Demystifying Cyber - Financial Leadership Dinner

Published: 14 November 2016

Last Thursday a group of the region’s  CFO’s and Board Directors joined Berwick Partners and Odgers Berndtson at Manchester’s King Street Town House.  Over an intimate dinner the topic was the rising threat of cyber-attacks and the strategies that businesses should be employing in defence.  Guest speaker Martin Tyley, Partner at KPMG and leader of their regional cyber practice, delivered an insightful talk discussing likely threats and practical strategies against these.  

Below are a few key points that were highlighted through the evening

  1. Business leaders need to truly understand the scale of a threat to their business.  Threats are not purely limited to accessing customer data but have wide spread impact on operational delivery.
  2. The UK and it’s businesses need to ensure that they have the right skill set in place to provide sufficient defence.  There is an apparent shortage of skills globally but those businesses taking proactive steps to attract and retain talent will deter potential attacks.
  3. It is impossible to mitigate against all threats, but ensuring your business is stronger and more robust that others will deter threats.  
  4. Certain cyber-attacks will attract more media interest than others and therefore have more scalable impact. Consider how much interest an attack on your business would attract.
  5. For SME’s it was recommended that outsourcing your IT to a reputable cloud based IT firm provides the more sensible solution, rather than keeping your IT in-house. 
  6. Try to create a culture of awareness throughout your business. Some firms test their employees understanding of and resilience to cyber-attacks.  Practical measures such as secure passwords and ability to spot phishing emails can be tested and rewarded.

Martin’s talk was very well received and it was clear from the questions and discussions that followed this is a key area of focus for our guests. We would like to thank Martin and all of our guests for contributing to an insightful, topical and engaging evening.  

The event was hosted by Amy Parkinson, Financial Leadership Consultant and Alex Richardson, IT Leadership Consultant, both based in Berwick Partners’ Manchester office

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