Managing threats in the digital age

How the C-suite can address today's complex risks and compliance needs

Security challenges are greater than ever

As the world becomes more digitized and interconnected, the door to emerging threats and leaks has opened wider. Even more pressing than the undeniable proliferation of data, devices and connections, other factors are making it critical for enterprises to change how they manage external threats, internal threats and compliance.

The valuable data embedded within organizations is a target of people who attack systems, whether for criminal reasons such as economic gain, personal reasons such as revenge or frustration, or political reasons such as terrorism. Damage to customer trust, brand reputation, information and information processing infrastructure is occurring more often and with a high degree of “professionalism” in increasingly organized ways.

So it has become more important, yet more difficult, to secure and protect critical information and related assets. No longer relegated to the domain of the IT organization, the topic of security is now unquestionably a C-suite priority, whether it’s the CMO evaluating the potential risk to the brand, the CFO understanding the financial implications of adverse events or the COO assessing the impact of IT systems disruptions on ongoing operations. Developing security intelligence – the ability to proactively predict, identify and react to potential threats – will take on new importance in the digital age.

In many organizations, security intelligence evolves across three levels: from basic to proficient to optimized. These represent a shift from manual approaches to identifying, tracking and addressing threats. The trend is toward more proactive anticipation of security issues rather than reactive approaches.

In today’s increasingly complex and interconnected world, risks are real and increasing exponentially. An enterprise that delegates security matters solely to the CIO is compounding its risk factors. Organizations need to move toward a more systematic and proactive approach to addressing security threats and managing compliance requirements in today’s information-driven economy. More than ever, each member of the enterprise’s leadership owns a significant stake – and a powerful role – in securing the data and intellectual capital that flows through the organization.

Download the complete IBM Institute for Business Value study

Meet the authors

  • John Lainhart

    John Lainhart

    IBM Global Business Services’ Global Security & Privacy Service Area Leader

  • Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson

    General Manager, IBM Security Solutions

  • m-van-zadelhoff-60x60.jpg

    Marc van Zadelhoff

    Director of Worldwide Strategy for IBM Security Solutions

Related links


  • IBM

    Download the IBV App

    Access our latest thought leadership, including C-suite studies and industry insights. Maintain a library, receive regular updates. Explore enhanced content.


  • IdeaWatch Newsletter

    IdeaWatch Newsletter

    Sign up to receive monthly e-mail updates on recent papers from the IBM Institute for Business Value.


  • Strategy and Analytics

    Strategy and Analytics

    Manage innovation, drive innovation and harness analytics from strategy to execution.