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This week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age: avoiding the technology trap; blockchain is vulnerable too; and good storytelling with data.
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Between 2011 and 2018, at least 72 blockchain breaches were reported, costing users over $2 billion. Many of these were possible because blockchain is vulnerable in some of the same ways conventional record-keeping systems are. The rest are even more troubling, because bad actors were able to exploit the very features that make blockchain revolutionary. Managers should look closely at both types of vulnerabilities so they can weigh the risks before exploring business applications.
This guide to the Fall 2019 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review summarize the issue’s key articles. The articles discuss finding better ways to collaborate; how to give customers what they’re looking for; the organized ecosystem of Dark Web cybercrime; and how algorithms can reduce bias.
Cyberattacks are increasing in frequency, sophistication, and impact. Defending against them requires a new perspective on the attacks and the attackers. By applying a value chain lens to the problem, we can better understand the dark web as an ecosystem in which well-orchestrated attacks are assembled by entrepreneurs and supported by well-organized service offerings. This casts new light on the dark web and suggests more effective and proactive responses to cyberattacks.
Recent efforts and concerns to protect the privacy of users’ data, while admirable, do not go far enough. Innovators and leaders must consider how new technology will be monitored to protect against potential harmful and irreversible effects.
Beliefs and behaviors in today’s virtual world blur the definitions and boundaries of responsibility for data privacy, which is reshaping consumers’ expectations of protection. Organizations seeking to adapt their culture toward better digital trust face many challenges but can benefit from four activities in their journey toward better digital trust.
The benefits of smart devices are wide-ranging: the IoT-powered communication and analytics have the potential to do more than just add convenience to our daily lives, but to actually radically improve the way we work and live. But without taking the right cybersecurity measures, products can fail before they have a chance to see wide adoption.
New research by MIT SMR Connections and SAS shows that organizations with advanced use of analytics and AI are intentionally building a foundation of trust across three critical dimensions to gain value from these technologies. Those applying analytics that incorporate AI-based technologies are fostering trust in data quality, safeguarding data assets and customer privacy, and developing organizational cultures that trust data-driven decisions.
Many workers value the flexibility and income that gig work provides; customers like being able to find people to do things they want done. However, the extent to which gig workers, typically self-employed individuals, should be afforded the legal rights of employees has yet to be fully resolved in many jurisdictions.
In the world of cloud computing, the spotlight has mostly been on cloud providers and their ability to help organizations digitally transform. With new scrutiny around data localization and privacy, enterprises must consider localization impacts on their cloud computing strategy as they invest and innovate with emerging technologies.
Increasingly, military-inspired exercises are becoming standard elements of corporate risk mitigation and resiliency efforts. They include tabletop exercises,” designed to help executives envision how they would handle different risk scenarios; “red team exercises,” designed to ferret out weaknesses through contained attacks conducted internally to see how cybersecurity teams respond; and engaging ethical hackers to test the organization’s cybersecurity defenses.
Businesses can use cybersecurity to assure their digital transformation bets while positioning the business to capture new and enhanced revenue streams. Companies that act seriously and aggressively now will gain market positioning and long-term benefits.
To better prepare for growing cyber threats, organizations and managers must build awareness about the complexity of cybersecurity and adopt training programs that mimic real-world scenarios. One option is “management flight simulators” that let experienced and novice managers run simulations to learn how to respond to cyberattacks.
Blockchain is poised to help media and entertainment companies build innovative business models that offer new monetization strategies for their digital assets and streamline critical business activities.
Modest questions about how today’s problems could be solved more effectively lead to applications of technology with easily foreseeable gains. But when people start asking bigger, bolder questions that challenge basic assumptions about how a problem has been framed, they open up space for breakthrough innovations. That’s been the pattern in many digital realms, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things.
Cloud and edge computing are revolutionizing digital business, but many cybersecurity teams remain stuck in a structure and culture of the past. By making the right kind of security investments, organizations will be better equipped to face the threats of the digital future.
Many ethical, lawfully managed businesses have consumer data they aren’t legally authorized to possess, obtained from a surprising source: their customers, who inadvertently share the personal data of family, friends, and colleagues. And in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the enactment of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, peer-dependent privacy is emerging as a critical consideration for businesses.
Moving to a zero-trust network, where all the services an organization needs are hosted in the cloud, is the most secure IT option. Most network breaches are caused by human error: People forget their laptops in bathrooms and cabs, connect to insecure public Wi-Fi, click on emails they shouldn’t, and download attachments carrying malware. The only way to manage this threat is to dismantle the privileged intranet and treat every login as a potential threat.
In the wake of documented Russian manipulation of the U.S. election via disinformation campaigns on social media platforms, digital platform companies like Facebook and Twitter need to take concrete steps to prevent misuse.
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