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Cyber Security for Business Executives

Course Overview

With digital systems playing an increasingly central role in powering businesses, understanding how to tackle cyber security has become fundamentally important to executives and decision makers. Best practice advice often encourages organisations to take a pro-active approach to dealing with cyber security risk, but often stops short of providing important background knowledge on the threats, how to view them in the context of an organisation, options for dealing with them and how they are likely to evolve. This course brings together insights from business, government/regulatory and technology domains to provide a 360 degree view of cyber security to non-technical decision makers.

Drawing on Imperial’s extensive expertise in cyber security and thought leaders from business and government this programme will build core knowledge on cyber security, enabling you to identify and understand the root causes of risks within your business. The material covered will not only enable you to have a solid grasp of the cyber security landscape of today, but also how emerging security issues and global technology trends will impact organisations of all types in the future.

Who should attend this course?

Mid to senior level executives working in industries where cyber security is either an established or rapidly emerging concern. The course is designed to appeal to professionals working across a range of industries including financial services, energy, telecoms, health, consultancy and government. This course assumes a general user level knowledge of IT systems and does not require previous experience in technology, coding or a detailed knowledge of cyber security.

Programme Content

This short accelerator course will cover strategic considerations of cyber security together with primers on the technical aspects of the subject. You will gain knowledge on how nation states formulate policy and regulation, the challenges that corporations face in dealing with risk and get to grips with how the science and  technology fits in. By the end of the course students will have a better grasp of what ‘hacking’ an organisation’s systems involves and how to be better prepared for such an event.

Topics include:

  • Cyber security as a global challenge
  • Cyber security fundamentals:  insights on computing systems and their interconnectivity
  • Cyber security risk: vulnerabilities, likelihood and potential impacts
  • The importance of data: generation, storage and processing
  • Addressing cyber security issues — people, processes and technology
  • Disruptive trends: ML/AI and blockchain in cyber-security
  • Managing cyber security in your supply chain

Benefits for you:

  • Enhanced ability to make informed business decisions that directly or indirectly involve cyber-security
  • Greater insight on how to identify situations where cyber-security might be an issue for your business
  • Better understanding of cyber-security in the context of your business
  • A core knowledge base that will allow you to tackle the evolving cyber security landscape well past the course

Benefits for your organisation:

  • Leadership expertise in a topic of ever increasing strategic importance
  • Enhanced ability to analyse cyber security threats in business specific contexts
  • Knowledge of interventions for mitigating organisational exposure to cyber security risk: people, processes, technology and culture

Learning Outcomes

  • Improve your ability to engage with cyber security strategy formulation
  • Gain a holistic understanding of cyber security: people, processes and technology
  • Understanding of different types of cyber vulnerability and how these relate to risks to your business
  • Understand the core technology concepts that apply across cyber security
  • Understand the role that ‘hot topics’ like encryption, AI and blockchain play in cyber-security
  • An enhanced understanding of how cyber security is likely to evolve in the future
  • Establish a strong knowledge base for continued learning beyond the course

Welcome & Introduction

Cyber Security: A National Security Perspective
Robert Hannigan, RUSI

The ex-Director of GCHQ will explain what cybersecurity means from a national perspective and how countries go about protecting their infrastructures from such threats. You will gain an understanding of what has been achieved so far, what remains to be done and the role that various stakeholders play in this modern security space.

Technology Primer: Bits, Bytes and words
Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

Deeph Chana will cover some fundamental aspects of computing relevant to cyber security: the anatomy of a computer,  how it processes information and how data is stored and retrieved. This unit is intended to provide the basis for a more comprehensive understanding of cyber security issues as the course progresses.

Cyber Security: A Corporate Perspective
Paul Taylor, KPMG

The head of cyber security for KPMG will provide the first of a series on corporate/industrial insights on how cyber security is shaping the corporate world and how organisations are facing the challenges associated with it.

