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Brand Reputation and Risk Amid Digital Transformation

Author: Tim Steele

With corporate data growing at 60% per year, proper data management and cyber security are more critical than ever – particularly from a brand reputation standpoint.

Organizations say they care about their reputations but are not taking the necessary precautions to protect them. While $600 billion was spent on marketing and brand efforts around the world in 2016, only about one-tenth of that amount was allocated to cyber security, according to the EY Global Information Security Survey 2018.

“Many cyber experts privately acknowledge that their companies will be breached at some point. Ability to respond is as important as the capability to defend: companies should have in place a proactive incident response and recovery plan—including a communications plan, incident response process, forensics capability, governance and technical recovery procedures—that can help minimize damage, enable legal diligence and accelerate the company back to the trust of its customers.”

                                    Source: CIO: Brand Reputation at Risk

TMT Challenges

The issue is particularly relevant for the industry encompassing technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications (TMT), where companies are on the forefront of the digital transformation, according to CIO. The industry is emphasizing the Internet of Things (IoT), making them vulnerable to cyber threats by exposing trade secrets and other content and operations. Here are some of the factors impacting TMT companies, according to EY’s report:

  • “Many TMT companies are leaders in digital transformation. While digitization may make them more agile and streamline operations, it also increases the number of global attack vectors for cyber attackers. It also exposes virtually every part of their content and operations—from digital rights to trade secrets to semiconductor design to intrusion.
  • “Traditional industries such as manufacturing and transportation can involve significant switching costs to customers. Not so for many companies in the TMT sector—in which competitors are just a click away for the dissatisfied customer.”
  • “Many TMT companies—particularly those in the technology sector—are held to be the guardians of digital and product security. This sets a higher standard for their security measures—and greater consequences should they fail.”
  • “TMT companies, like many others, are facing a talent shortage in digital transformation, and an especially acute shortage in cybersecurity skills. This leaves them highly exposed to their cyber adversaries.”

Source: EY Global Information Security Survey 2018

By the Numbers:

  • 43%: Share of TMT companies that rank securing the Internet of Things as their #1 issue.
  • 23%: Share of TMT executives who believe it is very likely they could detect a major attack.
  • 10.4%: 12-month growth rate of cyber security budgets projected by TMT companies.
  • 21%: Growth in cyber budget that would be needed to adequately protect companies in line with risk tolerance.

Source: CIO: Brand Reputation at Risk

Cyber vulnerabilities create reputational risk, and that’s a big deal for TMT companies, which account for half of the world’s 10 most admired organizations, according to Fortune Magazine. Their brand reputations are strong, so they have more to lose.

Protecting Brand Reputation

Fortunately, there are steps that companies in TMT, or any industry, can take to protect themselves, according to EY’s GISS 2018-19, such as placing a priority on protection level of brand-related assets and building an employee culture of cybersecurity.

Unstructured data has become one of the greatest risks in the corporate world. In fact, 80% of all data is determined to be unstructured, meaning it is sitting loosely in places like file shares, cloud repositories or on the physical endpoints themselves.

We can help. Heureka was developed to manage unstructured data that is often of little value – but contains risk – and to improve the economics of a resource-intensive process to manage it.

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