IBM Chief Calls Cybercrime the Most Important Worldwide Business Concern

Posted on Dec 03, 2015

While there's no denying the importance of cybersecurity in the business world, certain words and actions can strongly reinforce the need for organizations of all types to take their digital assets seriously. One such statement was recently made by Ginni Rometty, CEO, chairman and president of IBM. A speech at IBM's yearly security summit, held this year in New York City, included a statement by Rometty highlighting the transformative nature of data and digital networks as well as the potential for cybercrime related to it, according to Forbes.

"We believe that data is the phenomenon of our time," Rometty said, according to Forbes. "It is the world's new natural resource. It is the new basis of competitive advantage, and it is transforming every profession and industry. If all of this is true - even inevitable - then cyber crime, by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world."

A connected view of business data and networks
The statement from Rometty and the more general intent of her speech at the cybersecurity summit are important reminders of the need for organizations to take a proactive stance on cybersecurity. In the modern world, businesses and organizations all use digital networks in some fashion. Even relatively low-tech businesses rely on sensitive connections to process payments and manage finances, and more advanced operations may be mostly or completely reliant on networks to create, store and share digital data. Some of that data could be extremely harmful should it fall into the hands of hackers and other cybercriminals, but not all organizations take the appropriate measures to keep their interests and assets safe.

"The annual cost of cybercrime for an average U.S. business is $15.4 million."

The costs of unprotected digital assets
CNN highlighted a growing financial issue related to cybercrime. The global average per-business cost for hacks, breaches and related activities
is $7.7 million annually. A report from Hewlett Packard and the Ponemon Institute of Cyber Crime found the cost for U.S. businesses is significantly higher - about $15.4 million for an average organization, according to CNN. CNN said the report also noted growing costs for businesses in the realm of cybersecurity. At the same time, criminals simultaneously benefit from lowered barriers to entry and a reduction in the time and other resources needed to successfully breach networks and access sensitive data.

Taking steps to protect sensitive data
When it comes to cybersecurity, the best approach is a proactive one. A reactive strategy can only help repair the impact of damage after the fact and leaves organizations especially vulnerable to subsequent attacks. Security must be a priority and considered early and often. With the right solutions in place, companies can prevent the initial breaches that prove so costly and lead to potential secondary losses such as harm to an organization's reputation and a loss of future opportunities.

NC4 Mission Center offers businesses a secure platform that balances informational exchange and security, fostering communication and collaboration while making sure sensitive information is shared only on a need-to-know basis.

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