Lunch will be provided

Technology Primer: Networks and Clouds
Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

This is the second part of the primer on computing systems where we will discuss how computing systems are connected and interconnected and what this means for how organisations and society are using digital systems today. We will introduce the ideas of cyber-physical systems and cloud computing and relate these to real-world topics such as IoT devices and autonomous vehicles.

Cyber Security: A Corporate Perspective

The second of a series on corporate/ industrial insights on how cyber security is shaping the corporate world and how organisations are facing the challenges associated with it.

IT Management Simulation: Cyber Attack!
Auriol Stevens, Unilever

The Global IT Director of the Applied Technology group at one of the most established multinational companies in the world will lead you through a structured simulation exercise on managing a cyber security incident within an organisation.

Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

Network Drinks

Instructing Computers
Thomas Heinis, Imperial College London

In this session, Thomas Heinis from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London will explore how computers are instructed to take actions and do things.  The concept of what coding is will be covered, with easy to follow examples, and the session will demonstrate practically how bad code can be a big problem.

Cyber Security: An overview of cyber threats
Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

Having covered a good deal of background material at this point in the course, this session will delve into the types of cyber security threats that are faced today and how these threats manifest themselves within organisations. We will examine examples such as Stuxnet and WannaCry to understand how cyber threats can be placed within an organisation, what the impact of an attack might be and managing risk in a cyber security context.

Lunch will be provided

Dealing with Cyber Risks
Jose Ribeiro, Ex-Director of International Markets, Lloyd’s of London

Security is fundamentally about understanding risk. Threats are understood through the identification of vulnerabilities, which in turn informs our understanding of the likelihood of certain attacks and their associated impacts. However, the problem of quantifying risk in cyber security is especially difficult and is an issue that is directly faced by the insurance industry. This panel will convene experts in insurance and risk to discuss the specifics of the problems and their implications for mitigating cyber security risk.

People Organisations and Culture
Prof Emma Barrett, Professor of Psychology, Security and Trust at University of Manchester

Cyber security is a topic that involves a complex interplay between humans and their technology and quite often the dynamics of people is neglected when discussing the subject. This session will reveal the human-centric nature of cyber security and how consideration of an organisation’s structures, norms and cultures is fundamental to delivering effective security solutions.

Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

The Limits of Computing
Chris Hankin, Imperial College London

The development of Machine Learning and AI technologies can lead people to believe that computers are capable of almost unlimited harm on one hand and solving any problem on the other. This session will explain what we know about the limitations of computing and the implications of this for dealing with cyber security problems today and in the future.

Influencing Security in the Supply Chain
ARM Holdings

Dealing with cyber security problems and establishing best-practice within your own organisation is one thing, but how about making sure the rest of your supply chain is secure? Influencing and shaping the cyber security practices and cultures of partner organisations is an enormously important and timely topic and this session will outline a process that ARM has developed to achieve this.

Technology Primer: Encryption, Machine Learning and Blockchain
Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

In recent years several technologies with implications for cyber security – from both threat and solutions perspectives – have advanced significantly.  This session will cover the fundamentals of what these technologies are about and how they relate to key aspects of cyber security today and in the future.

Lunch will be provided

Hacking Exercise (1/2)
Sergio Maffeis, Imperial College London

This session will pull-together many of the components covered in previous sessions of this course to explain and demonstrate how computing systems can be compromised and broken into. This first session will prepare you for the following practical session, where you will be taken through a real hacking scenario. No prior knowledge outside of the topics covered in this course is assumed for this exercise.

Hacking Exercise (2/2)
Sergio Maffeis, Imperial College London

A practical hacking session that will demonstrate, through a real-world example, the various aspects of cyber security covered in previous parts of this course. This session will enable you to engage directly with the topic of cyber security and provide you with an insight on how attacks are undertaken.

Key takeaways and programme closing
Deeph Chana, Imperial College London

Contact us

jose caeiro do rosario

José Rosário

Director of Business Development

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3772


Key course info

3 days
Imperial College Business School

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