Your company might be more vulnerable than you think.
Many firms don’t fully understand their own cybersecurity vulnerabilities. That’s a problem. Cindy Taylor, who earned a degree in industrial management from Harbert College in 1981, helps provide solutions.
“Some firms think that they don’t have information anybody would be interested in having,” says Taylor, Partner and CIO/Advisor for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses at CyberRisk Solutions, a leading cyber-protection consulting firm headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. “But it’s not just information they have at risk. Bad guys are looking for other things, like servers with space on them where they can gain access and utilize storage for purposes that might be criminal. Or you might have a network that acts like a set of railroad tracks to transport stolen data from Point A to Point B, and you’re some sort of pass-through.”
Taylor, a member of the Harbert College of Business advisory board since 2015, says data analytics has become a critical component to detect cyber activities, monitor networks and applications, and manage risk.
Taylor notes that client employees log on to a variety of applications and networks, providing sensitive credentials. In the wrong hands, that information can open doors to vulnerabilities.
“All of this data is coming in from different sources and we use analytics tools to look for and detect anomalies,” she adds. “Then we can alert the appropriate experts in case something bad is looming out there.”
Taylor, Harbert College Women in Business Advisory Council Chair, believes the data industry helps level the workforce playing field between men and women. “I’ve managed global teams and traveled extensively internationally,” she says. “I noticed that there were so many women working in data centers and witnessed how that allowed them to perform on a level that made them more equal in their business environment than in their cultural environment. That’s when I really became passionate about how we elevate women in the business environment and the important role that technology can play as an enabler and confidence-builder.”
Whereas data analytics is changing the way most organizations operate—including the means cybersecurity companies use to detect threats and defend clients—Taylor notes that the most important aspect to an organization is not hard-wired.
“I heard something recently that I thought was profound,” she says. “Yesterday, humans were employed to amplify the performance of machines. It was the Industrial Revolution. Today, machines are employed to amplify the performance of humans. There’s a lot of truth to that. In this world of technology, one of the most important things a leader can do is not forget about the human element of the workforce they manage.”