For IT security, 2011 was a remarkable year. The frequency and scope of data loss, “distributed denial of service” attacks (preventing legitimate users from accessing a service) and “social hacktivism” (using computer networks for social or political protest) reinforce the need to protect assets in an increasingly connected world. Because it is unrealistic to avoid new connection-enabling technologies, business executives can address emerging security risks by: building a proactive security intelligence capability; developing a unified view of all endpoints, including mobile devices; protecting information assets at the database level; and creating safer social habits.
The 2012 IBM Global CEO Study reveals that leaders are recognizing that our new connected era is fundamentally changing how people engage with employees, customers and partners.1
As individuals and organizations become parties to more connected, open, mobile and social forms of commerce, new approaches to exploitation are being devised. Not only are these attacks targeting information technology and infrastructure, but individual users as well, taking advantage of basic human nature.
As a result, security can no longer be a discussion that remains within the domain of information technology professionals. Rather, protection in this new environment requires the understanding and vigilance of individuals at all levels of the organization.
The 2011 X-Force report highlights the importance of taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity that addresses both business challenges and technical issues.2 For the busy executive, security is not an issue that can simply be delegated; it must be embraced as another important component of any plan for doing business in an increasingly complex and technology-driven world.
1 "Leading Through Connections: Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer Study." IBM Institute for Business Value. May 2012. www.ibm.com/ceostudy
2 IBM X-Force 2011 Trend & Risk Report. IBM. 2012. (Registration required to view.)
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