Global nonprofit IT association ISACA recently issued guidance on managing three top trends expected to pose major challenges to businesses in 2013: cybersecurity threats, private vs. public clouds and data privacy. As part of its role as a provider of best practices and expertise, ISACA helps its 100,000 constituents worldwide navigate the shifting IT landscape in order to build trust in and value from enterprise information.
Click through for more information on top threats affecting business in 2013 and guidance on how to deal with them, as identified by ISACA.
Viruses that send unsolicited emails and attack websites, as well as search engine poisoning — where unwitting users are misdirected toward questionable or fraudulent sites — are among the increasingly sophisticated tactics used to capture and exploit consumer data and pose threats to international supply chains.
“As more devices utilize IP addresses, the attack surface will become larger and threats to cybersecurity will increase. Cyber criminals will dedicate themselves to finding increasingly complex methods for attacks in 2013,” said Jeff Spivey, CRISC, CPP, international vice president of ISACA and director of Security Risk Management Inc.
According to ISACA’s Cyber Crime Audit/Assurance Program, cyber crime is not just an IT issue; it is a business issue. ISACA recommends that management address cyber crime across all areas, including:
- Incident management
- Crisis management
- Cooperation with investigating organizations
Over the next 12 months, information security concerns will prompt a growing interest in private or hybrid (public/private) cloud solutions. The expected rise of “personal clouds” will add to the challenge of protecting data for a mobile work force that embraces BYOD (“bring your own device”). Cost, speed, manageability and security are the factors most debated in cloud computing.
ISACA’s 2012 IT Risk/Reward Barometer shows that IT professionals remain wary of public clouds; 69 percent believe that the risk of using public clouds outweighs the benefit. Opinions of private clouds are the opposite — the majority (57 percent) believes the benefit outweighs the risk. Other findings include:
- Among people using cloud for mission-critical services, there is a 25-point difference between those who use private (34 percent) versus public (nine percent).
- One of the high-risk actions employees take online is using an online file-sharing service, such as Dropbox or Google Docs, for work documents (67 percent).
- The most effective way to reduce IT risk is to educate employees (36 percent).
Despite these concerns, CFOs (to whom over half of CIOs report) still look to cloud for return on investment.
“In the cloud debate, the trump card will often be played by the business-line leader responsible for customer satisfaction and profitable revenue. To shape the solution, IT leaders can push aside the hype and broadly evaluate risk and return — through the eyes of the business,” said Brian Barnier, principal analyst at ValueBridge Advisors and a risk advisor with ISACA. “There are no cute tricks. It is about knowing the business. This is where ISACA’s 44 years of increasing business focus can help IT leaders more easily achieve business objectives.”
For free resources that help calculate cloud ROI and help ensure security in the cloud, visit www.isaca.org/cloud.
In the coming year, IT professionals will have to manage not just threats of data leakage and identity theft, but also growing consumer and employee concerns about data privacy.
“The protection of personally identifiable information (PII) is the responsibility of both organizations and individuals,” said Greg Grocholski, CISA, international president of ISACA and chief audit executive at The Dow Chemical Company. “Organizations need to have a governance structure in place to ensure that PII is managed and protected throughout its life cycle. Individuals must be aware of what PII they are providing and to whom. To be successful, data protection must be a joint effort.”
He continued, “Privacy by design, confidentiality of location-based information, the consumerization of IT, and an increase in legislative and regulatory mandates that will drive more privacy audits are among the top 2013 trends in data privacy that ISACA anticipates will need to be addressed.”
COBIT 5 helps business leaders govern privacy, evaluate the risk around privacy ensure proper security management and effectively govern sensitive information. The framework is available as a free download from www.isaca.org/cobit.