Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM discusses the security challenge at the 2014 IBM THINK Forum.If any CEO, organization or staff do not appreciate how critical security is and how alarming breaches are, then he or she has opportunity right now to do so. To me, it seems that this equation captures what is going on: human nature + technology channels + viral capacity = IT havoc and vulnerability.
So Rometty runs down some practical tips:
- Increase the security IQ of every employee, which of course speaks to knowledge, motivation and behavior.
- Create a response team - including legal, HR, IT, communications, forensics - that is ready and able to go, when needed.
- Secure the workplace for BYOD (bring your own device). One IT friend cautioned me from connecting my mobile to our office wireless connection, because of the risk I myself would face, if heaven forbid, I unwittingly brought a virus or a breach to the office system.
- Decide what your crown jewels are. It may be some specialized IP, like the formula for Coca Cola, but Rometty is right to say that what has to closely guarded is far more than that.
- Think of security as a Big Data problem. Her analogy of germs is a curiously insightful one, I believe. So the idea isn't to eliminate security threats completely, which may be next to impossible. Rather, a system may let some degree of threat to exist, but monitor it closely and react accordingly.