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Managing risk with a business focus

Sri Narayanan | April 13, 2017
Security, as we know it today, isn’t really working. CIOs share their thoughts on security risk management.

Security, as we know it today, isn't really working. The sophistication of attacks, the complexity of security breaches, the convergence of multiple threats on multiple fronts — all whilst under the scrutiny of the board of directors, the CEO — and regulators are now vexing problems for any business.

Addressing these challenges, CIO Asia in partnership with RSA hosted an exclusive roundtable discussion on 9 March 2017 at CUT By Wolfgang Puck, Marina Bay Sands. Sri Narayanan, Executive Editor CIO Asia moderated the session, and noted that much of the discussion around enterprise security today was focused on risk management. "What we're hearing from organisations is that they have many endpoint solutions but no one is entirely sure what's going on. There's a lot of information collected but very little analysis to discern the source of attacks or anticipate the next likely attack vector. It's very much a reactive posture."

In his opening remarks, Budiman Tsjin, Senior Manager Sales Engineering, ASEAN & Greater China, described the current approach of security inclusion and exclusion as critical to evaluating how security risk can be managed for organisations. "Where you start with excluding and including access to your corporate assets will determine your risk profile so you can align it with your business goals. This way, the security risks are governed by the business strategy."

He added that RSA, with its investment in research and development, had developed a platform to help businesses prioritise threats by integrating business context and threat intelligence feeds for greater protection. By applying a specific weightage to business priorities, the platform can determine the threat priority and take action. For example, an attack on the online storefront would be flagged as a higher priority over a browser hijack on an end-user's laptop.

The conversation continued through a lively question-and-answer exchange with CIOs across the public sector, healthcare, logistics, banking and FSI who shared their thoughts and experiences in security risk management and the challenges they faced.


Differing Risk Profiles Hamper Integration

Several participants noted that integrating with customer systems in providing services had become a problem because of differing risk priorities. For example, the Singapore government's recent plans to "airgap" its critical networks meant suppliers had no choice but to ring-fence their networks away from government servers to prevent data corruption.

Eric Sim, VP of Strategy & Technology at ST Logistics described the difficulties around integrating their networks in such a situation as 'challenging'. It was highly inefficient because they had to operate with siloed data sets that could not communicate with each other. ST Logistics manages the supply chain function for public sector agencies which are understandably highly risk-averse and security phobic. "Because our differing risk profiles and lack of integration, we have not deployed any security analytics since there's limited access to the network. We've had some minor security incidents but we don't have the capability to profile the attack or attackers at the moment."  


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