Digital security needs to be treated as a strategic imperative

As insurers become increasingly dependent on the Internet for innovation and business growth, businesses need to ensure that the security risks of the digital economy don’t outweigh its opportunities. In the previous posts in this series, we established that CEOs play a vital role in restoring digital trust.

In the previous post, I discussed how the first step lies in CEOs working in collaboration with their peers, governments and external stakeholders to define good governance for the digital economy. However, as Accenture’s report Reinventing the Internet to Secure the Digital Economy suggests, security must be addressed at an infrastructural level. Three out of four of the insurance CEOs we spoke to said that protecting themselves against security weaknesses in third parties is increasingly difficult given the complexity of today’s Internet ecosystems.

CEOs must prioritise digital security in their infrastructure

In order for insurers to protect their businesses against security weaknesses in third parties, they must address their own infrastructure first. Security must be treated as a foundational requirement in the company’s value chain and should be present at every touch point, from internal operations to interactions with third parties such as customers and partners. If CEOs can actively prioritise the idea of a trustworthy digital economy in their business architecture, long-term strategy, business model, value chain and leadership structure, they can effectively address vulnerabilities in their ecosystem.

When CEOs take the lead on digital security, security is elevated to the postion of a strategic tool, as opposed to an “add-on” feature for products and services. Insurance leaders should therefore articulate a vision of “security-by-design” from the earliest stages of development.

In conclusion, insurers can connect and protect with a model run on digital trust. A secure infrastructure will not only facilitate secure business growth, but fortify interactions with third parties. In my final post in this series, I will discuss the technical deficiencies of digital infrastructures and how to address them.

For more information on the interaction between business infrastructure and digital security, read the report here. If you would like to discuss how to elevate security as a strategic tool in your business, contact me.

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