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What has Cybersecurity got to do with Innovation?

What has Cybersecurity got to do with Innovation?

With a global reputation for expertise in the area of cybersecurity, Deloitte is no stranger to helping our clients understand and improve their privacy practices. 

In a recent episode of our innovation podcast, Candid Conversations, we sat down with Deloitte Asia-Pacific Cyber Lead, James Nunn-Price, to understand how innovation and cybersecurity intersect to build a digitally transformative world.

Traditional definitions of cybersecurity conjure up ideas of technology and IT, particularly centered around the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data. However, as the pace of digital transformation accelerates, cyber risks will continue to manifest through business operations, product launches and other areas of enterprise. As a result, the definition of cybersecurity in the modern world is increasingly diverse and responsive to new and emerging threats.

These threats can manifest from rapid technological innovation if a holistic view of cyber risk is not included in the innovation process. As senior executives and innovators seek to rapidly mobilise new technologies within the transformation process, they are challenged to ask: how might they do this in a digital world, whilst mitigating risk?

“Cyber is almost like the basic hygiene in a digital world, particularly with all the innovation and transformation that is happening around us.”- James Nunn-Price

The acceleration of digital transformation and adoption of new products and supply chains play a large part in innovation. In times of economic strain, especially those related to COVID-19, organisations can feel pressured to deliver and implement new channels - whether they be apps, business models or other digital solutions.

With these trends in innovation, we see an increase in the level of cyber risk, due to the use of newer, less tested, processes and technologies. When quick deployment is prioritised, the cyber journey is accelerated. In turn, organisations can – at times – overlook the importance of the ‘iteration’ process in their transformation journey, including the iteration of cybersecurity measures.

Cybersecurity measures are designed to enhance, not halt, the progress of innovation. New technologies and innovations which understand the importance of cybersecurity are better equipped for long-term success and customer trust; indeed, considering cyber risks from the beginning will often lead to a more successful outcome and lower cost compared with any post implementation fix or bolt-on. 

“We’re all in this together. Digital is impacting everyone and cyber is naturally embedded in that everywhere as we go forward.”- James Nunn-Price

Better cybersecurity awareness on an individual level will allow corporations to enable and accelerate their innovation journeys in a sustainable and safe way.  At a personal level individuals can take basic steps such as:

  1. Back-up your data. Use backups between devices or with an online backup service – this should be separate from common file and photo sync services like iCloud and Onedrive which are not full backups.
  2. Enable two-factor authentication using an SMS or authenticator app - most popular applications have it; e.g. Google apps and social media platforms.
  3. Think twice before opening suspicious emails, delete them  – if unsure only preview it on a basic device like mobile phone because malware is often designed to run on common Windows and MacOS desktops. Never enter your password or personal details if asked.
  4. On all devices, beware of seemingly enticing links and ‘clickbait’ – viruses are often spread through pop up advertisements. Be curious about why websites and social contacts are asking for different information – do they really need it?

Cybersecurity and innovation, hand in hand, can propel us forward to an exciting and digitally enabled world. By being cyber savvy, you can be confident in taking full advantage of every technological opportunity. With proper individual education and awareness, in conjunction with the mitigation of security risk at a company level, we can favourably position ourselves for sustainable future transformation through innovation.

If you want to understand more on cyber there are many online resources. For example: