Top Security Priorities for CIOs in 2014

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Quantify cyber risks and answer board-level inquiries on cybersecurity.

The impact of cybersecurity risks to businesses is multi-fold and can range from reputation damage, loss of revenue, legal fees, and penalties for lack of compliance to disastrous downtime to critical services, said Isabelle Dumont, director of product marketing, industry/vertical initiatives with Palo Alto Networks, adding:

With cyberattacks being the new norm, security officers must refine their understanding of their risks throughout their enterprise. Given the rise of cybersecurity mentions in quarterly filings, be ready for boards to demand a systematic review of assets – systems, applications, devices, data, networks, and any component potentially impacted by a cyber event - related risks, assets that are most often targeted by cybercriminals and level of security in place along with plans to fix what’s below basic compliance requirements.

The CIO's priority will be to get board-level executives and audit committees to take a greater interest in cybersecurity and threats to the enterprise. With more and more data breaches - from theft of trade secrets to loss of customer information - in the headlines, corporate audit committees are beginning to focus on the connection between cybersecurity and an organization's financial well-being. As such, they will expand their attention beyond the financial audit process to the organization's strategic plans for protecting non-public information and risk mitigation plans for responding to a possible breach. CIOs and IT leadership should prepare accordingly, said Alan Brill, a senior managing director for Kroll.

The security experts have made their predictions for 2014. Now it is time for CIOs to make some tough decisions and establish security priorities for the coming year. Certainly many of those predictions will come into play. The predictions aren’t made in a vacuum; CIOs would be foolish not to consider the situations in which experts expect serious threats and risks.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) will continue to be a primary concern for CIOs in 2014. However, CIOs will have to pay attention to a few twists to the BYOD movement, like BYOI, or Bring Your Own Identity. Unfortunately, as Jake O’Donnell pointed out in a SearchConsumerization piece, the budget doesn’t necessarily meet the needs for mobile security, and that’s a problem that CIOs will have to work around.

CIOs will also turn more attention to the cloud, not just to determine how to make data in the cloud more secure but to  see how the cloud plays a role in covering network security, as Philip Lieberman, CEO & Founder, Lieberman Software, stated, adding:

CIOs will have to reevaluate proposed security as a service being delivered via the cloud considering that hardware and software will no longer need to be purchased for deployment.

These issues are just the tip of the security iceberg. Overall, the primary challenge for CIOs will be to make sure everyone within the company is on board when it comes to security policy. It appears that 2014 will see a real shift in security concerns and in the way security will work. Education for everyone from the CEO down to every employee who has access to the corporate network will be a must.

Here are the top priorities that CIOs will be (or should be) focusing on in 2014.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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