Information security, a competitive advantage or a requirement to stay in business?

March 27, 2017

Jean-François Leduc, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for GardaWorld, was a guest speaker at a conference on Information Security, on March 22 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Montreal.

The conference, organized by the local business newspaper “Le Journal des Affaires” was designed to educate business leaders about threats and important measures to protect against loss of information, reputation or income due to an attack on IT systems.  Mr. Leduc reiterated that GardaWorld is a leader in this field and can help companies to establish adequate protection or provide investigative expertise if required.

Cyber Threats are so widespread that no organization is safe in today’s world.  Adequately protecting its business against cyber threats is not a competitive advantage, but a standard that companies must meet and exceed depending on the nature of their activities to survive.>

In the 2000s, companies could gain a competitive advantage from the use of information technology in a better way than their competitor could.  However today, technologies are commoditizing rapidly and become accessible to all companies.  Companies that do not follow disappear. The Harvard Business Review article in 2003, “It Does not matter” revealed that phenomenon.

The conference aimed to draw a parallel with this article and the situation that companies are facing in 2017 about information security.   This raise the question : “being better than its competitor in information security is a competitive advantage? ”  The answer: “unfortunately only for a very short time!”  The threats target all businesses. Those who ignore them will disappear.  A business can be paralyzed quickly if its computer systems are attacked.  It’s not just a computer problem!   It may prevent the company from providing its services!

Fortunately, we take our responsibility and we are constantly and continuously improving our safeguards to assure our customers that we can always offer quality service.  Educating employees to recognize threats is vital as computer attacks are increasingly sophisticated and exploit social networks and emails to give a false impression of reality.  Fraudulent emails often give the impression that leaders are aware; they will use good titles, in the right context.  It is always best to confirm with the person asking for money or confidential information the validity of the request.

In conclusion, Jean-François Leduc gave the 250 guests some tips to increase security within their enterprise. “Remember that you need to be the instigator of an action using the internet to deal with governments, banks and large companies.  Do not click on links, go directly to the site you normally use.”