Information security can help meet business objectives

Companies today are under ever-increasing pressure to meet regulatory requirements, maintain strong operational performance and increase shareholder value. In this highly competitive environment, companies can no longer afford ad-hoc security measures. Protecting intellectual property, sensitive customer information and other business critical information requires a comprehensive security strategy that closely aligns with business objectives.

The landscape for Information security is gradually undergoing changes in Nigeria; the amount of information which is transmitted and stored has grown in immense proportion. Mobile devices, social networking and easy access to the Internet have opened up communication and information sharing channels. Information is a valuable asset to any organization, however a lot of organisations do not realise its importance until it is lost, stolen or destroyed. Cybercrime becomes more sophisticated daily, internal fraud is on the increase and the malware creators are having a field day as they watch information security professionals and solution providers try and play catch up.

On Wednesday 8 December 2010, PwC held an Information Security Breakfast seminar titled ‘Information Security: what does it mean to you?’ The event was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites and was an opportunity for information security professionals, organisations, users, regulators and suppliers of information services to listen to a panel of seasoned professionals discuss and proffer ways to improve information security in the country.

According to PwC Managing Partner, Ken Igbokwe, our ultimate objective is to make Nigeria more secure and we know this can only be achieved by creating arenas where all stakeholders can collaborate, share experience and knowledge.

The keynote address ‘The Danger Within’ was delivered by Edward Gibson, a Director in the Forensic Technology Solutions business unit of the US firm. Gibson is a former Chief Cybersecurity officer for Microsoft UK and also a former FBI Special Agent. Adekunle Salau, a Partner in PwC Nigeria delivered an address entitled ‘You Decide’. This presentation was based on the results of an opinion poll which was conducted during the event. Taiwo Longe, a Principal Consultant in PwC Nigeria delivered a presentation on ‘Securing E-payment systems’ while Wunmi Adetokunbo- Ajayi, a Director in PwC Nigeria, addressed the audience on the ‘National State of Information Security Survey’.

This survey shows that for the second year in a row, increasing the focus on data protection is the single most common strategy worldwide while there has been a significant shift in the ongoing evolution of the CISO’s reporting channel away from the CIO in favor of the company’s senior business decision-makers. Ken Igbokwe, stated ‘there is a great need for awareness and knowledge sharing on how to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. Furthermore, the myth that ‘technology is the answer’ needs to be dispelled; people and processes are just as important’.