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Case Study
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Case Study

Creating a cybersecurity strategy that drives purposeful growth

EY helped Henkel create a cybersecurity strategy that is aligned with its corporate strategy and the objectives of its digital unit.


How do you drive purposeful growth to shape a secure digital future?

With EY assistance, Henkel created a cybersecurity strategy that is closely aligned with its corporate strategy and Henkel dx objectives.

Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. Headquartered in Germany, the company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. When Henkel had published an updated strategic framework setting the ambition to improve its competitive edge in the area of digitalization building on megatrends such as the consumer and customer gravitation shift, it became clear that an update of the cyber security strategy was required to step up to this challenge.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, demand from consumers seemingly changed in an instant and their behaviors and preferences rapidly accelerated toward e-commerce. As many global supply chains faltered, consumer goods and retail companies raced to enable more digital capabilities and build out their online and direct-to-consumer channels, relying on intelligent automation, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things sensors.

These new ways of serving consumers are vital — yet they also open the door to next-generation cyber threats and attacks.

A robust cybersecurity strategy has never been so important, as highlighted in the EY Global Information Security Survey 2021. We found that 81% of executives worldwide said that COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to bypass cyber security processes, and 77% have seen more disruptive attacks over the last 12 months (compared with 59% in our 2020 survey). Chief information security officers have cited insufficient budgets, complex regulation and strained relationships with the business as hurdles. 

Separately, in the EY Global Board Risk Study 2021, just 9% of boards declared themselves extremely confident that mitigation measures presented to them can protect the organization from major cyber-attacks — down from 20% last year.

“We’re seeing a demand in consumer goods and retail to do things more strategically as opposed to technically,” said Christian Franzen, EY EMEIA Consulting Cyber Security Consumer Products & Retail Leader. “Boards of directors want to see cyber strategies in place before they invest more money, so chief security and technology officers have to be more strategic in their thinking and in placing the topic at the board level.”

During this time of heightened risk and accelerated digital transformation, Henkel eventually turned to us to co-create a 5-year cyber security road map around the digitalization of their corporate and production environment. Henkel challenged us to bring a more creative and innovative approach toward building a strategy — with greater interactivity and more people and stakeholders involved, together as a team.

We already had a powerful differentiator to help deliver that and more: EY wavespace™.

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The interactive and collaborative experience of EY wavespace worked for this client’s challenges

EY wavespace and Scan-Focus-Act methodology helped break down silos and achieve measurable outcomes.

Through EY wavespace, we run interactive, immersive experiences for clients — virtually, in person or a blend of both. Using leading-edge collaboration tools, dedicated full-time employees act as innovation coaches and plan how each session flows into the next, so that the entire EY wavespace experience is significant, not just individual sessions.  The proven approach of EY teams is based on the Scan-Focus-Act methodology, infused with design thinking, to drive proactive free thinking.

We also consider topics across three planning dimensions — now, next and beyond — determining immediate action steps that work within the existing budget of the client, then aligning the timing of others within fiscal year planning. All of this helps us to create the space for clients to achieve measurable outcomes, faster.

We were able to integrate 5 EY wavespace sessions and more than 30 content sessions with subject matter resources into a 12-week project. Working together, we framed out everything they wanted to achieve and let conversations and outcomes from each session help enable and inform the next session.

“The turning point for Henkel came when the different teams looked beyond their individual areas of responsibility as they existed today,” said Oina Kerchner, EY wavespace Berlin Leader at Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft “We asked them to think of what factors were critical to cyber security in the future, not just their individual team — which helped them break down silos.”

Building a cyber security strategy helped Henkel understand and address its challenges and be clear about its desired outcomes.

“We were pleased to see how professionally the EY wavespace sessions were facilitated in a remote setup that allowed the group to align and arrive at common grounds,” said Stefan Braun Chief Information Security Officer at Henkel.

We were pleased to see how professionally the EY wavespace sessions were facilitated in a remote setup that allowed the group to align and arrive at common grounds.
Stefan Braun
Chief Information Security Officer at Henkel
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Successful outcomes start with cyber security and a clear strategy

Henkel overcame challenges and threats and was able to streamline its end-customer experience.

Henkel can now move forward with confidence in a landscape fraught with challenges and threats. And thanks to the versatility of EY wavespace, the EY team helped address difficult client challenges and projects even in the middle of a pandemic, as all of the sessions were conducted virtually — with design thinking, experienced facilitation and collaboration tools.

“There was a clear alignment not only between the EY cybersecurity experts and the EY wavespace team but also with our main Henkel contact that we always included in designing the overall experience for Henkel,” Aparajita Gupta, Experience Manager at EY wavespace™ EMEIA.

The rich dialogue from one session to the next, oriented around thinking differently and getting results, helped address many of the organizational concerns cited as sore points in recent EY surveys.

“We learned that it’s easy for two people to come up with a strategy, but when you have an entire leadership team working on a joint vision as a team, it requires structure and direction,” said Simon Kubanski, Head of Directory Services & Cloud IdP at Henkel dx. “In the end, we ended up with not only a road map and strategy but a more-aligned team as well.” 

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