Digitization is creating a new world that brings us many benefits. Complicated and lengthy work processes are improved by networking that previously only connected areas via manual processes. As we look at the many benefits of digitization, we much also educate ourselves to be aware of the implications of this shift.
In the first part of our cyber series, we described to you how important cyber security is in companies. However, new security concepts for protecting data and information systems can only really work if we are fully aware at all times of what digital networking in the world means.
What is it all about?
Do you remember the sound that the modem made while dialing to the internet and while waiting getting a coffee? This networking at the touch of a button is history; we have long been “Always On”. There are virtually no analogue shelters left – the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and the cloud all cover our world with a comprehensive digital network. We leave data and digital fingerprints everywhere. Living in this digitalized world therefore requires a whole new consciousness. Especially as the number of personal points of contact with the cyberworld has skyrocketed in recent years.
We are actively connected as soon as we pick up a smartphone, a smartwatch, a wearable or talk to a digital assistant. Not only are we constantly connected online, we are also connected with numerous devices at the same time, actively and passively. With the Internet of Things and the upcoming 5G mobile communications standard, the number of networking points with the Internet and the cloud will increase even further.
Why is this so important?
Now, Always-On is not necessarily a bad thing in a George Orwell kind of way, if we are conscious about it. It involves weighing the challenges and risks against utility and convenience, especially for end-users and companies. This is why brands need to look after a corporate culture that is not just designed for efficiency and productivity, but also takes cyber security as a guiding light.
Employees are also increasingly networked into their company. They use ITC systems through smartphones, tablets and laptops, multiplying potential entry points for cyber criminals. Appropriate training is a must, and this is a special responsibility for companies that develop and distribute digital systems or IoT devices themselves. Vulnerabilities represent a huge risk – not only for your customers, but also for your company’s reputation. Unfortunately, it is precisely this area where ludicrous details are discovered almost on a daily basis and show just how poorly security is handled, or worst yet, not handled!
What do you have to do now?
The strategically planned implementation of digitization also requires the adaptation of the corporate culture. On one hand, you should actively involve your employees in digitization and never order them from above. Such a massive change only succeeds if everyone is involved. First and foremost, the business units (OTs) and the IT departments must work together much more closely. As a leader, you must live the cyber-awareness yourself, whether you are the CEO or the leader of a small team. One must understand and explain the differences to the previous concept and communicate concretely why certain requirements need to be implemented in this way and not otherwise. Cross-departmental and cross-departmental understanding is the key to the necessary awareness.
Companies that sell cyber-security-related products need to make sure that their products meet the new demands of a digital world and that they do not cause any problems. “Security by Design” means taking the right approach, which requires a corresponding awareness. In addition to meeting the latest security standards, an over-the-air (F/OTA) patch feature is particularly important for IoT devices. This ensures that even in the future discovered vulnerabilities can be closed by software updates.
Most importantly, you must not consider cyber security and awareness building as a project, but as a program that must be firmly anchored in your business philosophy.
Check out the first part of our cyber security series:
Cyber Security: New Ways to Work, New Security Requirements