Joe Baguley, VP & CTO EMEA, VMware
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives have become a priority for all businesses. Critical not only for the betterment of society, but for business success.
We at VMware are no different. Helping build and protect trust with all stakeholders is one of our key values. Because stakeholders are looking for more than corporate commitments – they want to see tangible examples of the action organisations have taken to deliver against their goals.
That’s why we are so passionate about our role as an enabler and accelerator of ESG; we want to provide a platform for partners to deliver technologies that contribute to the success of both their and their customers’ activities.
In this first post of our series exploring ESG-oriented initiatives and innovations from across our partner ecosystem, we spoke to NetClean, a world-leading software that helps protect businesses against the consumption of child sexual abuse material – or CSAM – and is available via the VMware Marketplace.
Corporate-issued technology is no longer confined to the spaces for which it was made. Employees now use work devices within the privacy of their homes, often for non-work-related activities. And alarmingly, findings from NetClean showed that 1 in 500 people have used theirs to access child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The handling of CSAM is a problem that exists in all parts of society. And such behaviour presents businesses with a new challenge that isn’t easy to address.
It’s something that I discussed with Anna Borgstrom, NetClean’s CEO, in our recent conversation, which you can catch here.
Addressing an urgent corporate necessity
As Anna mentioned, taking a bold stand against the growing issue of CSAM is not only socially responsible, but also a business imperative. 64 percent of organisations have experienced a case of CSAM in the last 5 years, and uninterrupted access to it can expose organisational IT infrastructures to the dark web – putting businesses at risk of data loss and ransomware attacks, as well as significant reputational and monetary damage if left unaddressed.
There is a clear security risk involved, and the eradication of CSAM should be on every CISO’s radar. If not, it’s the job of partners to show why it should be, given the opportunity it presents to take control over risks and increase resilience while simultaneously reducing real-world harm to children. After all, providing employees with a safe working environment should be non-negotiable.
For businesses willing to take socially positive steps to combat enhanced risks and improve their reputation, NetClean’s software is one of a variety of tools at their disposal. Available via the VMware platform, it works on the principles of anti-virus software. They use advanced detection methods such as binary hashing and PhotoDNA to find carefully hidden material, which makes it easier to both detect on file level and block access to URLs in real-time.
Enabling deep systematic change
Adopting such technology shows an organisation’s commitment to its ESG mission, and signals to employees that they are willing to take positive action at personal cost to improve society. And it’s where partners’ maturity and experience should come into play, with their ability to translate awareness into action.
In the case of CSAM, their intimate knowledge of customers’ security postures and risk management matrices means they can provide informed consultancy on how businesses should address risk in a way that complements existing security efforts, while addressing a growing social issue and creating business value.
But ESG is a broader church than that. One that demands deep systemic change both within and between organisations and across a range of different scenarios.
It’s the role of partners to facilitate these changes, embedding ecosystems of security and trust with customers to help them achieve their corporate objectives. And that’s why we are so keen to provide them with a platform for success. Through VMware Marketplace, we’re giving them access to a huge range of best-in-class technologies that they can combine together into bespoke solutions which address customers’ growing needs, for the benefit of both the world and their shareholders.
ESG is based on the idea that as the world changes, companies can be a force for good. It’s a mantra that we are striving to adhere to as business, not only for ourselves, but also for our customers and wider society. Now it’s up to partners to do the same.