Digital trust: cybersecurity and its hypercomplexity

What is cybersecurity: Cybersecurity refers to that part of information security subject to information technologies, which deals with the analysis of challenges and vulnerabilities associated with information’s assets, with the goal of protecting them from both internal and external attacks.

In addition, the risks from cybercrime are becoming more sophisticated and the increased adoption of mobile devices, cloud services and social media by companies and individuals put cybersecurity issues at a higher priority. Indeed, the new and increasingly interconnected business environment has changed and expanded potential risks. In fact, as these technologies will become even more pervasive, the awareness of risk, rather than risk avoidance, is the best strategy for effective risk control. 

Why is cybersecurity important: Not only IT and ICS technologies are becoming more pervasive, but they are also increasingly becoming a central instrument to deliver critical services and information to support business decisions. 

For this reason, the potential impacts of a cybersecurity incident on an organization should be carefully assessed considering effects on both tangible and intangible assets. To manage cybersecurity risks, the U.S. Department of Commerce suggests a clear understanding of the organization’s specific business drivers and security considerations for its use of IT and ICS. Furthermore, it is important that the organization considers cybersecurity’s issues in clear consideration of its specificities as risks strongly differ by organization. 

Best practices to deal with cybersecurity (integrate the following):  

  • Define the criteria for a successful cybersecurity strategy for the organization based on business drivers and financial metrics.
  • Implement pressure tests to simulate real cyber-attacks and obtain a realistic assessment of internal capabilities.
  • Protect from the inside out, starting with assessing the extended ecosystems in which companies operate, considering partners, suppliers and vendors.
  • Innovation is a priority and it is important to develop scenario analysis and keep finding new solutions to stay ahead of attackers.
  • Invest in training for the whole organization as employees play a critical role in detecting cybersecurity issues.
  • Engage the top management in considering cybersecurity as a priority and communicating it to the company.

Why is cybersecurity hypercomplex: Cybersecurity attacks exploit the increased complexity and connectivity of critical infrastructure systems and cybersecurity risk affects a company’s bottom line. In fact, it can negatively impact costs and an organization’s ability to innovate and manage its relationship with customers. Nevertheless, the number of instruments to manage cybersecurity for both individuals and organization commercially available is enormous. This being said, there is an issue of ‘expertise’, as these instruments are extremely complex and many organizations lack the skills and knowledge to deal with them.  

In conclusion, companies need to develop systemic strategies to deal with cybersecurity and adequately train employees to apply them. 


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