Why cybersecurity is no longer a long term goal

Investing in protecting your business may seem expensive, but the cost (to your business) of a successful cyberattack is always greater.
4 July 2018

Cybersecurity is a growing concern. Source: Shutterstock

Cybersecurity is a complex problem and businesses that aren’t prepared and secure are sure to suffer the consequences (sooner rather than later).

The fact is, in today’s world, there’s no escaping from cybersecurity because every business is a software business.

Thales’ Vice President for System & Software Engineering, Christian Rivierre talked to TechHQ about the present state of the market.

“When I started my career, Thales and its competitors showcased equipment at the Paris Air Show. These days, at the Show, delegates showcase software more than hardware. It’s an indicator of how things have changed,” reminisced Rivierre.

Obviously, everything today is software-driven, and thus, everything needs cybersecurity.

Consider a car. A decade or so ago, people aspired to buy cars with the best engines. Today, they’re looking for features – like connectivity, entertainment, and navigation.

Modern consumers are shifting towards a world that’s being driven by software, fueled by data, turbo-charged by analytics, and is deployed on the cloud.

“In recent years, more and more manufacturers are competing through a portfolio of integrated products and services. This is a conscious and explicit strategy for manufacturers, with the provision of product-centric services providing a main differentiating factor in the marketplace,” said Dr. Howard Lightfoot, Manager of the Operations Excellence Institute at Cranfield University.

In such an ecosystem, products and services operate seamlessly to enable businesses to create transformative experiences, but they’re also vulnerable to cyberattacks.

However, not everything in this new-age, software-driven market deserves the same level of cybersecurity.

It’s important to determine the right amount of security that a particular application needs.

“There’s a latitude of difference between the various levels when you think about the order of magnitude for cybersecurity measures. At the lower end, you spend up to 4 percent of revenues on cybersecurity; at the other end of the spectrum, you’ll probably spend up to 30 percent,” said Rivierre.

To make that decision, businesses must have an understand about how end-users use their products and the level of security they expect.

“You won’t protect your fridge as you protect your software. However, even a fridge can be a point of entry for attackers. So, you need the right kind of and the right amount of cybersecurity.

However, the time to act is now.

According to Kaspersky, 48 percent of organizations admit they have no measures in place to detect attacks affecting their industrial control networks. In fact, according to the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey, only 22 percent of firms are confident about the cybersecurity measures they have in place.

Leaders can no longer get away with talking about cybersecurity and taking no action. Failing to take necessary steps to protect their business can lead to their collapse – and no firm is too big to collapse as a result of a cyberattack. Equifax is an example of this.

Therefore, cybersecurity can no longer continue to be a long term goal. It has to become a near-term priority.

“Cybersecurity may be expensive, but the cost of a successful cyberattack is always greater,” concluded Rivierre.