Never Let The Good Crises Go Into Waste, Sometime Problem Has To Hit The Roof!

By Ashok Jade, CIO, Shalimar Paints

Ashok Jade, CIO, Shalimar PaintsFew days back one of my CIO Friend called seeking help to recover from Cyber-attack happened in their organization. Being a well-known brand in retail industry, urgency to recover was very high and they were ready to spend any amount. They finally recovered themselves and came out of situation. He met me after two weeks describing the event which was similar to war situation. It was situation in which friend, foe, partner, bystander everyone shed difference and joined to recover from the problem. Few with fear, for many survival was at stake and for many an opportunity to garner budget and for few opportunity of corporate politics.

Emergency meeting was called and all CXO were present in the room. Everyone anticipating more threats to come and everyone was calculating impact on their function. The concern was about spreading news in market. Everyone was worried about damage of brand image, confidence of shareholders and direct revenue loss as business was stand still.

CIO stood up describing situation and his assessment about extent of damage happened. Everyone wanted to hear some good news which CIO could give stating inventory, billing and manufacturing systems could survive which comprises of 80 percent enterprise operation however bad news was, one very critical system of finance and compliance is unrecoverable along with 100 percent data loss. It was expected that CFO will not keep silence and the same happened. CIO was been bombarded with umpteen questions - how, which, when and so on.

Somehow, they resumed the operation within 48 hours and saving their market credibility. Assuring board they will recover lost data from backups and with other means.

Another urgent meeting was called after operation has resumed and CIO is being asked to present complete analysis of incidence and what went wrong. CXO team was facing a tough time and willing to do everything not to repeat this incidence. CEO does not want any excuse in future. CIO presented last Audit report which clearly mention budget constraints could impact the system and ultimately business. Not too ago CFO had stayed budget for upgrade and investment in security projects in the view of expecting better quarters ahead. Word of war between CIO and CFO was witnessed by everyone in meeting.

However, everyone agreed to do required investment immediately for cyber security projects. CFO agreed not to hold back budgets for cyber security and even agreed to release funds as of yesterday, that too for legacy systems. Security policy until now was CIO has been agreed by CXO to discuss, amend and accept. CEO presence added gravity to it.

CIO did not get the blame but lesson learned. CIO took efforts to bring the matter through audit, he continued to raise the matter. Leadership team could not have understood new age problem and continue to underestimate risk. Failed to recognise investment needed in cyber security is minuscule compare to loss of business in case of incidence. Money flowed immediately after the problem. Impact fortunately did not allow anyone to give excuse for investment and adversities.

What we could say is- Never let the good crises go into waste, sometime, problem has to hit the roof.

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