Cybersecurity and the C-Suite
In today's business world, cyber threats are a constant concern and companies must take action to protect themselves. Corporate leaders, particularly those in C-level positions, need to be knowledgeable about cybersecurity in order to effectively defend their company's operations.
According to a recent report, the average number of attempted cyberattacks per company increased by 31% between 2020 and 2021. This highlights the importance of cybersecurity for businesses, with many companies including it as a regular topic in board meetings and CEOs recognizing the importance of strong cybersecurity plans for their organization's reputation and credibility. Cybersecurity is no longer seen as separate from basic business objectives, but rather a necessary component of keeping a company running smoothly.
As a result, more executives are putting in place a comprehensive and effective cyber strategy. This not only protects the company from everyday risks, but also ensures its financial stability and reputation. Executives do not need to become cybersecurity experts, but should have a basic understanding of the following five areas:
Understanding cybersecurity threats and lingo used in discussions. This includes being familiar with common cyber threats such as phishing, malware, and ransomware, as well as the terminology used to describe them. This knowledge will enable executives to engage in discussions with cybersecurity professionals and make informed decisions when a threat arises.
Recognizing possible threats and risks within the company's ecosystem of vendors, suppliers, and customers. Executives should be able to assess the risk landscape with the help of cybersecurity experts and identify vulnerabilities that may arise from changes or additions to their technology stack.
Evaluating and responding to low, medium, and high-risk cyber threats. This includes having a solid incident response plan in place that outlines how the company will identify, respond to, and mitigate the impact of harmful cyber incidents. Executives should be able to determine the appropriate level of response for different types of threats and coordinate the response effort.
Proactively implementing a holistic cybersecurity culture throughout the organization. This includes creating campaigns to promote cybersecurity awareness, training employees on best practices, and implementing accountability measures. Executives should strive to create a culture where all employees take ownership of cybersecurity and understand the importance of keeping company information and assets secure.
Properly budgeting for cybersecurity. Executives should have a clear understanding of the costs associated with implementing cybersecurity measures and the potential return on investment. This includes identifying the talent and technology budgets needed to support cybersecurity initiatives and filling any gaps in current resources.
By having a good understanding of these areas, executives can effectively engage in discussions, make informed decisions, and lead their company's cybersecurity efforts. This not only protects the company from potential threats, but also demonstrates a commitment to security to stakeholders, which can ultimately drive growth and success. Additionally, it is important to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in cybersecurity and regularly review and update the company's cybersecurity strategy to ensure that it remains effective.