Jeff Kagan: Why it's Essential to Prepare for Cybersecurity Threats

Jeff Kagan |

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With all the recent break-ins at businesses and government agencies, cybersecurity should be on everyone’s radar. E-commerce is an opportunity that is too great to ignore, but there is also a huge security threat on the other side of that same coin. AT&T ($T) just released a new report called, “What Every CEO Needs to Know About Cybersecurity”. Read it. You can thank me later.

This report is a great first step, and will help you better understand the challenging issues that change on a continual basis. It was distributed during the AT&T Analyst Summit a few weeks ago. They gave us a copy and I read it on the way home.

It’s powerful. I would recommend every executive get and read this material. Whether you are knee deep into the cybersecurity battle, or a senior level executive who just wants to better understand the issues, this is a must read report.

The Threat Continues

I would bet executives at Target Corporation ($TGT), Home Depot ($HD), the US Government and countless other companies and agencies wished they had this report before they got hit. News reports this morning say that China is still at it as well, even after the recent agreement between President Obama and the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

E-commerce is a great new opportunity. However, it is also ripe for the threat of cybersecurity nightmares. It is ready to attack both your company and your customers. Getting smart on cybersecurity is one of the most important steps you can take going forward.

You Must Understand Cybersecurity

We hear about security issues and data theft on a regular basis. Cybersecurity is in the news on a regular basis. Large and important brand name companies and government agencies are being hit on a regular basis. The list continues to grow.

When the first corporate and government break-ins were announced, they were stunning. Now, they are starting to happen so frequently that it’s becoming a regular course of business. However, those in charge of protecting corporate, business and personal information are very concerned.

So, how do companies protect their most valued brand and customer relationships? How do they protect their value on Wall Street?

Not Too Late

It’s not too late. In fact, we are still just in the first inning of this new ball game. Hopefully your company or government agency is already working hard at managing this new threat. If not, today is the next best time to jump in. And when I say today, I mean today...not tomorrow.

The need for strong cyber security is only growing over time for large companies, small companies, governments and individuals. If that’s the case, how do we protect our companies, our brands, our customers and our relationships with our customers? These are just some of the important challenges companies face today.

The threat many executives fear is that if they screw this up and the customer gets hurt, will they survive? Think about it...it’s a very important question.

Think of today’s E-commerce marketplace like a brand new playing field full of opportunities and threats. Threats can be successfully managed, but it takes lots of man-hours and money to do so. The threat comes from computers, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and whatever is coming next.

Take Cybersecurity Threats Seriously

Remember, E-commerce and cybersecurity are two new and very important areas your company must get right. Either that, or you will miss opportunities and be hit by a large and embarrassing incident, the likes of which countless large companies and government agencies are dealing with today.

To remain competitive, you must go down this path full of opportunity and challenge. It’s up to you to manage it all. While it will be well worth your while, it’s only going to get worse, so make sure you are prepared.

Equities.com columnist Jeff Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst and consultant. He shares thoughts on the changing industry, which he's been following for 25 years. He follows what's hot, what's not, why and what's coming next. Email him at jeff@jeffKAGAN.com.  

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
TGT Target Corporation 77.94 0.12 0.15 7,523,696
HD Home Depot Inc. (The) 129.87 0.40 0.31 3,738,338
T AT&T Inc. 38.61 -0.27 -0.69 16,102,161

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