A Review of ‘Clever Security, Clever Business’


“Clever Security, Clever Business” authored by Andy Blackwell and John Wood features accessible guidance for security specialists, CEOs, and business leaders from 2 leading experts in the field. Published in 2023 by Platypus Publishing, this book clearly explains the transformative potential of a Security Management System (SeMS). The authors shed light on the pivotal role of a SeMS in enhancing security, unlocking business opportunities, and boosting cost efficiency.

Security as a Business Enabler

One of the central themes of “Clever Security, Clever Business” is the paradigm shift it advocates regarding the perception of security within an organization. Traditionally, security has often been regarded as a necessary evil and a cost center. However, the authors argue for a novel perspective where security is positioned as an enabler of business success. They rightly contend that security can open doors to new opportunities and provide the certainty required for making confident business decisions.

Designing Your SeMS

The book places a strong emphasis on the meticulous design of a Security Management System. It provides comprehensive guidance on various crucial aspects that form the bedrock of an effective SeMS. These aspects include:

  1. Threat and Risk Management: Blackwell and Wood look into the intricacies of threat and risk management, demonstrating how a well-structured SeMS can proactively identify and mitigate potential security threats. This proactive approach not only enhances security but also safeguards business operations.
  2. Incident Response: Cyber threats and crises are common and increasing, the authors outline best practices for incident response within the SeMS framework. Timely and effective responses to security incidents are highlighted as crucial for minimizing damage and maintaining business continuity.
  3. Security Governance: The book stresses the significance of strong security governance within an organization. It explains how clear leadership and direction are essential for embedding security into the organizational culture and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

Building Your SeMS

Practicality is a hallmark of “Clever Security, Clever Business.” Blackwell and Wood provide actionable strategies for building and evolving a SeMS. They recognize that successful implementation is a phased process that must be tailored to the organization’s unique needs and existing processes. The book also underscores the importance of aligning the SeMS with the company’s culture to ensure seamless integration.

“Clever Security, Clever Business” is a groundbreaking book that challenges traditional notions of security within organizations. It positions security as a dynamic strategic asset that not only safeguards but also propels business success. The authors’ emphasis on viewing security through a different lens and providing practical guidance on SeMS design and implementation makes this book a valuable resource for security specialists, CEOs, and business leaders.

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