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Will CEOs be held accountable for cyberattacks upon their firms? (Includes interview)

This year has seen innumerable challenges upon business operations and the prediction is that 2021 will see the same, and most likely, new challenges emerging. Many regulators are starting to call time on businesses in relation to cybersecurity and they are expecting them to sharpen up or be held responsible.

To gain insights into the matters that should be preoccupying the time of company executives, Digital Journal has heard from Moritz Mann, CTO and Jeff Brown, CEO at Open Systems

Time for cyber vigilance

According to Jeff Brown, CEO at Open Systems, the focal point for executives in 2021 needs to be increased awareness of cybersecurity matters.

Brown advises: “If you’re a business leader, make cyber vigilance your New Year’s resolution, because 2021 will see a major security breach caused by an executive of a leading company working from home. This is a very real possibility since hackers can easily get into enterprise systems via home Wi-Fi networks – even if those networks belong to the neighbors. It’s also not inconceivable that a kid – possibly even your teenager – might post a screenshot including confidential information from their parent’s company in the background.”

Brown also outlines the risks: “Such events are bad for business, and they can be costly for business leaders. In addition to suffering embarrassment and reputation loss, executives could face litigation and fines. Gartner says that by 2024, 75 percent of CEOs will be personally liable for cyberattacks that physically hurt people, property or the environment.”

Remote working challenges

Looking at the rise in home working, Moritz Mann sees this trend continuing: “The work-from-home movement will continue to see high momentum through at least the first half of 2021. This will accelerate the adoption of software-as-a-service and cloud services. But it will also increase the opportunity for ransomware attacks and identity theft – as well as the first cloud account extortions.”

This escalation carries risks, according to Mann: “As cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs recently noted, the cloud is a new opportunity for attackers, cloud-based data and services are critical to business operations, and cloud services aggregate large populations of potential hacking victims.”

We need collaboration

Improved means of collaboration is required to address the challenges, says Mann: “The year ahead will see the rise of detection as code. This will enable security providers and teams to collaborate on a shared repository of up-to-date, complex detection rules. Security players can use this data to inform and secure continuous integration and delivery efforts.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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