A timely new resource for business executives, technology professionals, and lawyers alike is the newly-published Navigating the Digital Age: The Definitive Cybersecurity Guide for Directors and Officers from the New York Stock Exchange and Palo Alto Networks. At 355 pages, the guide provides information from dozens of contributors from around the country and from various backgrounds. The guide explores 46 separate topics, focusing on such issues as prevention, developing action plans, legal and regulatory challenges, the internet of things, and building readiness in a company’s workforce.
While the entire text is too lengthy and dynamic to go into in any detail here, one important theme bears mentioning: from a business perspective, the issue of data security boils down to a risk management issue. Smart businesses must anticipate threats, act to prevent those threats that reasonably can be prevented, mitigate against threats that might not be preventable, insure against those risks, stay abreast of and comply with legal requirements, train their employees appropriately, and manage a crisis in a way that ensures business continuity. Broken up into pieces like this, the threats emanating from a business’s need for, reliance on, and use of data can be manageable. But like any business risk – and especially one, such as data management and security, that is so central to how today’s businesses operate – it must not be siloed into a specific department (such as the IT department). Rather, it must be considered as a strategic, company-wide issue. Navigating the Digital Age is an excellent guide and primer for business executives to begin thinking about these issues.