Does your business have a chief information security officer (CISO)? This role might sound futuristic, but with cybersecurity threats growing by the day, protecting your company is essential.
Whether you’re a CEO, another executive, or even a CISO yourself, creating and maintaining a robust cybersecurity protocol is an instrumental part of your business’s health.
Here are some tips for implementing a strong cybersecurity protocol — or sharpening the one you already have.
To the uninitiated, cybersecurity might sound like an IT concern. However, protecting your company from cyber risk is essential to the whole business’s health. In fact, CEOs around the globe rank cyber risk as the number one threat facing organizations today.
Even when C-suite executives understand the importance of cybersecurity, there’s often a problem: a serious knowledge gap between the CISO and the rest of the executives. Many people — including successful executives — have only a passing familiarity with cybersecurity.
Protecting your business from cyber risk is important enough that your whole leadership team should be on board. If the CISO is the only one with a working knowledge of cybersecurity, you have a problem.
Fortunately, the CISO is in a position to change things for the better. Here are a few steps to take to help the rest of the company’s executives get on board:
Throughout this process, building mutual respect is critical. Make sure the rest of the executive suite feels comfortable enough to ask questions. When each C-suite executive respects the others’ realms of expertise, they can all work together for the good of the company.
As the world of cybersecurity (and cyber risk) only gets bigger, businesses are beginning to see a need for a number of new roles, such as:
Planning ahead for these new roles is vital. Keep in mind that there’s currently a serious talent gap. As more businesses learn about cyber risks, they’re rushing to hire knowledgeable professionals to help protect their companies. However, because the field of cybersecurity is growing so quickly, there often aren’t enough available people to fill openings.
As the importance of cybersecurity becomes better known, this issue will likely remedy itself. But in the meantime, cybersecurity pros aren’t commonplace. The sooner you start planning your cybersecurity workforce, the better your chances of hiring the people you need before they’re snatched up by the competition.
If you want your organization to be able to withstand cybersecurity threats, you need to make sure everyone’s on board (and not just the C-suite). The CISO is the person best equipped to lead the charge here, but that doesn’t mean they should be the only one responsible for spreading the message.
It starts with the C-level executives. From there, each executive can introduce their subordinates to the fundamentals of cybersecurity. That pattern can then continue until it reaches entry-level employees.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every single employee needs to know all there is to know about cybersecurity. At each level, make sure the employees understand enough to keep their departments and workstations safe.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t offer further education to employees who ask. A curious employee might eventually become a cybersecurity expert for your company!
Love it or hate it, automation is quickly transforming almost every industry. And despite claims that automation is taking away jobs, companies have begun to see that if anything, it helps improve the job experience for current employees.
For example, because automation can handle tedious, repetitive tasks like data entry, strategically implementing automation leaves your employees more time to perform useful, more fulfilling work.
This recommendation comes with a caveat, however. While embracing automation is generally a good thing, don’t become so enthusiastic that you forget the need for human intervention. These are still the early days of automation, so there’s still a need for actual humans to inspect results and fix errors.
As you already know, the world of technology is quickly growing. This means that as soon as your company discovers how to navigate one cybersecurity challenge, there will be another right around the corner.
There’s no way to predict exactly what’s coming next. But when you have an agile mindset and a good working familiarity with the cybersecurity world, you’ll start to get a feel for how to adapt.
That being said, no company will be able to adapt to cybersecurity challenges all the time. There will likely be instances where you fail. In these cases, focusing on resilience is key. Don’t spend time lamenting your company’s failure. Instead, learn from the mistake and develop a stronger plan for next time.
How do you prepare for something like this? You might not be able to predict the future, but you can run through potential scenarios with your executive team.
When you plan out what to do in response to a hypothetical situation, you’ll know your next course of action if a cybersecurity event were to occur.
The digital world is evolving at a blistering speed. From an innovation standpoint, that’s a great thing. However, when it comes to cybersecurity risk, that lightning-fast evolution means that threats are becoming more dangerous.
Without a robust security protocol, your company is vulnerable to lasting damage. But when you have a capable CISO and C-suite members who are eager to learn about cybersecurity and protect your company from risk, you’ll be prepared for just about any threat that comes your way.
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