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The world of business is finally doing cybersecurity right


Almost every news story you read features scary tales of corruption, incompetence, and even disaster. In a world of 24-hour rolling news channels, it's incredibly easy to gain a distorted view of the world caused by cynical reporting. Unfortunately, bad news sells, and journalists can still be found repeating the mantra if it bleeds, it leads.

However, at a time where a global pandemic continues to feed the negativity bias that frequents our newsfeeds, maybe it's time for something different. There is an increasing thirst for positivity, optimism, and content based on solutions rather than problems.

Sure, many companies are battling with a new set of cybersecurity challenges caused by all employees working from home. But there are also many stories of organizations that are doing cybersecurity right. Wouldn’t it be more valuable to highlight a few positives that will enable other decision-makers to follow in their footsteps? 

Cybersecurity in the boardroom

Remote working has become the new normal, and the number of internet users is also increasing in emerging economies. More data is being created at scale, and disinformation continues to spread across all of the major platforms. But the good news is that successful business leaders are beginning to build a strong cybersecurity culture.

Big names from multiple industries such as Spirit AirlinesHewlett Packard Enterprise, and  Goldman Sachs might serve a very different audience, but they all share something in common. They have all added an experienced board member solely responsible for cyber risk. A digital-savvy boardroom that understands cyber risk from the top down can quickly outperform those that don't.

Ultimately, boardrooms with tech experience will ensure that better strategic decisions are made when it comes to choosing the next must-have shiny tech solution. The end result is that everyone from the shareholders, employees, and the customers will benefit from having a seat for cybersecurity at the boardroom table.

Why businesses are forming cybersecurity alliances

On one side of the coin, there is the reality that almost half of UK businesses suffered a cyberattack last year. But stories of organizations moving from a reactive to a proactive state of security seldom make the headlines. For example, an increasing number of companies are filling the trust gap by entering into cybersecurity alliances and forming pacts to work with, rather than against their competitors.

Groups such as the Trusted Computing GroupCyber Threat Alliance, and the Global Cyber Alliance are uniting some of the biggest names in the business world. Together they are exchanging information around emerging cyber-attacks and potential threats in an attempt to raise the collective level of cybersecurity. 

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord is another excellent example of an initiative pioneered by Microsoft and other leading technology companies. The mission is to build a safer online world through the fostering of collaboration with global technology companies. By reshaping security practices and speeding up the adoption of the latest security tech, these alliances are taking collective action to improve cybersecurity.

A united world reshaping the future of cybersecurity and digital trust

Although mainstream media will quickly broadcast the differences between economic regions, we have much more in common than many would like us to believe. An online connection provides the global community with an opportunity to innovate and shape their own future. But cyberattacks have become one of the top five global risks.

Data breaches, phishing attacks, and identity theft are just a few of many obstacles hindering our path to progress. The World Economic Forum is tackling this by bringing together policymakers and operational leaders to help overcome such global cybersecurity challenges and improve digital trust.

A global collaboration effort to tirelessly defend innovation while also protecting institutions, businesses, and individuals is a mouth-watering prospect. Sadly, this is not something you are likely to read more about on your newsfeed. A sudden disaster is much more compelling and will generate many more hits than slow improvements in a positive news story.

Not all cybersecurity news is bad

If you dare to explore your combined cognitive biases with the smartphone alerts of all those breaking news stories, you might be fooled into thinking the world is about to end. Thankfully, there are more good people than evil out there, and the world is not quite as bad as our newsfeeds might suggest. 

Steven Pinker's TED Talk revealed that when looking at the numbers, the world is not actually getting worse. Sure, we will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is an argument that bad news is what pushes us to fix the problems that frustrate us all. Maybe we should try to promote the stories of companies who are getting it right and restore the balance in the universe. 

Rather than add to the doom and gloom, there is a thirst for constructive journalism that focuses on progress, possibility, and solutions. Sure, there are many bad examples of poor cybersecurity practices. But maybe there is also room for a new narrative that champions those that get it right too.

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