The Voice of Cyber®

Episode 212 Deep Dive: Nathan Wenzler | Cybersecurity’s Prominent Place in the ESG Conversation: Protecting the Planet and Society
First Aired: September 28, 2023

As the world starts focusing on sustainability and ethical business practices intensifies, organizations are increasingly embracing ESG initiatives to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, social responsibility, and good governance. While ESG programs encompass a wide range of considerations, one aspect that should not be overlooked is cybersecurity. In today’s digital age, the integration of technology and cybersecurity is paramount to the success and integrity of ESG programs. In this episode, we discuss the intersection of technology and ESG, highlighting how cybersecurity protects against potential damage and disruption to green energy production and efficiency improvement. Additionally, we address the growing demand for ethical behavior from companies, the risks of focusing solely on media attention and neglecting proper security practices, and how breaches in trust can have long-lasting negative effects on reputation.

ESG initiatives were among the winners in this year’s Federal Budget, with $4 billion in new funding commitments aimed at accelerating Australia’s clean energy sector. However, it is important for businesses to not overlook cybersecurity as a crucial component of their ESG strategy moving forward. While companies often prioritise social and environmental initiatives, they tend to neglect cybersecurity in those areas, viewing it as only a part of the governance initiative. It’s often left to regulators or insurance providers to handle, despite the fact that cyberattacks can have a direct material impact on social and environmental matters whether through critical infrastructure compromise, data privacy violations, the loss of social trust and other impacts to partner organisations. The risk from cyberattacks can then result in potentially weakening every aspect of an ESG strategy, and not solely in technical matters or governance.

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