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The insideEdge

Up close with SAP’s Kevin McCollom

by Kevin McCollom | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 2

April 26, 2016

Innovative digital technologies present a world of opportunities to businesses, but they present just as much opportunity to cyber criminals. If an organization isn’t properly protected, dedicated hackers can easily find a way to infiltrate systems and steal the data that modern business is so dependent on. And the danger is more severe than many organizations realize; in 2014, 47% of Americans had some piece of their personal information stolen, and cyberattacks on large businesses increased by 40% in just one year. Discover just how serious this threat is, and  learn what you can do about it.  

The digital expansion of organizations and consumers is creating a hyperconnected business environment full of boundless opportunities, but it also presents some risk — notably, cyber risk. The threat landscape has broadened in recent years, presenting more potential entry points for cybercriminals. As computing, mobile technology, and connectivity capabilities and infrastructure continue to grow and change traditional approaches to business and communication, cybercriminals are leveraging these advances to attack, exploit, and disrupt operations.

Cybercriminals are leveraging advances in technology and communication to attack, exploit, and disrupt operations.

In fact, in 2014, 47% of American adults had some piece of their personal information exposed by hackers.1 And five out of six large enterprises were targeted by cybercriminals, representing an increase of 40% in just one year.2 The financial toll is real: Cybercrime costs the global economy over $400 billion annually and could cause the loss of as many as 200,000 jobs in the US alone.3 In the digital world, the question is not if or even when a business will be targeted by cybercrime — if the company is not properly prepared, the question is when a breach will in fact occur.

In their elemental form, cybercrime, hacktivism, state-sponsored cyber terrorism, and other cyber exploits are all forms of risk. As staggering as the real-life ramifications of these risks are, there are concrete, proven steps businesses can and must take to address them. Unfortunately, these risks are often treated as IT’s problem. With the hyperconnected digital world in which modern business operates, however, this categorization is simply not true.

Cyber risk is a strategic business risk to brand value. It is also a risk that can be assessed, quantified, planned for, governed, and controlled. By securing business data, business identities, and business interactions, organizations can confront and overcome cyber risk, which is a vital component of the broader, overarching enterprise risk management practices that a digital enterprise must conduct.

In the articles that follow, some of SAP’s top thought leaders on security, enterprise risk, and SAP’s own governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) and security solutions help you seize the opportunity in front of you in the digital economy while remaining fully risk-aware.

1 CNNMoney, “Half of Americans Attacked This Year” (May 2014; [back]
2 Symantec, “2015 Internet Security Threat Report” (2015; [back]
3 McAfee, “Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime” (May 2014; [back]

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Kevin McCollom
Kevin McCollom

Global Vice President
LoB Finance and GRC Global Center of Excellence

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