To be a great player you learn the difference between a good and a bad bet. You learn to master your uncertainty, and see the world in odds and percentages. You train your instincts to catch bluffs because at the poker table, everyone is trying to deceive you. Everyone is probing for weaknesses to exploit, and if you don’t defend against them adequately, they’ll take away your hard-earned chips.

And while poker is just a game, unfortunately many parts of the real world behave like this too. This is especially true for businesses in the digital age; digitization has provided great opportunity for companies, but also for the criminals who seek to exploit them. In this game of high-stakes at-and-mouse, it is essential for business owners to build smart, defensive strategies against unscrupulous actors who are determined to win.

“I’ve spent much of the past decade making my living on the international poker circuit. Poker is a game of bluffing and self-control; of strategy and calculated risks.”

When Wire showed me the latest statistics on cyber crime I was astonished at the scale of this problem, especially the enormous risks associated with employees and email. I’m certainly used to taking gambles, but only when they’re smart – either the payoff must be large enough, or the odds small enough, to make the risk worthwhile. But if you’re choosing to gamble via lax cyber-security, it’s literally the opposite way round: the odds are stacked against you, and when you inevitably lose, the costs can be significant and may even lead to the death of your business. By drawing comparisons between everyday risks we are more familiar with (and routinely insure ourselves against), I hope to make it clear just how bad of a bet it is not taking your business’s cyber-security seriously.

Introduction

Be it an investment risk, a change in strategic direction, launching into a new area, or an acquisition, business leaders take risks every day. Some of these risks might be small, others might be significant enough to change the course of your business and could even be the difference between failure and success. However, these are usually highly calculated risks, and only taken once all outcomes have been considered.

Cyber-security is one of those risks. Businesses are prone to attacks from outsiders; that’s a fact. A cyber- breach can potentially be highly damaging for any business. And the easiest way in? Through your people and their emails. Email is an outdated, insecure mode of communication and collaboration that is still being used in the vast majority of businesses, and it is being targeted by cyber-criminals as the weakest point in your defense. There is a clear need for a shift in how organizations optimize their communications and collaboration so that it is more secure and more efficient. After all, even when you are spotting and managing email threats have you considered the time and investment going into this which could be more productively spent elsewhere?

Business leaders (including CEOs, CISOs, etc.) need to understand that the only way for the odds to be in your favor in this game of risk is if you, as a business, put in the right communication to ensure that you are as safe as possible. Be this through alternative collaboration and communication programs to email or raising awareness of these attacks, investing in comprehensive cyber security processes is key. Failure to do so means the house always wins.

This report from Wire, the most secure collaboration platform, was co-authored by international oker star Liv Boeree, and looks at the gambles that businesses are taking with cyber-security because of a lax approach to communication and their ability to respond to it without suffering business damage, losses or violations of data regulation. Liv has used her experience as a high stakes card player to compile exclusive comparisons to everyday risks, hammering home the importance of cyber-security for businesses. It’s now time for businesses to be the house, not play against the house. Because unless you are a professional like Liv, when you step into the casino, the house will always win…