Security dominates CIO agenda

Security dominates CIO agenda

The responsibility of securing the enterprise has been pushed onto the CIO, Linda Ban, the Global C-suite study director at IBM, said at the Fusion 2015 Conference of CEOs and CIOs in Madison, Wisconsin. The trend was one of the findings of IBM’s recent Global C-suite Study, which surveyed over 4,000 people from all C-level positions.

Ban was not the only one at Fusion who addressed this issue of the CIO taking charge of security. Asif Naseem, President and CEO at PDS, an IT services, solutions and technologies provider, also spoke about how security now dominates the CIO’s agenda because of unavoidable emerging technology trends and because cyberattacks are increasingly malicious.

Naseem added that each emerging technology trend brings more and new vulnerabilities and risks that the CIO has to address within his or her own organization.

IoRT (Internet of Right Things)

Of the ever-increasing number of mobile apps and devices being used by employees, for example, “no more than half of these devices entering the network are secure,” he said.

Furthermore, the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) brings new security concerns with it, Naseem said, adding that “99% of the devices that can be connected, aren’t.” Yet.

But the statistic begs the question, Naseem said: “If a device can be connected should it be?”

Having hundreds of millions, even billions, of devices connected to the Internet creates a larger surface for attack, Naseem said.

He urged the audience to instead think of IoT as IoRT, or “Internet of Right Things”, and only connect devices that will bring value from being connected to the Internet.

Avoiding these new trends, emerging digital technologies, and the risks that they bring with them is impossible, said Sean Wessman, senior manager for Ernst & Young (EY) Cyber Security, during his presentation on building new and competitive business models securely. This is especially the case as millennials increasingly enter the workforce.

To prove his point he cited Gartner’s statistic that 30% of millennials would rather have an iPhone than a raise. In addition, Gartner also found that 46% of vehicle drivers aged 18 to 24 would choose Internet access over owning a car.

As C-suite leaders are forced to embrace digital technologies, Wessman said, they have to think about “systems of trust.” That’s really the challenge that’s upon us as the CIOs and the leaders of IT… in our organizations, is how do we establish systems of trust?” he told the Fusion audience. One way is to think about security is in phases, he said.

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