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Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you.
Listen in such a way that others like to speak to you.

--Unknown Author

Language: It is the basis for how we communicate, how we coordinate, and how we find common ground. It is also the basis for conflict and confusion. And that is why a common understanding of terminology matters. Tonie Flores and the dozens of subject matter experts who contributed to this book know the realities of the language of cybersecurity. In this book, the contributors define 52 terms that every business professional should not only know but also be able to communicate clearly to the organizations they support.

One definition that is not contained in the defined terms, but which all professionals need to live up to, is accountability.

We need to realize: 1) who we are accountable to, and 2) what we are accountable for.

Digital transformations are embedding technology into the fabric of our lives. Typically, these technologies are meant to help or assist us, but one key element is often overlooked: exploits that take advantage of technological vulnerabilities will increasingly affect the well-being of almost everyone in our society.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to properly shape the way we design, develop, and implement digital transformations to best manage and mitigate information security, privacy, and other risks, while still challenging ourselves to create technology that helps people. This is what we need to be accountable to.

The World Economic Forum 2017 Global Risk Report[1] listed cyber dependence in its top five risk trends, just below climate change and polarization of societies. It also indicated that …technology is a source of disruption and polarization. I believe technology is a tremendous opportunity for economic and societal benefit. I believe that technology can connect and enrich people’s lives − if done correctly and for the right reasons.

If we carelessly implement technology in order to chase opportunities or simply prove that we can, we won’t be successful in realizing the digital transformations that can change lives and protect people. Instead, we will be setting ourselves up for a digital disaster. By focusing on the opportunities along with our obligations to implement them in the right way, we can achieve digital transformation and digital safety to ensure tomorrow is better than today for everyone.

So, ultimately, not only information security professionals but also business professionals are accountable to the organizations they support, the customers they serve, and society. And they are accountable for making sure we achieve digital transformation and digital safety.

Malcolm Harkins
Chief Security and Trust Officer
Cylance Corporation