As a business leader, you are devoted to strengthening your organization for years to come. This is no easy task. Business leaders need to consider the financial impact of their decisions, public perception, brand integrity, industry trends, market competition and so much more. Unfortunately, one of the issues most often overlooked is cyber resilience.
All too often, cybersecurity is viewed as IT's problem when, in reality, digital defenses are a team effort. And who better to lead that effort than the executive board of your business?
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Focus on Board Expertise
The first thing you'll want to do is discuss the importance of cybersecurity amongst the board. This could include a discussion of recent trends in cybercrime, a review of your company's strengths and vulnerabilities, or an assessment of possible financial damages in the event of a data breach or cyberattack.
Make a concerted effort to bring some new information to the table each time you meet. This will establish a habit of discussing cyber defense issues, and it will increase your expertise on the subject.
Build Collaborative Relationships with the CISO
ITPro recommends proactive relationship building between executives and the chief information security officer (CISO) to raise the company's chances of withstanding "the incessant onslaught of attacks."
The article goes on to say nearly one-third of board members are dissatisfied with the quality of cybersecurity-related information they receive. Bringing a CISO into the board room will drastically improve the level of discourse.
"All parties need to work together to ensure clear lines of communication and incident preparation," says ITPro. "An open dialogue about current threats, emerging attack patterns and incident response protocol leads to smarter decisions and better business outcomes."
Include Excellent Cybersecurity in Your Company Goals
Your board undoubtedly sets yearly or even quarterly goals. Examples include "increasing customer satisfaction 20 percent by 2020" or "switching to all renewable materials within five years." Improving your organization's cybersecurity should be among these goals.
Suggested objectives include:
− Updating all hardware and software on a regular basis
− Leveraging encrypted solutions for all data storage and communications
− Investing greater resources in internal IT teams or external defense agencies
− Training all employees to identify common threats and vulnerabilities
Ultimately, the goals you set are up to you. But whatever you decide, make sure you stick to them.
Take an Active Role in Cybersecurity Training Sessions
Speaking of trainings, it will do your company a lot of good to actively engage business leaders as well. This will show your staff cyber resilience is important for all business levels and will afford you an opportunity to share your own experiences with employees.
Consider discussing how your organization has overcame data breaches in the past, or challenges you've faced concerning cyberattack. Putting cyber defense training in these terms will make sessions more relatable and real.
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