applying this knowledge to your business environment makes you realize that sitting ducks abound and improving your status is paramount.

To change, you need help in changing.

Changing the attitude, getting and listening to advice but more importantly actioning what needs to be done is the only way forward.

There is still one fundamental issue, in most cases, you do not know what you do not know.

Getting advise from experts is important.

You can no longer rely on the jack of all trades, someone who knows computers or thinks they know the digital world.

You need an expert!

You need an expert to stop a cyber event from compromising your organisation.

You have to find the time, the expertise and the financial motivation to make change, but you need an expert to put you on the right path.

If you cannot find it internally then you have to go outside your organisation.

 

Roger Smith is funny, scary, on point and is focused on one thing – increasing everyone’s awareness and understanding of the problems and issues associated with the digital world.

He is the winner of the worldwide 2018 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award and was Runner up in 2017 .  

He is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   

He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one on Amazon.   

He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

“She’ll be right”, is not cyber event protection!

A cyber event is not a punch line.   It is a serious effort to derail your organisation.

Cyber event protection?

If an attack is intentional then you need to manage the risk.   If the attack is accidental or random then you have to understand the implications.

Understanding what is happening in your industry, your supply chain or other areas of the digital world is important.

The implications to your organisation could be a flow on effect of a cyber event on the other side of the planet.

To us humans it is 10,000 kilometers away in the digital world it is just a click.

Our understanding of the digital world for most organisations is mainly focused on client management, communication and service delivery.

CRM, sales, marketing, email, data and information are all woven into the fabric of improving the bottom line.

What can we do with the tools available without spending too much money but with a significant return on the money invested in the organisation.

10 years ago any business who was on the cutting edge of technology had the ability to multiply their revenue by a factor of 10.

Today everyone is using the same products and services to improve the bottom line.

Technology is no longer the multiplier that it use to be.

But, security of that technology is!

The news of significant hacks like Ashley Madison, Target, Yahoo and Equifax have created startling headlines but have they changed the attitude of business organisations world wide?

No they haven’t!

The problems with raising awareness to the true cost of a cyber event is not understood by most people.

“It will not happen to me” or the colloquial response of Australians – “she’ll be right” significantly reduce your ability to handle a cyber event and to come through one with the organisation intact and still functioning.

Making the simple attitude change, “it could or may happen to me”, has a significant impact on any organisation.

The change in mindset, a couple of words in a statement, starts people down the road to better protection.

Isn’t it about time that you made that change?

Once you have made that change, questions and answers start to be heard.

  • How about we put a policy around this process.
  • How about we put processes and procedures around the database.
  • How about we put together a disaster recovery plan.
  • How do we get back to business as usual – lets put together a business continuity plan.
  • How about we educate our troops so they can recognize an attack.
  • How about we invest in new technology.

All good ideas that would never come about if we believe we do not have a problem.

If we persist with an attitude of “she’ll be right” I can guarantee that we will not.

Roger Smith is funny, scary, on point and is focused on one thing – increasing everyone’s awareness and understanding of the problems and issues associated with the digital world.

He was Runner up in the 2017 worldwide Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award and has been nominated for the 2018 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award.  

He is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   

He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one on Amazon.   

He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

What every CEO and CIO should know about cybersecurity

The problem with cybersecurity is it is not sexy.

In most cases it is down right boring.

Although not sexy and down right boring it is still something that every CEO, manager, owner and board member has to focus on.

With all of the automated attack vectors available to the cyber criminals, we can no longer say we are not a target. We cannot say we have nothing worth stealing.

The more and more reliant business has on the digital world the greater the chance that a cyber event will cripple the organisation.

What are the main things that every management type needs to focus on when it comes to prevention of a cyber event.

Here are a few!

The cost of a cyber event.

The cost of a cyber even can range from lost time and functionality within the organisation to more money than the organisation can find to pay for the breach.

Cryptovirus is an example of lost time and functionality. If you do not have a functioning and tested backup of the data, you have to rebuild the offending device but you will also have to also replicate all of the data.

A full blown breach by a dedicated black hat hacker can steal everything and then use your system as a platform to target your clients, suppliers and staff. When that happens you realize that you are NOT too small to be a target

How they get into your system

The go to weapon of most cyber attacks is social engineering. Two parts of a very effective attack strategy. The technology to effect change, follow a link to an infected website, click on an ad in social media or open an attachment in an email, combined with getting you to trust them where you let them in.

Either way they are now in.

Risk and problems just compounded.

Simple ransomware for instance, the initial encryption of data is only one of the stages of the attack. What about stage 2,3 and 4.

