Cyber Security is no longer a niche topic for a company’s IT department. These days cyber threats have a great impact on every single part of the company and its employees. While we don’t advocate CEOs trying to learn the ins and outs of cyber security in-depth, those in charge must be up to date with all the developments in cyber security. CEOs should be aware of all the potential risks, possible mitigating techniques, and optimal cyber practices for the sake of their companies. Here we’ve combined everything that CEOs should know about cyber security, what to do with that information and which practices to incorporate into your work life and culture to ensure maximum security and minimize threats.
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Having solid digital defenses is essential for every modern company. Not only do the majority of big companies store most of the important data online, but most of the company’s finances are also being handled digitally. Every CEO needs to realize the impact their cyber security systems have on the entire business. Suppose the company leaders do not recognize the impact of cyber defense policy on the company’s general success. In that case, it can directly affect whether or not the leadership listens to people who know more about the topic. Cyber attacks can damage the company’s reputation and its trustworthiness in the public eye, but their impact doesn’t stop there. There are also huge financial risks tied to weak cyber security. Although not all cyber attacks are geared towards the company’s finances, they are pretty common, and the possibilities are virtually endless for hackers if your systems aren’t properly secured. In Cybersecurity, losing time over bickering and power plays is rarely a good idea, especially when the companies livelihood is concerned. So a CEO must have a good understanding of the impact of cyber threats and must be willing to prioritize cybersecurity when necessary.
Some people think that most cyber threats come around because of some incomprehensibly complicated technology that manages to break down the cyber security defenses of the company. In reality, the most common cause for cyber attacks is human error. Over 60% of all data breaches come from unauthorized access from people within the company, current or past employees. This is especially hard to navigate in large companies that employ large groups of people. It’s not uncommon for regular employees to unknowingly click on malware they receive via email. They might click on dangerous links or engage with suspicious individuals online and all with their work computers. Probably the best investment you can make as a CEO who cares about the sustainability of their cyber security practices is to make sure that every employee knows at least the basics of cybersecurity. This can be achieved through various types of training over the course of a few days or a few weeks. This way, the employees won’t fall for simple phishing scams and won’t compromise the sensitive data in some other mundane and completely preventable precedent.
With systems as complicated as cyberspace, there is no simple solution. If you want to have a robust defense infrastructure at your company, you must combine at least a couple of defense practices and technologies for the best results. The more layers, the better. Training your employees to detect at least the very basic cyber threats and phishing scams is only a part of the solution. You should also make sure that the company’s network connection is encrypted and will not be vulnerable to attacks coming from the outside. The easiest way to do that is to ensure that all employees that are using the company’s network are connected to a VPN. A VPN means concealed IP address along with other personal data staying hidden. VPNs reroute the connection through a secure server, and this way, no one will be able to trace any of the company’s online activity back to it.
Apart from VPNs, investing in a good antivirus system is always a good idea. There are plenty of options out there, so it’s easy to find a perfect fit. Combining these three basic factors that any employee can get behind is a great starting point towards a more secure cyber presence for any company.
Apart from the practices put in place inside the company, CEOs should also start looking into risk assessment. Generally, it’s better to bring in an independent company to assess to identify the potential vulnerabilities and gaps in your company’s cyber security systems. These companies will also look into the company’s security policies and procedures, giving you insights on what you can do to help improve the defense systems for the company.
Risk assessment should always be treated as one of the top priorities for a company’s cyber security. Bringing in the independent company to do the assessment will also validate the effectiveness of your current practices and help you understand what needs to be changed and why. Although this is not a one-time procedure, the risk assessment needs to happen semi-regularly. Nonetheless, it is one of the best investments you will make for your company’s cyber security.
In the field of cybersecurity, what worked yesterday may not work today. And the rules of the game change pretty frequently as well. This is why CEOs need to keep an eye on the latest regulatory changes and new and improved cybersecurity practices to create and then enforce a cohesive and effective cybersecurity vision for the company. While your IT department will do all the heavy lifting, it’s important that the CEO prioritizes and embraces the changes that are so characteristic of this field. And in the end, it is up to you to decide the general direction as well as priorities of the company. Staying informed about the field of cybersecurity will help you make informed decisions and come up with a plan that will ensure the company’s cyber security and its longevity.