Is the UK ready for the businesses of the future?
Recently I met a young tech entrepreneur who, having been through three successful rounds of investor funding, is attracting a lot of attention. His question to me was, ‘why is it that all business networks aren’t yet secure?’. In other words, while he is developing ever smarter ways to collect and use data, his frustration is, in effect, ‘why didn’t your generation sort this for us at the outset?’.
Changing business expectations
It’s a fair cop. My answer is that we were too busy innovating and running to keep up with the pace of business and technological change and customer demand.
At the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, our purpose is to create a secure environment where business can trade securely, regardless of size and sector. Through my work with smaller businesses, it’s clear that today’s upcoming business owners and leaders have very different ideas to previous generations of what being in business is all about. And they have different expectations of cyber security and their challenges in relation to business resilience.
Larger companies are likely to continue with a strong risk-based approach to cyber security; this involves rigorous and innovative interrogation of systems and data, with preventative security controls and a culture of cyber security awareness. But what about smaller businesses - the young entrepreneurs and the pop-up visionaries? What cyber security support and services are they looking for?
Hyper-connectivity and integral security
As far as millennials and younger digital natives are concerned, online is their resource for anything and everything. They represent a global community for whom the concept of email and, increasingly, texting are ponderous and largely unnecessary. These are the generations who hold up a very timely mirror to the rest of us and ask, ‘why do you do that?’.
Before they even begin trading, they are data-rich and have information (right and wrong) at their fingertips. Many work anywhere and at hours that suit them and their markets. And they are clear about what they want from the wider business and technical community: hyper-connectivity, absolute and integral security, volumes of data and analytics, speed of access, high performance and flexible digital workplace solutions.
New cyber security challenges
What is more, consider how cyber security must evolve in the age of increasing volumes of data and artificial intelligence. Who looks out for unknown threats? Where are they likely to come from and how do businesses monitor their own perimeters? Where does lost data go and where could it go? The implications of this are momentous – not least, the growing volumes of stolen credentials and other security information now available to cyber criminals and hackers on the dark web.
Trust and integrity
The solution for every organisation must be a rigorous assessment of specific cyber security risks and risk profile; resilience in this context will require an individual approach and bespoke planning. Yet whatever your business, having an up-to-date risk register and advanced mitigation of risk is essential. And of course, risks will change. Communication with customers and others about cyber security is just as important for building trust. Atos’s recent consumer survey about cyber security underlined what I see in my own work with businesses, with 58% of consumers saying they weren’t sure they would trust an organisation after an attack and 82% saying they expect an organisation to inform its customers in the wake of an attack.
At the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, we work with organisations of all sizes to develop affordable and innovative cyber security and business resilience solutions and services. Now, as never before, we all need to select business relationships of trust and partners with integrity in cyber security. This is vital if we are to be mutually ready for the speed of change in the fast-expanding business world.
About Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC)
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) is a non-profit organisation which exists to support and help protect Scottish businesses. Recently Mandy Haeburn-Little officially stepped down from her role as Chief Executive of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre after nine years to set up Business Resilience International Management (BRIM), a new company which looks to set up new business resilience and cyber centre’s globally
Digital Vision for Cyber Security 2
Atos’ Digital Vision for Cyber Security 2 brings you insights into the latest challenges and opportunities for business leaders and influencers – and the critical role of cyber security to underpin transformation and vital trust in our digital society.