Technology Companies Urged to Build Cyber Resilience


    Emma Okonji

    Nigerian technology companies that are racing into the digital future by adopting technology-enabled operating and business models have been advised to build cyber resilience in order to forestall attacks capable of hurting their operations.

    The Country Managing Director, Accenture Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Yusuf who gave the advice in Lagos, said most organisations were not prepared for the new cyber risks that come with the connected, data-driven future enterprise.

    He therefore advised small and medium scale enterprises’ operators (SMEs), fintechs, and corporate organisations to begin to seek new ways of protecting their cyberspace through cyber resilience.

    “To be cyber resilient, companies need to infuse security into everything they do and every new thing they are preparing to do. Future business relies upon constant, intimate digital connections with suppliers, partners, virtual workforce and customers to stay relevant and competitive.

    “It uses intelligent technologies and big data in all facets of business operations—from C-suite decision making to crafting custom offers for internet shoppers in pursuit of profitable growth,” Yusuf said.

    He cited a recent survey conducted by Accenture, where over 1,400 C-suite executives, including Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), were asked how they prioritise security in new business initiatives, and whether their security plans address future business needs, what security capabilities they have, and their level of internal and external collaboration on security.

    According to him the survey result showed that 38 per cent of the companies bring the CISO into all discussions at the beginning stage of considering new business opportunities.

    Additionally, half of the CISOs admit that their responsibilities are growing faster than their ability to address them.

    “Business will continue to have more intimate digital connections with suppliers, partners, virtual workforce and customers to stay relevant and competitive. This comes with additional cyber risk.
    “All that sensitive data, connectivity and automation multiplies the opportunities for hackers by expanding the “surface area” exposed to cyber-attack.

    “And, because digital systems are so embedded in daily operations, the potential damage from even a single security incident is magnified,” Yusuf said

    He, however said organisations do not need to roll back their digital agenda as there are ways to build the cyber resilience that they need to grow confidently.

    He listed three key things needed to build into business to achieve cyber resilience to include: Develop a “bend, but don’t break,” approach to securing the enterprise that combines the disciplines of cybersecurity, business continuity and enterprise resilience; the ability to operate while under persistent threats and sophisticated attacks, that will enable your business embrace disruption safely, strengthen customer trust and boost shareholder value; and thirdly, the need to elevate the role of security in every organisation, which he said, would require leaders to communicate its importance and manage its application accordingly.

    He explained that corporate security experts had made great progress in the war against cybercrime but insisted that winning the next war would require both new strategies and new weapons.