Digitisation, Regulation, Reputational Risk: Planning and Prioritising for Success

Digitisation, Regulation, Reputational Risk: Planning and Prioritising for Success Author: James Blackwood Published: 10 April 2017

We were delighted to host a roundtable breakfast for Cyber Security industry leaders on 6th April at our London, Cannon Street offices.  

Keith Saxton, our guest speaker, gave one of the most insightful and fascinating talks we have heard on the subject. A huge amount of ground was covered in a short space of time. He portrayed the challenging journey that businesses are facing regarding future regulation and risk, and how we should plan and prioritise for success. 

A Fixed Income Trader by background, Keith transitioned into the technology and risk services sector; a domain he is passionate about. Much of the discussion was geared towards financial services, though the subject relates to all verticals.

The key messages which came out the session include:

  • C-Suite prioritisation: C-Suites are often incentivised to provide short-term shareholder value, whilst the remainder of the business is measured of providing long-term customer value, resulting in a strategic misalignment. This will always be an ongoing challenge, but companies that communicate policies and strategies across their wider business are better aligned to succeed. Google was raised as a good example where the whole business is strategically aligned: its products (adverting and search) remain separate and the priority is driven to provide 99.99% service reliability; shareholder value is realised on the back of that.
  • Regulation can inspire innovation, by creating new and safer products. However, there is often confusion as to what regulation means. Keith was quick to point out that business processes are regulated, and not the technology. And that regulation is often misinterpreted for business continuity. Business continuity allows companies to meet regulatory requirements, but is not regulation itself. There remains a requirement for clarity on the subject.
  • Balancing legacy Infrastructure with digitalisation: The tier1 global banking institutions have tackled this challenge well; they have the liquidity to do so. However, the tier 2 institutions do not have such reserves and can struggle to digitise. From a security point of view, the key is to have early warning systems (EWS) in place, whatever platforms are being used. Being transparent to the rest of the sector is important and the drive for collaboration to protect the industry is progressing positively.
  • Complex adaptive systems: There has been a notable shift from managing Big Data to driving Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the last five years. Organisations are eager to innovate, but are often finding the complexity too demanding. There is a real opportunity for service providers in the supply chain to articulate these complexities and guide companies through. 
  • Cross pollination of talent: There is an aspiration in the market to hire from out of sector, to introduce alternative and innovative thinking, but this is not really making the impact originally expected. There are many reasons for this, though much comes back to the emphasis of driving shareholder value, rather than preparing for success. 
  • Blockchain: A great technology, but difficult to regulate and achieve ROI. The platform is shared across all domains, hence a lack of control, which makes it difficult to regulate and secure. There is scepticism over the future of Blockchain, but it is too early to call. 

We want to thank Keith for making it such an enjoyable morning and look forward to hosting another stimulating event in the near future. 

If you are interested in hearing more about these topics and others and other events, we would welcome a conversation and are best placed to advise, please contact James BlackwoodCyber Security specialist at Berwick Partners.

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