Cyber security should be the CTO’s responsibility

Pressure is mounting on chief technology officer’s (CTOs) to step up to the plate and protect British businesses from damaging cyber attacks.

These are the words of the CTO of Advanced, the UK’s third largest software and services company, and comes at a time when the threat of cyber attack is the biggest fear among businesses around the world, according to a new study of companies in 79 countries.

The role of the CTO is changing and the cyber security threat now falls on their shoulders.

The CTO of Advanced has published a recent white paper on the need for CTOs to act as the new lynchpin for connecting the entire organisation and ensuring cyber security becomes a board level priority.

>See also: Get ready for the cyber war in 2017: know your enemy

Jon Wrennall, in the report, commented that “Undoubtedly the role of CTO is on the ascent. Every position on the board can, and should, be a driving force for the business. However, given the impact that digital disruption is having on every single industry, the connected CTO is, I believe, best placed in our digital world to truly drive the associated benefits”.

“However, it therefore also falls to the CTO to both manage and overcome the connected threats as well. Indeed, CTOs are fundamentally not doing their job if they don’t achieve this.”

The stark truth is that not enough is currently being done. The National Trading Standards has reported that British businesses have seen a 22% increase in cyber incidents over the past year, with total reported losses of more than £1 billion.

Advanced’s recent Trends Report revealed that one in four businesses (26%) are not prepared for the threat of a cyber attack and, worryingly, 46 percent admit that data security is not even a deciding factor when adopting digital technology.

>See also: Government CTO Andy Beale to open Tech Leaders Summit 2016

The white paper outlined that, to fully embrace disruptive technologies, the ‘connected’ CTO must not only ensure they are aligned across the organisation to accelerate success and prosperity for business, but also ensure the safeguards are in place to ensure organisations stay secure.

The good news is that CTOs are heading in the right direction. Rather than solely being involved with IT issues, the CTO has become a vital member of the board, fully-integrated across the whole organisation — and the culture within it — to keep the business ahead of the latest cyber security and tech trends. It’s now about joining up the dots.

Wrennall concluded that “a connected CTO is the digital pioneer, the change agent driving change in every dimension of the business. Only by connecting existing silos and ensuring cyber security is a board level priority can British businesses become a global beacon for digital and technological skills”.

“It’s therefore time for CTOs to become the catalyst that ensures their organisation stays relevant, valued, strategic and, perhaps above all in today’s society, secure.”

Avatar photo

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...