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Showing all posts tagged with Cyber security

< The beta blog | May 19, 2014

Protecting your ‘crown jewels’ in the digital age

There has been a lot of noise in the 'cyber' arena recently, whether that's publically with the lucky escape of Santander or internally within PwC with the various surveys that we are either facilitating, running for others or initiating ourselves.

I’ve noticed a fairly mixed corporate reaction to the BIS/MI5/GCHQ's FTSE350 survey. I’ve seen despair that it has taken this long for government to react and on the other hand, real enthusiasm that national institutions are joining forces to drive the agenda and want to take the temperature of how ‘cyber secure’ the private sector are.

And although there is certainly an element of a stable door clanging behind the exit of a galloping horse; it’s clear that the UK needs to encourage its corporate community to up their game and take a more proactive approach to defending the intellectual property (IP) of the companies operating on these shores.

Cyber security is universal to all, whether you're talking about protecting corporate IP or managing the risks to both your professional and private life. And cyber security isn’t just about technology and computers. People, information, systems, processes, culture and physical surroundings are all involved and businesses need to realise this to make sure they are moving confidently towards their digital future.

It’;s clear that companies are aware of the wider cyber issue. I have recently seen a number of our clients not only looking to run a cyber ‘health check’ on their business operations, but also looking at how they can give greater confidence to their current and future client bases through formal assurance of their cyber security.

I can't imagine that cyber security news stories will be disappearing from our morning reading anytime soon. In fact, it will surely only increase once the results of the Cyber Governance Health Check are published. And I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing what this will tell us about the current and future planned practices of our business leaders in this space.

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< The beta blog | May 19, 2014

The future of social media and the need for trust

I’m an advocate for social media and in particular enterprise social. However, it seems to me that although social media and enterprise social offer a huge number of benefits, there is an inherent problem.

So, you’ve got accounts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and use each of these independently. You also use your company’s Enterprise Social Platform to communicate and collaborate with colleagues around the world. This is all great, but I believe the next frontier will be the development of a new standard for communication between social networks.

Currently, communications can only stay within the social network itself. So, if an employee at Company X wants to send a message to an employee at Company Y, it’s currently not possible to do without resorting to email. There’s nothing that connects the networks in a standardised way to allow communications to be shared across networks.

In my opinion, the next major development in the area will be the development of a new standard capable of securely relaying trusted communications between social media platforms, perhaps Communication 2.0... A standard which can be relied upon to securely relay communications across the web, be consumed by the social platforms and read by the recipient. When this happens, I believe we’ll see a dramatic shift in the way we communicate online.

If I am correct, the risk landscape will change dramatically as data moves between platforms. When social media evolves enough to be able to communicate cross-platform, the risk of viruses infecting your platforms will increase. I imagine that we will see new types of viruses, malware or attacks being used to dupe unsuspecting and trusting users. Email systems are usually able to identify suspicious or spoofed emails, but, if a social media user receives a malicious message or attachment from a connection that they trust, they are far more likely to open it.

The idea of social media platforms communicating with each other may be some way off, but organisations need to have a watchful eye on technology developments today in order to be able to prepare for and manage the risks of the future. Trust can be lost quickly in the digital age and this makes it important to plan for tomorrow’s digital developments today.

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