• May 30, 2024
  • Catagory cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an Executive Management Concern

By : Sanjeev Spolia

Cybersecurity hasn’t been just an IT management issue for a long time, but executive management can’t afford to sit on the sidelines when data breaches continue to threaten the reputation and financial stability of the organization.

The executive management of many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often make the mistake of thinking the organization isn’t of interest to threat actors, when in fact their cybersecurity risk is just as significant as large enterprises. They assume their IT teams have put in place the necessary technology and resources to protect the organization, and that the cloud-based applications they run are completely secured by the vendors and service providers.

Cybersecurity is also a line item in a budget, and executive management may feel as though they cannot justify the necessary spending given the pressure to manage wages, shareholder expectations and other costs while keeping the prices of their own products and services competitive.

It can also be difficult for executive management to understand the return-on-investment (ROI) of strategic cybersecurity spending, but the upfront and ongoing costs of robust security are cheaper than the financial consequences of a data breach.

The disruption caused by a cybersecurity incident will cost your business money because it invariably leads to the inability to operate at full capacity – your business can be completely unable to serve customers for not only hours, but days or longer.

This inability to serve customers not only leads to a loss of business and revenue due to the disruption itself, but also due to loss of reputation, which is damaged in the eyes of customer and suppliers. Depending on your regulatory obligations and your industry, you may face audits, investigations and even fines, which are far more expensive than investing in strong cybersecurity.

Executive management must stay in the loop and understand where the organization stands when it comes to its security posture. They must demand regular assessments, so they have confidence in what cybersecurity defences are working well, which ones need improvement, and which ones are non-existent.

By having clear visibility into the cybersecurity strategy of the organization, executive management can understand how investments can be made to improve security and how they align with business uptime objectives and regulatory compliance obligations.

Developing your own internal cybersecurity risk assessment will allow you to tailor it to the realities of your business, but you should consider aligning with well-established cybersecurity frameworks and the seek the input of outside experts. A managed security services provider can help assess your current state of security and help you implement protection and response strategies will give everyone peace of mind, including executive management.