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#Belfast2016: Many Orgs Still View Cyber-attacks as 'Taboos'

“Business is not set up to talk about cybercrime in anything like the way it should be.”

These were the words of Keynote speaker Guy Wakeley, CEO of Equiniti, at the CSIT World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit 2016 in Belfast.

In his presentation, Wakeley argued that despite the various challenges that businesses now face to prevent cybercrime, attacks are still considered a ‘taboo’ subject within organizations.

He explained that companies are having to deal with fast, widespread changes across the macro environment – chiefly in computing power. Wakeley said this significant growth in computing power has created many security difficulties. 

“Our banking systems [for example] are interconnected in a way that’s frightening, we have markets that settle in milliseconds, we have cash moving around the world in the twinkling of an eye. Our markets are immediate and that immediacy drives trading algorithms and drives growth.”

“But it also drives problems, and when things go wrong, they go wrong very quickly.”

“We are now at an age where your whole organization can be eradicated and eliminated by the actions of one individual,” he added.

Despite this, many companies still refuse to openly discuss the issue of cyber-attacks, missing the opportunity to use collaboration to help grow and develop stronger, wiser security.

“Businesses are incredibly reluctant to talk about cyber-attacks. My business has been attacked; my business gets attacked most days, if not every day. We haven’t lost any data, yet; we haven’t lost any money, yet – but we might do, and when I look at notable cyber-attacks in the public domain, the depth and the severity of those attacks and most importantly the way businesses have tried and failed to deal with the reputational issues of those attacks is a massive issue.”

“We need to collaborate more; we need to be open about what’s happening, we need to share our experiences, we need to leverage the resources of academia and the broader computer science environment to make sure these cyber-attacks don’t hit us.”

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