The risk of cyberattacks and cybersecurity breaches has been severely impacting businesses, especially in the technology sector. Establishing an organizational “Cybersecurity Culture” has proven to be one of the most challenging tasks against cyber adversaries.

Data leaks, online fraud, and constant network breaches are an indication of information security threats. It has become necessary to address this at the highest corporate management level. Companies should act now to boost the cyber resilience of seamless digital services. 

It is imperative for CEOs to learn more about cybersecurity in general. Additionally, to ensure their company is taking appropriate actions to secure their most valuable information assets. CEOs should increase their knowledge of cybersecurity concepts for the most part. Also, they need to leverage their own leadership skills to assess and manage risk in strategic terms. 

4 Aspects Every CEO Should Know About Cybersecurity Culture

1. Understand the data inventory chain

To achieve real information security and data resilience, managed monitoring, detection and response mechanisms are vital. It includes comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plans. The company’s inventory is properly organized into different datasets. Besides, they have a clear description of content, licenses, and the source is recommended. 

Furthermore, the CEO must put in place an IT asset management policy to guide any future audit of the company’s information security systems. It comprises of the applicability and definitions, policy statement, inventory information, managerial and information security responsibility, data handlers and stakeholders responsibilities, penalties and sanctions.

With this implemented, it is easy for the CEO to follow and question the actions of the IT departments. Additionally, ITAM solutions are effective if cybersecurity assessment capacity for early detection of security threats is incorporated in the system.

Identify critical data like the IPs (Intellectual Property) and PII used on your system. Because, in case of exposure, they provide the easiest route for hackers into the company’s database. Ensure that sensitive IP data is securely stored, preferably in segmented storage within trusted networks having restricted access.

2. Implement the right system protection model

The CEO should familiarize himself/herself with the measures put in place to secure data. This calls for ongoing evaluation of internal security capacity with a view to keep updating where and when necessary. S/he must plan emergency mitigation measures and keep cybersecurity team alert 24/7. The occurrence of cybersecurity threats can affect any business and its employees. As a result, only trusted resources for the business need should be put in place.  Having stated that, allow outsourcing to trusted partners and access to reliable and authorized people for the most part.

3. Audit security systems

The CEO should ask for network reports to assess the information collected in normal usage to isolate and deal with anomalies that could be pointers to a potential threat. Analyzing these reports can help in understanding the internal functions of the business leading to better management decisions. Conduct a proper assessment of hardware and software assets and identify any emerging threats. Frequently reviewing the asset inventory will help in monitoring what needs to be decommissioned.

Upgrade hardware and network software to achieve an efficient operation in compliance with current software versions. As a result, there should be a proper recovery plan and the company employees should be in the security matrix. Trai employees on the proper use of resources to avoid unintended security breaches in general.

4. Identify and Assess risk exposure

The resultant damage to company business and reputation should be evaluated properly. When preparing a cybersecurity risk assessment, itemize threats to the company in regard to the type of business activities. Also, look into vulnerabilities within internal and external systems.

On identifying vulnerabilities, quantify the likelihood of a security breach and evaluate the damage. This will help in performing a credible risk assessment in general. It is an economical business strategy to invest handsomely in developing data security programs to protect the company’s valuable assets and secure them for the future.

Areas CEOs Should Assist To Implement A Successful Strategic Cybersecurity Program

  • The threat profile of the organization based on the business model and the type of data the organization holds.
  • Awareness about bodies who will want the organization’s data – Nation States, sophisticated international criminal organizations, or ideologically motivated hacktivists.
  • Alignment of cybersecurity strategy with the organization’s threat profile.
  • View cybersecurity risk is viewed as an enterprise-wide risk issue. Also, incorporate it into the overall risk identification, management and mitigation process.
  • IT budget allocation to cybersecurity should be adequate and comply with industry standards. 
  • Deploy a dedicated full-time staff as part of the cybersecurity department. The designation should be the Chief Information Security Officer.

Response Mechanism for CEOs

  1. Ensure the employees across all departments in the organization receive necessary cybersecurity and awareness training.
  2. Identify discrepancies in the organization’s data security policies, processes, plans and procedures by conducting a cyber risk assessment as per government regulatory compliance and industry standards. 
  3. Assess potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the organization’s security information systems by conducting periodic penetration testing by certified Ethical Hackers.
  4. Mitigate cyber risks by incorporation effective software and security tools by IT departments. 
  5. Have a strong cybersecurity incident response plan including policy and procedures related to ransomware attacks. 
  6. Conduct periodic evaluation of cyber liability insurance coverage adequacy. 
  7. Develop and update key performance indicators of cybersecurity such as –  the number of cyberattacks & data breaches, network uptime & network downtime, the cost of information security & insurance and more. 
  8. Conduct disaster recovery and business continuity plan to assess and mitigate potential damages of cyber breaches.
  9. Protect the organization’s most valuable information assets by developing additional layers of information security via encryption, multi-factor authentication and highly restricted security access. 

Conclusion 

In today’s online global business world, CEOs should pay special attention to cybersecurity threats and prioritize IT security for their companies. Therefore, corporations that take the need for accountability seriously are the ones who’s CEOs will succeed.

Besides risk mitigation, there’s also an opportunity for providers of digital services to stand out by adding value through better protection of data by incorporating big data technologies into businesses. Thus, only those businesses that develop the ability to mitigate the cybersecurity risks powered by sustainable digital services will emerge as leaders and become more popular with customers in the long term.