7 security priorities for CIOs for 2023

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and have changed significantly in the recent past, with cyber-attacks becoming more frequent, sophisticated, and detrimental. The frequency of more developed attacks is higher that the speed at which security solutions are being developed. The hybrid work culture has further added to the chaos for CIOs and CISO. Here are the top 7 Security priorities for CIOs from Vision 2023: Digital Acceleration Insights for Asia Pacific from 545 CIOs and technology decision makers.

Santanu Ganguly

Santanu Ganguly
Chief Executive Officer
StrategINK

Strengthening cloud security

Almost 3/4th of the businesses is migrating to cloud infrastructure services. The proliferation of cloud and mobile computing has increased the number of entry points for cyber-attacks, leading to the need for robust device and user authentication systems, data and resource access controls, encryption, and data privacy protection – to list a few. Along with developing cloud infrastructure that is adaptable and scalable to meet evolving business demands should be prioritized.

Ransomware prevention and response

Report ransomware incidents increased by ~50% in India. As per some cyber studies, India was top target for cyber-attacks in the year 2022! Ransomware is being cited as the second-most serious security risk by more than half (54%) of the IT decision makers. Impacted businesses not only face extortion or ransom threats, but also risk losing access to critical systems and vital data, posing business continuity challenges.

Zero-Trust security framework

To ensure various security set ups such as securing wider network footprints, identifying users external to the firewall, maintaining compliance with governmental or privacy-focused regulations, and ensuring supply chain security, it has become necessary for organization to adopt a zero-trust security framework. Almost 4 in 5 organization intend to have plans to implement the framework.

Risk management for third-party vendors

Businesses need to maintain a regular and effective third-party vulnerability management system ensuring that critical patches are reviewed and applied quickly, while reducing the risk of downtime due to a potentially unstable patch. In India, every alternate business is concerned with the associated security risks.

Security Cognizance Training for Employees

61% of CIOs and technology decision makers claim people’s side threats as the top security concern. Considering the dynamic nature of cyber threats, hybrid work culture and increase in device accessibility, are aiding in making organization’s infrastructure more vulnerable. Hence, an investment to provide security awareness training for employees is the need of the hour. A well-informed and security-conscious workforce is critical to protect an organization’s data and systems.

Social Engineering Prevention

Social engineering is a prominent threat in today’s network, according to 35% of technology leaders. Social engineering attacks leverage the power of employees’ psychology and trustworthiness to persuade them to divulge information or allow access to networks or systems. Organisations need to be cautious of unsolicited communications and information requests, checking the validity of messages and emails, and training staff to spot and report suspicious activity to IT or security officials.

Building resiliency

Considering the dynamism of cyber threat landscape, it is the matter of time when an organization is under attack. Hence it is wise to think that the organization is under attack and have a response strategy in place. An existence of such policy will ensure business continuity and help an organization to become resilient and agile.

The CIO role will continue to evolve throughout 2023, with multiple intertwining and overlapping issues impacting the position and its work. Apart from tackling the security concerns, role of CIOs will evolve towards aligning more on business goals, interpreting data insights, embracing digital transformation with a collaborative cross functional approach, along with driving efficiency with other emerging technologies.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this feature article are of the author. This is not meant to be an advisory to purchase or invest in products, services or solutions of a particular type or, those promoted and sold by a particular company, their legal subsidiary in India or their channel partners. No warranty or any other liability is either expressed or implied.
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