The cybersecurity challenge: leaving the fortress

Posted on: April 8, 2019 by Pierre Barnabé

In the space of just a handful of years cybersecurity has become a key item on every boardroom agenda and sits as one of the top business risks. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t acutely aware of the need for security. The conversation is certainly open but are we always identifying the correct challenges?

Most security risks are focused around your most valuable asset. For cybercrime, this is data – the new source of value and potential value for an organization. Data needs to be viewed as a treasured commodity and asset and for this reason, also as a target for cybercrime that must be well protected.

Part of this is about re-evaluating the governance structure, culture and behavior around data. Organizations need to be clear where their data is, what it is, who has access to it and how it’s being secured.

Leaving the fortress

The other aspect to this is being brave enough to change the way you protect your organization. Your most valuable assets are no longer concentrated in one place. Data will be dispersed throughout your business across different units. This now means leaving the fortress you built to protect yourself – as terrifying and counter intuitive as this sounds! The fortress can no longer protect an organization. No matter how good it is, the walls will be scaled probably in an area of your business you had not even considered a risk.

The right technology

The best defense is a combination of the right technology and the right people. This means both defense grade technologies and highly specialized cybersecurity experts and services. You need technology that is quicker and smarter than the criminals have access to. It needs to utilize automation, robotics and AI. You also need the people who know how to proactively hunt for threats and keep ahead of new criminal behavior. Alongside this it also must be decentralized. Prescriptive security SOCs will be the next-generation cybersecurity infrastructure that the digital economy needs to enable and engender confidence. With this in place, organizations will be able to effectively protect their business assets including valuable business data and customer personal data.

Decentralized security

Sometimes it’s not about the size of your army but about their armory and position. Federated and decentralized security is key. You need to be where the data is and cover all the possible pain points. With the advent of IoT and autonomous devices this will only become more vital. Sub premises will now need to be controlled as well as powered with local cybersecurity intelligence. Each of these will need to utilize the best in products and services – from encryption to automation to AI. With technology able to analyze vast amounts of data and flag attacks or potential attacks well before a human would be capable, allowing for decision-making on response by individuals but also automatic protection.

In the future

The rise of IoT and autonomous objects will make this decentralizing of security even more acute. Each object will need to be able to protect itself from threat. To do this you must be as close as possible to where data is generated. Find the right partner for this journey. One who has the technology and product base to encrypt and manage access, can bring AI, automation and robotics and can bring edge technology and security. Having the cybersecurity conversation is not enough, what’s vital is understanding the ever-shifting challenges and being able to stay a step ahead at all times.

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About Pierre Barnabé
Senior Executive Vice-President, Head of Big Data & Cybersecurity
Pierre Barnabé is Senior Executive Vice-President, Head of the Global Division Big Data & Cybersecurity within the Group Atos, following the successful merger of Bull with Atos. He is also in charge of the Security for the Atos Group. He joined Bull in August 2013 as Chief Operating Officer. Previously, Pierre was General Manager of SFR Business team. He began his career in the venture capital department of Thalès. In 1998, he joined Alcatel Lucent with various successful sales positions (Vice President Sales France, Vice President Sales South Europe) before being appointed Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel Lucent France then Group Executive Vice President Human Resources & Transformation. Knight of the French National Order of Merit, Pierre Barnabé is graduated from NEOMA Business School and from CentraleSupélec.