The real and growing threat of cyber crime to corporations–Stuart Madnick

MIT Sloan Professor Stuart Madnick

MIT Sloan Professor Stuart Madnick


The cyber threat is real.

If you have control of valuable assets, including trillions of dollars of transactions, as The

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) does, your company will be attacked. It’s a matter of when, not if, it will happen. That means you need to develop a sophisticated and multi-faceted approach to cyber-security.

Only a few years ago, corporate cyber-security might have been limited to installing the latest software patch—an activity on a par with, say, facilities management.

However, given the increasing number and magnitude of cyber-crimes, as well as new types of threats, cyber-security now requires a coordinated effort between companies, government agencies and advanced academics with cutting edge insights into the future of technology. In a networked world, no one can afford to go it alone.

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Maybe the search for the Malaysian Airlines plane needed a chief data officer — Stuart Madnick

MIT Sloan Professor Stuart Madnick

MIT Sloan Professor Stuart Madnick

From Quartz

The search for an airplane lost on a 2,500-mile international journey requires consolidating information from many organizations, both public and private, from all over the world. It involves analyzing vast amounts of radar, sonar, and satellite data, coming from many diverse sources, including military bases, air traffic controllers, naval ships, and other airplanes.

What if the authorities investigating the missing plane had been prepared to manage big data the way many corporations do? What if the investigation had an executive level position responsible for collecting and analyzing all of the dispersed and diverse data that were available and potentially relevant to the search? What if a multinational chief data officer (CDO) had been in place to manage all of the information that was available?

Companies have recognized the value of just such a position for some time. The first reported chief data officer was established in 2003 by Capital One Financial Corp., Yahoo, and Microsoft Germany were early adopters. In little over a decade, hundreds of organizations, including US federal and state agencies, have created chief data officer positions, although the jobs often are given different titles. In time, the initials CDO may become as familiar as CEO, CFO, and CIO.

Driving the trend is the phenomenon of big data—the explosion of information made possible by the great advances that we have seen in recent years in communications, computers, and storage.

Read the full post at Quartz.

Stuart Madnick is co-head of the MIT Total Data Quality Management and MIT Information Quality programs. He is also a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management.