Öykü Işık

Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity

Öykü Işık is Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity. She is an expert on digital resilience and the ways in which disruptive technologies challenge our society and organizations. Named on the Thinkers50 Radar 2022 list of up-and-coming global thought leaders, she helps businesses to tackle cybersecurity, data privacy, and digital ethics challenges, and enables CEOs and other executives to understand these issues, which she believes are too important to be left to technical specialists alone.

Işık’s research explores ways in which emerging technologies can be exploited to foster responsible innovation. She has worked with organizations such as Mastercard, Ageas, KBC, BNP Paribas Fortis, Turkcell, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office to help them shape their responses to consumer concerns around cybersecurity, data privacy, and digital ethics.

Digital resilience is very important for sustainable digital transformation. It is like a muscle we have neglected – it will get stronger as it is used, but it is certainly sore in the beginning.

While digital transformation creates more opportunities for organizations, this is also accompanied by increasing risks, she says. Cyber attackers are becoming more sophisticated and cyber extortion is now a booming business that poses a serious threat, with major financial, reputational, and regulatory implications for organizations that are targeted. Many organizations fail to give enough attention to these risks, but Işık is able to provide them with practical advice on how to develop the digital capabilities they need to ensure that they can deal with such hazards.

Meanwhile, growing consumer worries about data privacy and protection mean that organizations are under pressure to build digital trust and transparency, and new regulations such as the EU’s GDPR regime have major ramifications for the way that businesses process consumer data. Işık therefore helps them to understand customer concerns and regulatory changes, and to shape their privacy and data processing policies accordingly.

The emerging field of digital ethics is also growing in importance amid mounting anxieties over how organizations use digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, for surveillance. Ethical considerations therefore need to be addressed as such technologies are deployed, she says.

Işık is currently looking at public sector organizations, which are traditionally seen as slow to implement new technologies but may actually offer some examples of best practice that the private sector could learn from. She is also carrying out research into the behavior and attitudes of young people towards data protection and their readiness to exchange privacy for convenience or financial gains, and is developing a practical team simulation for how firms might respond to a ransomware attack. A future study will offer guidance for organizations on the considerations to bear in mind when engaging digital forensics experts.

At IMD, she leads IMD’s Cybersecurity for Managers program, which helps businesses to develop an action plan to identify, prepare for, and respond to emerging and imminent cyber threats.

A computer scientist by training, Işık’s work before joining IMD in 2020 focused on business intelligence, analytics, and technology and business process management. She was previously Assistant Professor of Information Systems Management at Vlerick Business School in Belgium and taught information systems courses at the University of North Texas and Istanbul Bilgi University.

Selected publications
Article
Grassroots business intelligence as an enabler of change management: A case study at a large global manufacturing firm
Business intelligence (BI) has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Despite the hype, BI frequently suffers from broad definitions, unrealistic expectations, and the incongruities of I...
Published 1 June 2020
Book Chapter
Big data capabilities: An organizational information procession perspective
Big data is at the pinnacle of its hype cycle, offering big promise. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, yet not many know how to start and get the most out of their big data initiatives. We suggest...
Published 1 January 2018
Article
How system quality influences mobile BI use: The mediating role of engagement
Despite the recognized value that mobile BI (m-BI) brings to firms, our understanding of the use of m-BI and its determinants are limited. In this study, we suggest that m-BI system quality charact...
Published 1 October 2016
Conference Paper
Unlocking the potential of process perspective in business transformation
The purpose of this research is to gain insights in the positioning and role of the business process support function and, more generally, process-oriented thinking in a business transformation con...
Published 4 September 2016
Academic publications
Article
Grassroots business intelligence as an enabler of change management: A case study at a large global manufacturing firm
Business intelligence (BI) has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Despite the hype, BI frequently suffers from broad definitions, unrealistic expectations, and the incongruities of I...
Published 1 June 2020
Article
Business intelligence success: The roles of BI capabilities and decision environments
This study examines the role of the decision environment in how well business intelligence (BI) capabilities are leveraged to achieve BI success. We examine the decision environment in terms of the...
Published 1 January 2013
Article
Corporate IT transformation at BARCO
he case takes us back to 2009, a year of great turmoil and the start of a transformation journey for BARCO, a global visualisation solutions company. Stefaan Kindekens, newly appointed corporate CI...
Published 1 December 2013
Article
How system quality influences mobile BI use: The mediating role of engagement
Despite the recognized value that mobile BI (m-BI) brings to firms, our understanding of the use of m-BI and its determinants are limited. In this study, we suggest that m-BI system quality charact...
Published 1 October 2016
Article
Business intelligence (BI) success and the role of BI capabilities
Business intelligence (BI) has become the top priority for many organizations who have implemented BI solutions to improve their decision‐making process. Yet, not all BI initiatives have fulfilled ...
Published 31 January 2012
Article
Practices of knowledge intensive process management: Quantitative insights
Purpose - In contemporary businesses, the importance of knowledge workers and the knowledge intensive business processes (KIBPs) is ever increasing, yet they seem very hard to control and manage. T...
Published 1 May 2013
Article
Business process research : A cross‐disciplinary review
Purpose – The paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of business processes (BPs) literature by identifying and discussing key BP-related research themes and suggesting directions for futur...
Published 27 July 2010
Insight for Executives
Protect and survive: Act now on cybersecurity 
Article
Protect and survive: Act now on cybersecurity 
Experts from the public and private sector – including CEOs, board members and government officials – are gathered in Lausanne for the Financial Times’ Cyber Resilience Summit, where strategies for...
Published 22 September 2022
Securing the payments ecosystem: Mitigating the threat from ransomware
Article
Securing the payments ecosystem: Mitigating the threat from ransomware
Johan Gerber, who heads the security and innovation portfolio within Mastercard’s Cyber and Intelligence division, defines his mission as protecting the global financial system from criminal attack...
Published 16 September 2022
Cybersecurity for tomorrow, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Article
Cybersecurity for tomorrow, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
In Episode 12 of ManagementCast, IMD Professor Öykü Isik discusses the future of Cybersecurity, and how to prepare for it.
Published 1 September 2022
Building your cybersecurity team, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Article
Building your cybersecurity team, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Oyku Isik discusses how CEOs should build their cyber-security team, and the importance of trust
Published 17 August 2022
How to navigate your digital transformation, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Article
How to navigate your digital transformation, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Oyku Isik discusses how to build digital resilience into business strategy, and what executives can do to secure their data
Published 3 August 2022
The CEO guide to Cybersecurity, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Article
The CEO guide to Cybersecurity, with IMD professor Oyku Isik
Öykü Işık helps businesses to tackle cybersecurity and data privacy. In this episode of ManagementCast she tells listeners what threats to look out for and why
Published 21 July 2022
Ransomware attacks are on the rise. Are you battle-ready? 
Article
Ransomware attacks are on the rise. Are you battle-ready? 
Cybercrime is booming and growing in sophistication. Business leaders need to ask themselves some searching questions before their organization is exposed to a potentially crippling assault.
Published 16 June 2022
Article
Five lessons of cybersecurity the public sector can offer
The public sector’s many years of experience fighting for cybersecurity offers unique insights for businesses to increase their resilience against cyber-attacks. In May 2021, Belgium’s parliament, ...
Published 24 May 2022
Six cybersecurity trends for companies to get to grips with in 2022 
Article
Six cybersecurity trends for companies to get to grips with in 2022 
The pressure of digital transformation and geopolitical tensions are making organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks. In this webinar, Professor Öykü Isik explained how companies can anticipat...
Published 13 May 2022
Article
The ransomware dilemma
The ransomware business is booming: In the United States alone, this form of cyberattack increased in frequency by 200% between 2019 and 2021. It’s an urgent threat, but too many leaders are caught...
Published 11 May 2022
Are you underestimating the evolving cyberthreat?
Article
Are you underestimating the evolving cyberthreat?
Cyber-risks are proliferating as attackers professionalize and organizations’ entry points increase.
Published 2 May 2022
Article
How HR technology supports new ways of working
Striking innovations, including in artificial intelligence, are redefining the way employers engage with employees, creating a host of issues around privacy and control
Published 24 February 2022
Report
Strengthening trust in technology when it matters the most
Public and private sector actors must work together to adopt existing tech solutions for the crisis in trust, while fostering platforms for stronger stakeholder engagement and building more robust ...
Published 5 May 2021
Article
Fantasy world of gaming is facing hard realities
The gaming industry is facing a day of reckoning. After a watershed year of growth since the pandemic hit, driven by new players seeking sanctuary in fantasy worlds from the upheaval in real life, ...
Published 5 March 2021
How to manage cyber risks without destroying business continuity and innovation
Video
How to manage cyber risks without destroying business continuity and innovation
We can’t eliminate the security threats posed by remote working, cloud services and platforms. Like COVID-19, companies just have to learn to live with the risks, according to Professor of Innovati...
Published 23 October 2020