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Cyber crime now a boardroom issue: UC expert

Antony Perry

14 July 2017: A leading cyber security expert from the University of Canberra says the threat of cyber crime has outgrown the remit of IT departments and that senior managers need to take cyber security seriously if their companies are to avoid becoming the latest victim of an attack.

In his new book, Technology for Company Directors: Strategy-Risk-Governance, the Director of the Centre for Internet Safety at the University, Nigel Phair, outlines the changing nature of cyber warfare and why senior levels of management need to be informed on the topic.

“Cyber security has expanded well beyond the confines of IT and emerged as a concern at the highest organisational levels, specifically in the boardroom,” Mr Phair said.

“Shareholder value, market share, reputation, and long-term organisational survival could well be damaged if this issue is not taken seriously at the upper levels of organisations.

“Information security is an issue that crosses all organisational silos and boundaries, top to bottom.”

Mr Phair’s warning comes in the wake of several high-profile cyber attacks including Russia’s alleged meddling in last year’s US election and the damaging attacks earlier this year that hit dozens of countries worldwide.

He said organisations would continue to fall victim to malicious attacks if senior management didn’t take steps to safe-proof their organisations from hackers looking to wreak havoc and exploit the vulnerabilities of the digital age.

“Securing the future of their organisation is a primary responsibility of company directors,” he said.

“It depends on the ability of the board and management not only to cope with future events, but also to anticipate the impact those events will have on both the company and the industry they operate in as a whole.

“Directors should be continually seeking information and insight on the issues that could affect the future of their organisation.”

Technology for Company Directors: Strategy-Risk-Governance is available in hard copy and as a Kindle eBook.