Balancing Risk & Innovation In Cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Celia Mantshiyane, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), MTN South Africa {Photo: Graham KImani]

Businesses need to embrace new technologies to remain competitive, but these innovations often introduce new cybersecurity risks.

The challenge lies in finding a balance between adopting beneficial technologies and implementing the necessary security measures to protect those technologies. Successful cybersecurity in this context means carefully assessing risks and continuously adapting security strategies to match a changing digital environment.

During the Africa CISO Summit, Celia Mantshiyane, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), MTN South Africa shared the following strategies organisations can use to balance risk and innovation in cybersecurity.

Security by design: Implement security by design from the beginning. It should be aligned with the culture of the organisation. Embed security into the innovation process. Design operations and security teams share equally the responsibility to create defensible and realible solutions.

Access security risk regularly:  Continuously access risks associated with new technologies and understand their impact on existing business systems. Through frequent evaluations, businesses can identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities, stay ahead of emerging threats, and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. Furthermore, regular risk assessments enable organizations to adapt their cybersecurity strategies in response to evolving technology trends and cyber threats, thereby enhancing their overall resilience and preparedness against cyberattacks.

Cyberawareness education: People in organisations can be either the strongest or weakest link depending on how they are empowered. Organisations should include different approaches of raising awareness to different stakeholders.

Address business outcomes: Achieve better influence by transforming security risks into business language using business metrics for senior decision makers and boards. Addressing business outcomes in a cybersecurity strategy is essential for fostering collaboration, driving informed decision-making, and ensuring that security investments are aligned with business objectives. By emphasizing the tangible benefits of cybersecurity measures, organizations can effectively mitigate risks, protect assets, and drive sustainable growth.

Leverage emerging security capabilities and managed services: Harness the power of emerging technologies like AI, IoT and blockchain to strengthen your organisation cybersecurity defences, improve threat detection and response capabilities, and adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape.

Be adaptive: Organisations should adapt their cybersecurity strategies as innovation evolves. By adopting an adaptive mindset, innovating iteratively, and continuously monitoring and adjusting security measures, organizations can effectively navigate the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, safeguarding their assets and operations in the face of evolving threats and technological advancements.

Collaboration: Foster collaboration between security teams and innovators. Encourage open dialogue with common goals.

Evaluate the risks: Organisations should ensure a balanced approach to cybersecurity that incorporates technology solutions alongside other essential components such as policies, procedures, and human factors.



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National Cyber Security