Cyber guru says CIOs need 'attitudinal shifts' towards risk

CIOs need to focus on “internal collaboration” and reform cyber risk as a strategic business risk rather than an IT or information security one, says cyber specialist Sarah Stephens.

Stephens is head of cyber, content and new technology risks at insurance broker JLT, based in London.

“The role of the CIO - whether or not the security part of the organisation reports into the CIO or is working together and they report into operations - is as an integrator of disparate parts of the business,” Stephens told CIO Australia, ahead of a national tour in the country. Stephens studies global cyber security practices, and is visiting Australia as part of a JLT cyber series awareness program, hatched in July 2017.

“With respect to cyber security, we’ve seen a huge shift in attitude over the last five to ten years in terms of thinking through the ability to prevent every attack, and prevent every bit of data exfiltration and much more focused on how can we work together to get to a place of better resilience for the organisation. So reforming cyber risk as a strategic business risk versus just an information technology or an information security risk.”

Stephens said this policy of reform and attitudinal shifts go hand-in-hand with risk becoming a much higher profile within many organisations where CIOs can re-conceptualise the risk in terms of the impact to the business.

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