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All companies connected to the internet are vulnerable to cyber attacks, with the potential losses significant. Nowadays, liability for data breaches that affect customers leads directly to the leadership of the C-Level suite. Now more than ever, executives need to personally know how strong their company’s cyber defenses are, as well as the expected responses for attacks or breaches.
However, experts say that many business leaders are resistant to investing in systems and training to protect against cyberattacks. Experts are baffled by this mentality the of CEOs and CIOs that they are safe because they do not have anything worth stealing, which, of course, is false in the digital era.
Where C-Level Executive’s Go Wrong
For the C-Level executives that think they are safe from any form of cyberattacks, the risks are growing every minute. Unfortunately, for every business leader, a cybersecurity attack is no longer a potentiality, it is an eventuality. For a C-Level in an business in any industry, there will never be enough technology or humans to truly protect a business from an attack due to the fact that attackers grow increasingly intelligent and agile as technology evolves.
“Gone are the days when companies could pass the headaches of cyber security to the IT department, as it has become more of a business issue too. This is especially important as businesses are more digitized, meaning they are exposed to an increasing number of threats if they do not manage the risk of security properly, especially from the viewpoint of the executive.” Forbes reports.
Since there could never be enough strategies for a C-Level to implement to protect their business in the age of digital transformation, they will need to invest just as much time and energy in being able to respond and recover when a cyberattack does occur.
What are the Measures C-Level’s Should Take?
Executives should start by understanding what protocols they currently have in place and where they fall short in the IT sphere of their business. According to experts, an annual security assessment is thought to be a best practice to prevent data breaches. If performed correctly, the security assessment reveals the residual risk, and the number and scale of attacks that are likely to get through. If the residual risk is acceptable, then an annual review may be sufficient for most C-Level executives.
However, most experts say that cybersecurity should be viewed as four main components: Prevention, Detection, Response, and Recovery. While there are multiple prevention technologies that a business can take, it would be easier for a C-Level executive to understand which route to take when deciding on which exact measure they should implement into their IT department.
“Rolling the dice on a cyberattack creates an enormous financial risk for your business. But the stakes are much higher than that. Doing so is also, in effect, gambling on the livelihoods of all of your employees and the data security of your customers. As a leader, you have a duty to protect them all.” Forbes reports.
Unfortunately, no business is immune to cyberattacks. Hackers cast a wide net in their search for vulnerable targets, leaving your business open for an attack at any time. With the chance that hackers have identified your point in the financial value chain very high, they are most likely trying to penetrate your cyber defenses at this very moment. Therefore, it is now up to the C-Level executive to not be caught sleeping during this time and ensure that the technology and people that they have are up to speed and ready to protect their company.
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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!
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