Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

Financial incentives do more for security than regulation: McAfee CTO

"Regulation only goes so far," says McAfee CTO
McAfee CTO Michael Fey.

McAfee CTO Michael Fey.

A US security expert has applauded the Australian federal government’s approach to improving cyber security but suggested that businesses may need a financial carrot to bring their systems in line.

Speaking to CIO Australia, McAfee chief technology officer Michael Fey said the government should be commended for setting aside $1.46 billion in funding as opposed to “just talking” about improving security.

“With an investment like that you catch people’s attention and they start thinking about security from the very start rather than taking a reactive approach,” he said.

However, businesses around the world are still lagging behind with information security and financial incentives could be more beneficial than imposing more regulation.

“Our personal information resides in all of these businesses and regulation only goes so far,” he said. "We’re better off offering incentives to those businesses to take this subject seriously and evolve security with them.”

According to Fey, financial incentives could also change the mindset of CEOs or CFOs who view information security as a cost.

“The reality with critical infrastructure and financial organisations is they have to take security seriously. When they do that, it should be a positive experience — not one that diminishes their profits,” he said.

While Fey is not a fan of security regulation, he disagreed with comments made by World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee that Australia’s proposed data retention laws are a "really bad idea".

Speaking at a CSIRO event in Sydney this week, Berners-Lee said that while it was important for countries to be able to defend themselves from cyber attacks, there were inherent dangers with “snooping” on people.

“I don’t believe that cyber security means loss of rights beaus it guarantees that we are free to operate and exchange ideas as well as protect our intellectual property [IP] without giving up our Internet privileges,” Fey said.

“It’s really unfortunate for the cause that cyber security and human rights are getting linked together.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter and Like us on Facebook… Twitter: @CIO_Australia, Facebook: CIO Australia, or take part in the CIO conversation on LinkedIn: CIO Australia

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: CSIRO, CSIRO, Facebook, inventor, McAfee
References show all
Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: Michael Fey, mcafee, National Security Strategy, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, security, data retention
Latest Blog Posts
  • Information Management
    Valuable data can be a needle in a haystack, but by leveraging the value in existing information assets, organisations can generate real and achievable gains in revenue generation, IT investments and productivity gains. This whitepaper discusses how Information Management (IM) is a multi-faceted discipline that can be employed to meet or exceed your business objectives.
    Learn more »
  • Gartner 2013 Cool Vendor Report with Flash for All - Competitive Differentiation with Flash Storage
    Learn how every business can improve efficiency, compete better, and deliver compelling user experiences with flash. You'll also gain access to Gartner's 2013 Cool Vendor Report Download our ebook and learn how you can: - Improve efficiency - Compete better - Deliver compelling user experiences
    Learn more »
  • Rebranded Quadmark revamps its IT solutions with Google Apps
    The Singapore office was using Exchange as its email server but encountered various issues such as storage capacity limitations and difficulty in managing spam. Adding new users to the server was also a hassle that often required a third party vendor, resulting in a waste of time and resources. Quadmark also experienced email performance issues that slowed down their employees’ response time, leading to frustration among staff and clients. Quadmark’s management felt that it was unacceptable to continue it’s current solution and thus decided to streamline its IT infrastructure alongside its rebranding plans. The business wanted a unified and consolidated email service for its various offices. Quadmark also wanted to be able to house files and documents on the cloud.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments