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Cyber security an important aspect of risk management

By Adam Forster, Technology

The evolution of technology has changed the risk landscape for modern organisations. While factors like competition and market conditions are still a concern, the safety of a company's information is perhaps one of the most pressing issues in today's digitally-enabled business environment.

Consequently, it is essential that businesses understand how risk management and compliance are shifted by technology so they can keep their data secure from being compromised by cyber threats.

What is the risk?
While cyber security is already a significant issue for businesses, the risk seems to only be growing. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) 2016 Global State of Information Security survey, the rate of cyber security incidents increased by 38 per cent between 2014 and 2015, despite the fact that respondents had raised their information security budget by 24 per cent.

Because essentially every business now relies on IT for their operation, no industries are exempt from cyber threats. For example, PwC Australia's insurance leader Scott Fergusson said that many cyber criminals are targeting businesses such as insurers for their sensitive data.

"Insurers have a vast amount of information that is valuable to cyber criminals, including medical records, banking and credit card details, and personal identity data," he said.

In addition, cyber security can affect companies of all sizes, not just large ones, with a 2015 global report by Ernst and Young (EY) revealing that 41 per cent of Australian family businesses are unaware of the extent of cyber security risks.

How can businesses manage cybersecurity risk?
These insights highlight how prominent a threat cyber security is for companies, and how they need to take steps to minimise the dangers.

"Too many organisations fall short of mastering the key components of cyber security. Organisations lack focus at the top and the right procedures and practices to anticipate new threats. This is a major concern," said Mike Trovato, information security leader of EY Asia-Pacific.

KPMG suggests a multi-step approach for businesses to respond to cyber security threats. This involves first adequately preparing by understanding the cyber threat landscape, and actively taking steps to secure important information and protect it from unauthorised access. It is also necessary to put a plan in place for how your company will react in the case of an information breach, and constantly assess for areas of weakness or potential threat.

By taking steps like these to defend information, risk management professionals can help businesses to protect themselves from threats and continue to negotiate the technological landscape.


About Ethos BeathChapman, EBC:
We're a global group of executive recruitment experts in Australia, Asia and EMEA, with a broader network beyond. We connect exceptional people to exceptional companies. For more information: www.ethosbc.com