Managing 21st-century Cyberrisk Before It Manages You

By Tom Ridge

Commercial real estate industry leaders must understand and be prepared to respond to the challenges presented by global terrorism and cyber risk.

SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS leadership today requires more than a great vision and financial management skills. Of course, those abilities remain very important. But an increasingly complex 21st-century threat environment is changing what it means to be a business leader, whether you run an established Fortune 500 corporation or an entrepreneurial startup.

Today’s business leaders can be sure of two permanent conditions. The first is the scourge of global terrorism. The attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels and Istanbul are just a few of the most recent stark reminders that the ideology that produced the September 11, 2001, attacks has not abated.

The second permanent condition, with trends of increasing complexity, is cyber risk or what I call “the digital forevermore.” The cyber domain offers criminal organizations, hacktivists (those who break into computer systems for politically or socially motivated purposes) and even terrorists and nation-states new methods of attack, new tools to communicate and new weapons to carry out their plans to steal, attack, disrupt and destroy.

Commercial real estate is not immune to the challenges that these conditions pose. Industry leaders who understand and prepare for the potential impacts of both of these conditions will not only better protect their tenants, customers and investment partners; they will put themselves at a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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