Cyber and privacy leaders' agenda

Cyber and privacy leaders must act now to tackle today’s most pressing security challenges.

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Cyber and privacy leaders' agenda

Even in times of a global crisis, cybersecurity and privacy threats don’t abate. If anything, the threat level increases as cyber attackers are even more determined and resourceful.

Now more than ever, you need to get strategies and priorities right. Here's how in three steps:  

  • Carry out a budget-defensible strategy and project road map

    Creating a business-oriented, financially defensible program will make it difficult for business leaders to question the CISO’s approach or redirect resources. Forward-looking CISOs need to reassess their risks – identifying threats, vulnerabilities and potential impacts in financial terms. They should quantify and prioritize implementation and/or operation of controls based on the value they deliver in managing that risk, and orient the project road map to addressing the worst first.

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  • Consider a program of radical control simplification and integration

    We all recognize that the sheer number of tools and data sources we rely on makes them difficult to manage. This may compromise the CISO’s ability to understand and respond to an ever-increasing volume of security alerts. But it is hard to let go – particularly with heightened C-level concern about cyber risk. A recessionary environment is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and simplify the portfolio.

  • Build a strong culture of Security by Design

    In the best of times, security is introduced into a digital transformation program late in the process – generally as a compliance item. With inevitable changes associated with greater use of cloud services, third-party outsourcing of core business functions, and/or reduction of internal staff, it is critical that the security team is introduced into the discussion as a business risk function.

Cybersecurity budgets in flux

73% of security leaders expect their budgets to be impacted by COVID-19. Four in ten (41%) expect a reduction in funding, but about one-third (32%) expect budgets to rise.

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Despite ongoing uncertainty over whether budgets will shrink or grow, EY research reveals that leaders expect to invest in the following areas:

  • Identity and access management

    The shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic brought the importance of robust identity and access management (IAM) practices firmly into the spotlight. It has become an integral pillar of an organization’s security infrastructure as the business demands better access controls in a less controlled network environment with shared platforms.

    The increased use of personal devices and remote access to core business systems increases the threat landscape of businesses. However, adoption of new IAM controls and processes will mitigate the cyber risks and threats for organizations.

    What can security leaders do now, next and beyond?
    1. Now – solve the current crisis
      Perform an impact assessment of remote working, IAM processes, and secure access to critical and non-critical applications. Support contingency programs including IAM process simplification and work-arounds, and re-organize IAM operations to accelerate execution and monitoring of remote and privileged access.
    2. Next – steps for year-round
      Assess the appropriateness of remote access by critical/non-critical application, and review the revised access controls with your compliance teams. Also gain buy-in from your compliance team for simplified procedures, including access to business applications.
    3. Beyond – resiliency and risk management
      Enhance your IAM capability through improved contingency processes, awareness, reporting, technology and collaboration.
  • Data protection and privacy

    It is well understood that privacy needs to evolve. This is driven by technological developments as well as changes in societal attitudes and perceptions – ordinarily rooted in national and cultural factors – which are highly reactive to the perception of peripheral events. 

    Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ask ourselves … what happens next? Have consumer perceptions of privacy fundamentally changed? Have our perceptions about trustworthiness of government and business shifted? Is there an opportunity for governments and businesses to redefine approaches to collection and use of personally identifiable information (PII) moving forward?

  • Co-sourcing and outsourcing

    Cybersecurity is increasingly diverse and complex and is now a critical function to enterprise risk management, requiring constant proper due care. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the negative impact of rapid operational disruption. The need to temporarily redirect internal resources, to meet a surge in certain areas or obtain specialized resources, can make adding an outsourcing partner to your strategy a sound component to your business risk management efforts.

    At minimum, seeking help with critical cybersecurity operational functions, such as cyberthreat detection and response or identity and access management, might be the right decision.

Case study: creating a smarter, safer grid for new meters

EY teams are helping a national electricity company reinforce its legacy power infrastructure for a trusted, cyber-safe future.

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detail electricity meter
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