Cyber social responsibility

Securing our digital world builds and maintains trust

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are all about giving back to your community, whether that’s a local food bank or a globally-focused nonprofit. At CA, we understand how critical CSR is to our customers and shareholders. We focus much of our CSR work on promoting STEM education for underserved populations and we’re making an impact. It’s important work and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Nevertheless, in today’s increasingly connected digital world, it’s becoming clear that CSR needs to extend beyond traditional programs.

In a recent opinion piece, Scott Shackelford, an associate professor of business law and ethics at Indiana University-Bloomington, argued that with cyber threats increasing and becoming more sophisticated, cybersecurity should be part of an organization’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

This makes a lot of sense considering that, according to Forrester, nearly 80 percent of confirmed breaches exploit lost, stolen and weak credentials. When breaches using privileged credentials occur, they impact the experience of customers, partners and employees—creating a crisis of trust among an enterprise’s stakeholders.

Cybersecurity social responsibility

The call for a clearly-defined culture of corporate social responsibility is being heard by the C-suite. According to a recent global survey, 64 percent of CEOs define corporate social responsibility as a key business principle rather than a standalone program.

Likewise, protecting the cyber interests of any given stakeholder should be a top priority, as a large majority of a company’s valuable assets are now found in personal data. For customers, its important for them to know that their information is private and secure.

When it comes to the security of personal data, a breach of consumer trust could spell major problems for organizations of all shapes and sizes. How can we avoid these problems? By investing in building trust.

Trust at the center

A global CSR study found that 90 percent of citizens are more likely to trust a company that integrates its corporate social responsibility efforts into its overall brand mission.

This is also true of protecting user identities and data. Customers want to trust that you are taking protecting their data seriously. And, never forget, trust is borrowed, not owned.

With nearly 57% of Americans concerned about cyber risk, companies that are able to prevent and respond to cyberattacks have a better chance of establishing and maintaining the trust needed to keep customers, partners and employees on their side. Simply put, trust serves as the lifeblood of the digital economy.

In a perfect world, your company would never experience a breach. Sadly, the reality is not “if,” but “when” an attack will occur. Because of this, it is important for brands to show their stakeholders that they can take care of critical information when a data breach occurs.

At CA, we are committed to blending corporate social responsibility with the fundamentals of cybersecurity to protect the interests of our partners, employees and customers. By incorporating a clearly defined cyber CSR strategy, companies can create a culture of security that can build and maintain trust among employees, customers and partners.


David is Chief Information Security Officer at CA Technologies. He previously was vice president, global…

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