Cybersecurity is Not Just an Information Technology Issue

Authors of new guidebook for company executives say that cybersecurity is a business imperative
August 4, 2014

Cybersecurity, as defined by author Gregory J. Touhill, the current Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity Operations and Programs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “is the deliberate synergy of technologies, processes, and practices to protect information — and the networks, computer systems, and programs used to collect, process, store, and transport that information — from attack, damage, and unauthorized access.” Effective cybersecurity and information technology (IT) go hand-in-hand, yet corporate executives have tended to view this application of IT to company risk as the province of backroom computer wizards and technical geeks.

In this new book, “Cybersecurity for Executives: A Practical Guide,” published by AIChE (the American Institute of Chemical Engineers) in partnership with John Wiley & Sons, Gregory Touhill and co-author C. Joseph Touhill (an environmental engineer and corporate CEO) make the case for cybersecurity as a principal business concern. Cybersecurity directly impact a company’s bottom line, the authors contend, because it is about risk management and protection of assets, and because practically every business relies on information to maintain a competitive advantage. These factors mean that managers at all levels need to understand how investing in cybersecurity produces value for their companies.

The book explains in plain language how to recognize and act upon cybersecurity threats to protect oneself and one’s business, and gives executives crucial information about cybersecurity best practices and how to integrate those techniques into their companies.

The goal of the book, the authors say, is to make business leaders “Cyber-aware,” and thus prepared to make better business decisions and effectively manage the security risks inherent in the Cyber Age.

Excerpts and more information about the book are available at the publisher’s website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118888146.html.

AIChE is a professional society of nearly 45,000 chemical engineers in 100 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society.

Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as energy, sustainability, biological and environmental engineering, nanotechnology, and chemical plant safety and security. www.aiche.org.