Wannacry showed us that a combination of 2 attack vectors allowed a single infection to traverse a whole network. One computer is a problem for any organisation. All of the computers is a nightmare.

The protection challenges

In most situations managers, owners, executive and board members do not understand the digital realm. Risk management of data (a critical component in today’s business world) is often overlooked and considered an ICT problem.

Its not! Today’s digital security challenge is everyone’s issue and the sooner it gets noticed as a business risk and treated as such the faster we will see a reduction in attacks.

From the largest organisations to smallest single entities, we all keep critical data in places that are easily accessed, relatively unprotected and mobile.

What are you doing to manage the expected cyber events that could cripple your organization?

There is no single, simple fix. If there was everyone would be safe.

It is a complex issue and one needs to dedicate some time, money and expertise to understanding the issues and risk associated with a cyber event.

Come to one of my intensive workshops it will open your eyes on your business requirement to be safe as an organistion.

Roger Smith is funny, scary, on point and is focused on one thing – increasing everyone’s awareness and understanding of the problems and issues associated with the digital world.
He was Runner up in the 2017 worldwide Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award and has been nominated for the 2018 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award.  
He is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   
He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one on Amazon.   
He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

Why Securing your data is so important!

Like all organisation in today’s business world, we all collect information!

That information is used in your core business.

Your core business requires you to collect information.

This information is used in your client relationship management system for sales and marketing, your messaging system including email, your R & D, your accounting and financial system and your HR and pay systems.

Today, all this information is digital.

If you do not keep your information safe and secure it can have an impact on everything you do.

You can lose your clients!

You can lose your money!

You can lose your edge in your industry or

You can even lose your ability to function as a business entity.

No business entity!

No pay packet!

So it is in everyone’s best interest to keep that information or data safe.

As an organisation you may have put in second generation firewalls, intrusion detection systems, anti-virus, SPAM detection and management systems to protect your information from outside the organisation.

Technology is important but there is something that is more important.

That critically important part is to educate your most valuable asset, your staff and users, and give them the knowledge to help themselves.

We want to help you understand why it is so important to protect yourself in the digital world.

Roger Smith is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   
He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger.   
He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

Can you be a great CEO by ignoring Cyber?

The digital world, the cyber world, is creating huge problems for business.

People like me and the security community have been screaming for the last 10 or so years about the problems, issues and dangers that the digital world delivers to business.

We have shown numerous times that the digital realm is a huge problem for anyone who thinks that:

  • they are not a target,
  • have nothing worth stealing or
  • cyber security is too expensive.

Time and time we have seen data breaches and ransomware attacks that have crippled organisations, both large and small.

We have seen the most secure people in the world get breached time and time again.

Still no one is listening!

We are told we are being scare mongers, unrealistic, even calling our reputations into question. BUT, we still see the problems and although we are screaming we cannot convince people to do something about it.

Like me there are a number of people or organisations who are more interested in education and the process of education and training than selling tin (unnecessary technology) to a business.

We are more interested in raising awareness, and raising awareness is where we need to start.

As a CEO, manager, owner or board member you already have a handle on risk management. You live and breath cashflow, revenue streams, management teams and HR, it is all part of the process of being in charge. All this is taught in managers school or more importantly the school of hard knocks.

If you don’t learn these basics then you are going out of business. Slow or fast you will eventually go out of business.

There is a saying that “you don’t know what you don’t know”, in todays business world that is a specific reference to the digital realm.

We are all focussed on new and shiny, even I get caught up in the hype of new “whatever”. Most of them have a digital component incorporated into that new shiny thing.

We seldon look at the complex systems that make that part of the digital world work for you. It is complex!

As a CEO you need to understand the risks that cyber delivers to your organisation. Where do you get that understanding?

In most organisations business security lands smack bang on the desk of the IT section, the person who knows computers or the risk compliance officer.

They do not know what to do, they need guidance, direction and most importantly they need the AUTHORITY to enact change.

Business security is a very specialised area of expertise. You need to enact a framework.

You need to spend money wisely.

You need to continiously work on making the organisation more secure. Today we are more secure than yesterday!

Without understanding the risks, implementing change and giving a responsible person the authority to make change you are ignoring the Cyber Realm.

Without enacting a framework, you are at the mercy of the next cyber event.

Without a framework for business security you are not a very good CEO. That would really hurt.

Roger Smith is a highly respected expert in the fields of cyber crime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cyber security) on Cyber crime, Cyber security and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   

He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cyber crime with his best selling book, Cyber crime a clear and present danger, going to number one in 3 sections of Amazon.   

He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cyber crime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.