Security Experts:

The Confidence to Excel in the Digital Economy

There’s nothing more exciting than a team that seems to overcome the odds to win a championship. Is it the coaching, the training, or determination of the players? Whatever the reason, their confidence builds and allows them to push forward and excel. 

Like a championship tournament, we see in today’s intensely competitive global environment startups and agile organizations come out of nowhere, and surprise incumbents with digital business models, products, and services. A convergence of multiple technology innovations that use connectivity – such as the cloud, big data and analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) – allows them to move quickly and take advantage of new opportunities. Organizations must adapt to this competitive environment, or risk being displaced.

Successful organizations compete and thrive in this new era by recognizing that digital transformation requires a strong cybersecurity foundation. Unfortunately, many organizations are missing out because they lack a comprehensive security program. They view cybersecurity as a defensive measure – keeping the bad guys out. With each new threat, they add a new point solution that adds to an already complex infrastructure. Faced with this reality, organizations are either delaying or stopping digital initiatives, which puts themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Those that excel embrace security as an enabler of innovation and growth. When security is built into these new business models, it gives them the confidence to seize opportunities with greater speed, efficiency, and agility.  

Nearly every industry can gain an advantage in the game by developing a strong security posture. Here is just one example in each of four industries.

Manufacturing. Remote maintenance sometimes requires that companies open their networks to outside vendors – an entirely new approach for many manufacturers. These vendors need to access the company’s machinery and data so they can identify and resolve issues. Providing internet-based access to machines can minimize machine downtime by allowing companies to fix problems over the network, versus having to send a repair expert to a specific location. But centralized remote maintenance systems carry high levels of risk as breaches can wreak havoc on a factory’s control and automation systems and cause significant disruption.

Financial Services. New research shows that the global mobile payment market is expected to reach $620 billion USD in 2016, up nearly 38 percent from 2015. The strength of the mobile payment business depends on customer trust. Financial services firms must be able to prevent security breaches – and detect and remedy them quickly if they occur. Mobile-payment security breaches can result in downtime, lost revenue, diminished business reputation, retribution costs to remedy the damage, and loss of financial data.

Retail. In-store analytics helps retailers improve efficiency through dashboards, real-time information, operational analytics, workforce management tools, and shopping analytics. But this is predicated on customers sharing data. A security breach that compromises information quality and privacy could negatively impact customers’ willingness to share data and diminish the digital value in-store analytics can provide. As an example of the value at stake, The IHL Group finds that poor inventory planning costs the retail industry over $1.1 trillion globally. In-store analytics can help retailers capture some of that value with insights to help anticipate future demand.

Oil and Gas. Cybersecurity plays a defining role in oil spillage detection and thus faster control over the situation. When digital oil-control systems are inaccessible, oil spills can go undetected for extended periods of time. Many of these remote systems are not connected or only connected “on demand.” This can cause a delay from the time an issue occurs to when it’s resolved. The results are increased litigation, cleanup, and system-downtime costs, not to mention increased environmental impact.

No matter how your team is ranked going into the game, you have the opportunity to increase your probability of winning by giving your players the confidence to become victors. Regardless of what industry you’re in, your ability to successfully compete in the digital economy requires the ability to securely innovate. By building cybersecurity into the foundation of your digital strategies, you can confidently move forward to grow and capture value for your organization.

 

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Ashley Arbuckle, Cisco’s VP of Security Services, is responsible for the oversight and global delivery of the Cisco portfolio of Advisory, Implementation, and Managed Services, bringing a pragmatic approach to helping Cisco’s clients solve their most complex security challenges. Arbuckle started his career in security consulting at PwC working with Fortune 500 customers. After PwC he joined PepsiCo where he led enterprise security and the strategic planning process for PepsiCo’s IT budget of over $2 billion. He has a BBA in MIS and Accounting from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, is a CPA, and holds a CISSP and CISM.