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Navigating Your Cybersecurity Complexity

Later this month, I'll be delivering a keynote addressed to 150 Chief Operating Officers. The event brief is to explain cybersecurity in non-technical terms and keep it simple. 

The COO who suggested I do the session said their industry peer group were becoming a little lost in the technical jargon.

"Navigating your cybersecurity complexity," here are some of the key terms we'll look at:

Cybersecurity Triangle  

Some of the core principles of cybersecurity are confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Confidentiality ensures that sensitive data remains inaccessible to unauthorised users, safeguarding customer privacy and preserving business operations' integrity. Integrity guarantees the accuracy and trustworthiness of data. Availability ensures uninterrupted access to systems and data, maintaining business continuity.

Critical Systems 

To effectively protect business assets, executives must initially assess their organisation's risk posture, identifying mission-critical and safety-critical assets. These assessments provide insight into where security measures should be prioritised to mitigate potential threats.

Resilience and Recovery

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework offers a structured approach to cybersecurity, with the first four steps focusing on “Resilience” and the fifth on “Recovery.” This framework guides organisations through identifying, protecting, detecting, responding to, and recovering from cyber threats.

Cybersecurity Maturity

Assessing cybersecurity maturity is crucial for gauging an organisation's readiness to address evolving threats. Maturity stages range from “Partial” (Stage 1) to “Adaptive” (Stage 4), with each stage indicating an increased level of cybersecurity capability and effectiveness.


The operations cycle of cybersecurity involves continuous updates, scans, vulnerability identification, patching, and status reporting. This proactive approach ensures that security measures remain robust and up-to-date, reducing the risk of potential breaches.

Vision and Plan 

Beyond these technical aspects, executives must establish a cyber vision that aligns with the company's overall vision and strategic goals. This includes defining key objectives for the current year and developing specific action plans to achieve them. These actions are more than patching!

By understanding the goals of information security, assessing business assets, adopting frameworks like NIST, evaluating maturity stages, and implementing a proactive operations cycle, non-technical executives can protect their organisation's assets and uphold its reputation.

Watch the video above to see the simple images that are greatly assisting many boards and executive groups on the topic of cybersecurity.

Read more about my speaking services here, that includes cybersecurity.


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