The Evolving CIOs – Handling Enterprise Security Responsibilities Along with IT

Enterprise business today is seen as nothing short of a trunk full of cash carried in a closed van with one- or two-gun man. Every hacker sitting outside lurking for the opportunity how they can sneak inside and steal critical information.

As the new digital business environment transforms the organizations, it also comes with new challenges and risks.
Organizations across the world are increasingly facing security threats and to safe guard themselves, many are now taking up security projects with a deep focus on improving the security operations and the responses of enterprise infrastructure and applications to incidents. In spite of this upward trend, the percentage of ICT security services contribute to the overall security services spending is much lower in India when compared to the rest of the world. However, it is expected that in the coming years, the region will increasingly embrace security services.

“CIOs/CISOs must roll out effective Security and IT Risk Management programmes, so that enterprises can be relieved from the challenges of information security threats”

Sunil Paul
Co-Founder & COO

Within organizations, increasingly, many CIOs and IT executives are viewing information security with appropriate urgency as growing threats to corporate data put organizations’ reputation and revenue on the line. They are working to elevate security in the enterprise by expanding their roles and responsibilities, teaming up with CISOs or by occupying dual roles-leading both IT and information security efforts. Some savvy CIOs frequently take pains to work closely with employees outside of IT to prioritize learning about their companies and the type of security risks that could harm them thus giving appropriate weight to information security.

Security breaches of information can happen by external factors, especially in today’s scenario where information is shared across multiple devices. Organizations can be attacked, networks get compromised, sites can get hacked and, data and confidential information can get stolen. Breaches can even happen to some Enterprise cloud storage as well. Information on Emails can also get compromised, especially where there is no encryption for secure email. Security threats have increased significantly with the development of large open networks. Hackers have discovered more network vulnerabilities. Today one can download applications that require little or no hacking knowledge to implement, applications intended for troubleshooting and maintaining and optimizing networks can, in the wrong hands, be used maliciously and pose severe threats.

Apart from external threats, the most important is internal threat by users. 60 to 80 % of network misuse comes from inside the enterprise where the misuse has taken place. Moreover, in scenarios where enterprises have outsourced services, they feel the security threat of information arising through giving access to outsiders.

Other than actual threats, many enterprises, on a day-to-day basis, face issues and pressures related to information security such as targeted malware, data theft, skills shortages and resource constraints. And most of them do not possess the skill sets locally that are required to determine, customize, implement and operate suitable protection, privacy and the right security controls to comply with requirements.

The increasing trend in the adoption of mobile, cloud, social and IoTs increases the risk of information leakages. In any environment, data protection is a critical function. Multiple devices in mobility typically need to support multiple security objectives: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. To achieve these objectives, devices should be secured against a variety of threats.

Enterprises in our region are no exception but to adapt and increasingly use new security technologies in the coming years. Internally, Chief information officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) need to collaborate and work closely together to encourage security throughout the organization, to make sure that the organization better understand security and prevents breaches.

CIOs/CISOs must roll out effective Security and IT Risk Management programmes, so that enterprises can be relieved from the challenges of information security threats under the new role of the CIOs in cyber-security by deploying the right solutions and the right skill sets.

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