Special Report – Cybersecurity

Photo ParisTech Review / Editors / April 13th, 2015

When everything is becoming digital, private, public, and civil institutions become more dependent on information systems and more vulnerable to attack by sophisticated cybercriminals, political “hacktivists,” governments, and even their own employees. The stakes are high and in this cops and robbers game, no one is certain to lead the race for long. Absolute security just doesn’t exist. Still, efforts are required – investments but also cultural and organizational efforts. Here are six articles by various experts – from McKinsey to HEC through industry players – to help you understand the stakes.

The booming business of industrial spies

Philippe Richard / Strategy Consultant

Undercover ops, one of the darker sides of life, occasionally suffers from sudden exposure in the media, witness how the Concorde’s specification blueprints ended up in Russia or when US secret services used massive listening Big Ears (Echelon) to monitor official, supposedly privy phone exchanges. Yet, far from limiting its activities to the covert manoeuvers to access and analyse State secrets, the spy business today has refocused for some time now on industrial targets. The challenges and techniques used evolve constantly. In an open world, where information systems play an increasingly structuring role, the issue of how to protect sensitive data and technologies has now become a priority question. (October 2014)

From outlaws of the Chinese marsh to WikiLeaks: the perennial face of pirates

Rodolphe Durand / Professor of Strategy, HEC Paris

The furor over the WikiLeaks affair graced headlines of newspapers across the globe and illuminated the nebulous world of hackers and internet pirates. Questions have been raised over the unseen threads that connect actors on both sides of the law. What links do they have with states and large corporations? Are they completely outside the capitalist system? Piracy has a storied history with lessons for the current situation that Rodolphe Durand, Professor of strategy at HEC and co-author of The Pirate Organization (Harvard Business Press, 2012), recently discussed. (January 2011)

Cyber crime: the Achilles heel of the business world

Emilie Esposito / Equity Research Ananlyst

Businesses are increasingly the victims of cyber attacks. These crimes are not only costly for the companies, but can also put their very existence at risk and may provoke significant externalities for third parties. The fact that businesses are becoming more and more tech-dependent and interconnected adds to an increased cyber crime presence. The pace of innovation is escalating rapidly among threat sources, helped by an acceleration in the global proliferation of cyber expertise. Sharing information is a solution. What about insurance? The market is growing – fast – but faster grow the risks! (February 2014)

Mobility disruption: a CIO perspective

McKinsey Quarterly

Enterprise mobility is poised to fundamentally change the IT landscape. Here’s an overview of the opportunities and some early lessons on how to manage the associated security risks, costs, and organizational challenges. (October 2012)

Risk and responsibility in a hyperconnected world: implications for enterprises

McKinsey Quarterly

Our institutions will have to make increasingly thoughtful trade-offs between the value inherent in a hyperconnected world and the risk of operational disruption, intellectual property loss, public embarrassment, and fraud that cyberattacks create. Over the past year, McKinsey and the World Economic Forum undertook joint research to develop a fact-based view of cyberrisks, assess their economic and strategic implications, and lay out a path forward. (March 2014)

The cybersecurity challenge

Hervé Guillou / Chairman, Trust and Security Industries Council (France)

Cyber-threats are now becoming systemic in the world economy. Concern of all actors involved is rising, to the extent that it may lead to a global counter move against digitisation that would consequently have a huge negative economic impact. Notwithstanding progress in cloud computing and big data with, according to McKinsey, a generated annual income of between 9,600 and 21,600 billion dollars in the global economy. If the sophistication of cyber-attacks were to submerge the defensive capacity of States and organizations, we could fear more stringent regulations and policies that would in fact slow down innovation and growth. (April  2014)



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