Security, the Cloud, and the C-suite

By Myles Hosford, Head of Security Architecture, ASEAN, AWS

The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced most of the world to move online. In Malaysia, we are already getting used to this new normal having been in self quarantine for a month and counting With the increase of online users, cybersecurity cases in Malaysia have spiked by a whopping 82.5 percent with 828 cases during the MCO so far compared to the same time last year.

From director to Chief information Security Officer (CISO), business leaders understand how cloud security services and strategies keep data safe and protect organisations.

According to the IDC, by 2021, Malaysian enterprise spending on cloud services and cloud-enabling hardware, software and services will reach $621 million.

While business leaders are now invested, there is always room for organisations to do more when it comes to security, especially now as we become more reliant on online services.

It’s not just a CISO decision

CISOs control the technical aspects of their security programmes. However, responsibility for broader security initiatives span the whole business.

Myles Hosford, Head of Security Architecture, ASEAN, AWS

Top C-suite decision-makers such as chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs), need to be involved in these strategies from the beginning. Have processes in place to inform them quickly if a breach occurs, and to take an active role in managing the recovery process, and minimising the impact.

Every boardroom executive must understand the importance of complying with security and data protection regulations. When choosing a cloud provider, they must take joint responsibility for discerning which partners they can trust to support their compliance efforts.

Businesses should be held responsible for keeping data secure so a unanimous C-suite decision on a cloud provider is therefore key to pre-empt problems and to lead the business forward with a clear cloud security and compliance strategy.

Prioritising resources

Today’s fast-evolving security landscape encourages organisations to invest heavily in cloud security defences. It also makes individuals, at all levels, increase and develop their knowledge on how to protect data in the cloud.

Organisations with an ear to the ground will aim to protect every asset, often focusing on the most prevalent threat at any given time. This is where the C-suite steps in by having visibility over the entirety of the organisation and its future direction, business leaders ensure that the right resources are in the right places to keep data safe.

From prioritising a team’s focus, to understanding the complexity of data within the network, and sharing valuable information on industry-standards for safeguarding information in the cloud or data centers, it is this collaboration across the security teams and the C-suite that will help protect against threats.

Again, this is where cloud providers can support by providing services, processes, and advanced technology, such as encryption, to protect all data held in the cloud.

Educate the board and business

At Amazon Web Services (AWS), equipping customers with knowledge is a key part of optimising their security defences. We help them to understand cloud security services and technology so they can build solutions that protect the organization whilst supporting innovation and growth.

By educating the whole workforce on the benefits of cloud and cybersecurity tools, every employee gains ownership over cybersecurity processes.

They, therefore, know how to confidently execute strategies. We believe that, in a digitally connected society, to continue to grow and remain competitive, businesses need to invest more in cloud-based security skills and innovation.

Security starts at the top

Security success lies in having dynamic functional leadership that unites the business and leads from the front. Therefore, it is promising that cloud security has become a focus for the entire board.

After all, it is about understanding the entirety of the business. Now more than ever, businesses need to prioritise resources and invest in the right technology that will allow a company to drive forward a digital agenda that will keep data safe.

By working together and having a clear vision, underpinned by a flexible and agile cloud such as AWS, any business can maintain competitive advantage and differentiation. This begins and ends in the boardroom.



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