Platform Communications Views

Leadership in the era of cyber uncertainty: Helping expert voices get heard

By Nana Rodaki, Account Director, Platform Comms

Last week’s Infosecurity Europe 2022 event demonstrated the cybersecurity industry’s ever-accelerating pace of change. There was consensus throughout the event around how the current geopolitical and economic uncertainty means cybersecurity is more critical than ever. Cyber threats have evolved to encompass nation-state threat actors, criminal and terrorist organisations, and everything in between. The cyberattack methodology and toolkit have also changed dramatically — from sophisticated DDOS attacks that damage critical infrastructure and national defense systems to micro-scale threats that aim to get a hold of personal data. It’s often not a case of ‘breaking into’ but simply ‘logging into’ a system to take advantage of its vulnerabilities.

This is the right time for industry leaders to shine and help the cybersecurity industry navigate uncharted waters. Infosecurity 2022 demonstrated that events are great platforms for the industry to come together to showcase innovative ideas and technologies and discuss future trends. In addition, effective strategic communications is key in helping industry leaders channel their expertise and thought leadership to the right audiences, educate the market on best practices, and establish themselves as the leading voices in this space.

Strong leadership is as important as ever

The combination of global geopolitical tension, the evolution of cyberthreat, and very often the ‘security fatigue’ of system users can prove detrimental to cybersecurity. Strong leadership is more important than ever to mitigate the likelihood and impact of cyberthreat. An interesting topic discussed at Infosecurity 2022 referred to leadership’s significance and how cybersecurity leaders can make the ‘right’ decisions.

The expert answer to this question is they can’t — they can only make the decisions that seem ‘right’ at the time based on the data and information they have, which should be acceptable. Leadership entails making decisions and often guiding an organisation through a time of increased pressure or crisis. Decision-making is often a trial and error process. Industry leaders can share huge value in past experiences and learnings to help the industry learn from mistakes and celebrate successes.

Strategising for change

Uncertainty in the broader economic and geopolitical landscape is here to stay and to navigate it, cybersecurity leaders should continue to leverage their experience and expertise to make judgment calls without a false sense of clarity. Organisational and cultural change is essential to dealing with the ever-changing face of cyber threats. Cybersecurity leaders need to accept transformation takes time, and they need to be strategic and allow time for planning, gaining consensus from key stakeholders,  implementing change, and seeing its results.

Cyberattack preparation determines success or failure

Preparing for the next cyberattack is more effective than improvising it when it happens. Planning on tackling and mitigating different cyberattack scenarios is critical when the clock is ticking, and a cyberattack is imminent or underway. These exercises are most effective when they involve all stakeholders — across organisations — that are part of the decision-making to ensure that everyone is ready to act or react during time-sensitive issues.

Leading the cybersecurity industry

Great leaders are the reference points for an industry constantly evolving to adapt to fast-changing cyber threats. The stakes are high, especially as they can include the security of an entire country or an organisation’s reputation. Cybersecurity leaders are at the ‘battleground’ every day to make cyberspace safer for everyone.

Sharing experiences, learnings, and critical insights is valuable to anyone involved in cybersecurity. A robust strategic communications programme enables industry leaders’ expert voice to be heard by the right audiences and make a difference.

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