There’s no way around the fact that the role of the chief information officer has its stressful moments. Between the threat of data breaches and outages, the CIO role could seem like a firefighter-in-chief position. Yet CIOs have come a long way from exclusively dealing with operations maintenance. CIOs today can add outpacing the competition, supporting new product launches, and transitioning business models to their list of responsibilities. As a result, technology leaders have attained unprecedented visibility in the boardroom and with the CEO.
This week, IT executives discussed existing and brand new threats, from rogue insiders in the digital age to an attack on the red-hot Pokemon Go app. Hackers are quick to jump on the latest technology opportunities, even a fast-growing mobile game app. Several CIOs also shared how they paved their own path from the data center to the board room. Maintaining relevance for CIOs today requires a new skill set and outlook on how to create value for the business using technology, putting the CIO at the center of the business.
Time and time again cyber attacks have reminded us this year of the vital role digital connections serve in our economy. The theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s Federal Bank exploited a compromise of the SWIFT messaging system, used by central banks to authorize transactions. SWIFT pointed fingers at the Bangladesh bank’s insufficient security capabilities but acknowledged a widespread problem with the announcement of a program to share best practices with customers. Bangladesh’s bank lacked crucial controls including multi-factor authentication, and apparently it is not alone in the international community. The new resources dedicated to improving client security are an encouraging step made by SWIFT, but unfortunately the step is $80 million too late for Bangladesh’s bank.
— Adam L Stanley (@ALSWharton) July 11, 2016
The movie Glengarry Glenn Ross depicts the classic example of insider threat: a salesperson running off with a stockpile of leads. Today, an employee can replicate the same act with a few clicks in Salesforce. Companies need completely different measures for preventing insider threats in the digital age. The list of technologies used to prevent these threats includes activity monitoring, access control, whitelisting, and control over removable media (e.g. USB drives).
— Adegbola Odutola (@odutola) July 11, 2016
Hackers stay attuned to pop culture in order to capitalize on news, events, and trends. Pokemon Go has captivated mobile gamers in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. A recent attack targeted those attempting to illegally download the game outside of these countries, where Nintendo has not yet released the game. The corrupted game turns infected devices over to command and control sites. Employees frequently use corporate-supplied devices for personal use, and vice versa. It’s worth reminding workers to stick with trusted sites for downloading apps to limit exposure to malware.
Backdoored Pokemon GO App Infects Android Devices: DroidJack RAT Distributed via Infected Pokémon GO APK
— Sandy Fliderman (@fliderman) July 11, 2016
Given the stress of defending against diverse and ingenious adversaries, it’s not obvious why some say now is the best time ever to be a CIO. No one ever said the job was easy, but prominent CIOs prove IT executives can rise higher than ever before. Due to technology’s increasing prominence in product and distribution strategies, CIOs who champion digital strategy receive significant visibility in the C-suite, with 53 percent of CIOs reporting directly to the CEO.
— Isaac Sacolick (@nyike) July 11, 2016
Speaking of successful CIOs, James Swanson of Monsanto shares seven tips for CIOs on aligning IT with the company’s bottom line. His insights promote transparency, communication, and being proactive. Business leaders will not necessarily come to IT, so the onus can more often fall on the CIO to reach out and find opportunities for technology to enable business.
— Russ Finney (@rfinney) July 11, 2016