The BarnOwl info sharing breakfast held on the 30th July 2015 was very well attended and focused on two topics, namely ‘Cyber Security’ and ‘Combined Assurance’. We would like to thank our guest speakers; Craig Rosewarne, Managing Director, Wolfpack and Carla Clamp, Director, Business Risk Services, Grant Thornton for their time and insightful presentations.
Craig’s presentation on cyber terrorism and security, I found to be pretty daunting and frightening. With the dawning of the age of ‘The Internet of Things’ and billions of devices all being connected and the world full of some pretty ‘dark’ characters things could get pretty interesting. The thought of our cars which will soon drive themselves being hacked and the thought of us as humans having chips in our brains in a few years’ time to assist us to be more competitive and productive / intelligent is pretty scary…. What / When if our brains get hacked… what ills will ‘half man / half robot’ be capable of then? I don’t think some of these concepts are too far-fetched. This is all pretty daunting and the plans that we as individuals, organisations and countries will have to put in place to keep our things, our loved ones and ourselves safe are pretty overwhelming. Thank goodness for IT security specialists such as Wolfpack and security organisations who are on the ‘right’ side who are working hard to make sure we have a game plan and are up to the challenge.
Carla gave us not only theoretical insights into Combined Assurance but also practical insights. Combined Assurance is a coordinated approach which ensures that all assurance activities provided by management, internal assurance providers and external assurance providers adequately address significant risks facing the company and provide assurance that suitable controls exist to mitigate these risks. In many instances there is over assurance in some areas of the business (wasting valuable resources) and in some areas limited assurance or the assurance performed is not adequate and gives us a low level of assurance. The concept of combined assurance has been around for a long time however organisations are only coming to terms with the practicalities of it now and in many cases are still at a low level of maturity with a silo mentality to assurance. In conclusion assurance: ‘is not just a nice to have; it is critical that the Exco, Audit Committee, Risk Committee and the Board get the right assurance at the right time to improve decision making!’
Once again, a big thank you to Craig and Carla for their insightful presentations.
Craig’s presentation on: ‘Cyber Security’ can be downloaded here
Carla’s presentation on: ‘Combined Assurance’ can be downloaded here