Is the UK ready for the businesses of the future?


Posted on: March 13, 2020 by Mandy Haeburn-Little

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.

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About Mandy Haeburn-Little

CEO BRIM, former Chief Executive, Scottish Business Resilience Centre
Mandy and her team are delivering the first National network of Cyber Resilience Centres for Policing across the UK and she is Chief Executive of Business Resilience International (BRIM).Already working with UK Policing, BRIM has established the Greater Manchester Centre, the North East Centre and is also now working on the CRC for the East Midlands . Shortly work will begin in CRCs for West Midlands and for South Wales.Before founding BRIM in 2019, Mandy was the Chief Executive of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre for over 9 years, working in direct partnership with the single Police force, Police Scotland and the Scottish Government. In 2014, Mandy established the London Digital Security Centre based on a similar model. Mandy has led numerous initiatives and campaigns in Cyber and is a strong advocate for young skills, especially those of girls and young women interested in a career in STEAM. Mandy has mentored many young people in their cyber careers and is particularly interested in how to make STEAM careers accessible and genuinely exciting to young people. In her last role, working with the students from Abertay University, Mandy conceived a business of ethical hacking students, Curious Frank and this model is now rolling out across the UK.On announcing her departure from her role as CEO, Mandy received a cross party commendation from the Scottish Parliament for her outstanding contribution to the business sector as well as for her transformational leadership.As well as leading and delivering the National Programme of Cyber centres for Policing, Mandy is also part of the first Cyber City Deal team in the UK, sits on a number of National Policing initiatives and is working with business leaders to reenergise interest amongst young people in software skills.In Scotland Mandy chaired the Cyber Expert group, the network of Trusted Security partners, was the only independent Board member of the Scottish Crime Campus and sat on the Serious Organised Crime Force.Outside of work ,Mandy is an exhibited artist.

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