IMD had the privilege of being the Knowledge Partner for the recent FT Cyber Resilience Summit in Lausanne.
Based around on the topic Navigating Risk in a Digitally Connected World, and with the key themes of government, business, and policy, the summit gathered CEOs, board members, and government officials from 21-23 September to discuss strategies for overcoming recent and upcoming cyber threats.
Öykü Isik, Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD, participated in the panel where professionals looked at human elements of cybersecurity. Speaking at the event, she noted how employers and employees generally have better cyber-awareness compared to the previous year, yet it is still nowhere enough to guarantee security. Organizations must take the next step in understanding the different types of malicious behaviors, especially the newly emerging ones, and promote the necessary tools or processes to make sure employees are equipped to become a company’s strongest line of defense, she explained.
Some of IMD’s MBA students had the opportunity to join the conference and converse with leaders of the cybersecurity world.
What the students had to say
Having a data privacy and cybersecurity background, I was interested to learn more about emerging cyber security trends at this conference. I noticed that the problems remained the same over the years. For example, how to ensure security awareness of employees and to translate cyber security threats into business risks. The following approaches were advised at the conference to solve these problems:
- Set the tone from the top. Strong leadership is one of the main building blocks to enable the proper security culture in the company.
- Treat cybersecurity as an Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) issue.
- Board pressure on ESG will put more attention on cyber security governance, as failing to implement good governance on cyber security will result in companies being less resilient and less sustainable.
One of the speakers said, “Where you got value from in the past may not be where you get value from in the future.” It reminded me that the world changes quickly, and that companies must adapt to thrive. The pandemic has propelled digital transformation in companies, offering businesses unbelievable potential. However, at the same time, it has also exposed them to cyber threats that are becoming increasingly sophisticated. I am curious how the emergence of new technologies such as quantum computing will affect the relevance of current security measures.
In conclusion, cybercrime is definitely on the rise, and no company, government, or individual is immune from security threats that are happening at different levels. It is no longer solely the responsibility of the IT or Information Security department but the responsibility of everyone in the organization. As the saying goes, “A chain is only as strong as the weakest link” – in other words, we need to ensure that everyone is ready for what is to come.