Elevate the Importance of Cybersecurity for the C-Suite
Are your executives fully engaged with your cybersecurity efforts? If not, it’s never too late to educate your leadership team and capture their support for these important initiatives.
As a technology professional, you might feel the looming risk associated with cyberattacks — but are you the only one who sees the possibility of this happening to your corporation? Even as you are taking all appropriate measures within your department, you might struggle to create the same sense of urgency with business units and your senior leadership team. Without the full support of the company, you could easily find the most well-considered plans falling short due to a quick click by an unthinking staff member. Defining the real and present dangers that are surrounding your organization can help you elevate the importance of cybersecurity to the C-suite in a way that will have them thoughtfully considering how to fund your requests in the coming year.
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
A recent survey of 800 global CISOs revealed that 51% of organizations don’t feel that they are ready to adequately respond to a cybersecurity incident. What’s more telling is that 29% of these individuals either didn’t have an incident response plan in place or hadn’t tested it in the past year. This speaks to a lack of urgency in the C-Suite, where cybersecurity risk should be a primary consideration around the budgeting table when allocating assets for the coming year. Here are a few fast facts that can help you elevate the conversation and create an impetus for movement at the top tiers of your corporation:
- 55% of small to mid-size businesses reported a cyberattack in the previous 12 months
- With the California Consumer Privacy Act, your business is in danger of incurring fines up to $750 per consumer, per incident
- Successful cyberattacks will cause damages upwards of $6 trillion by 2021
- The cost of ransomware-related downtime can cost 23 times more than paying the ransom
When you add up these statistics, they can paint a bleak picture for organizations that are under-prepared for cyberattacks.
2. Define Cybersecurity Risk in Business Terms
The dollars may not be enough to create a compelling argument that captures the attention of your company’s leaders, so you may need to phrase the impact in business terms.
- How many customers will be inconvenienced in the event of a cyberattack?
- What will the long-term impact on revenue be if you’re unable to sustain operations for a period of time?
- How frustrated will staff members become, and what’s the measure of lost productivity?
When you are able to properly articulate these figures, you’re suddenly putting the cybersecurity risk in real terms that can be plotted against the costs of other projects.
3. Provide Actionable Recommendations . . . and a Timeline
Now that you know you can capture the attention of senior leadership, you have to refine your message in such a way that it will be accepted. That means an actionable, understandable plan that doesn’t get too deep into the technical details. Helping frame the conversation in a way that it will be accepted requires a deeper understanding of the technical tools and solutions, and how they can be leveraged to protect the digital and customer-focused assets of the organization. Perhaps the most important consideration is including a timeline aimed at reducing the risk, as well as the impact on related projects that will need to be considered. Having your homework in order will help you create an irresistible case for taking action — quickly.
Stimulating the interest of senior executives for something that feels a bit nebulous can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s worth exploring to protect your corporation. Cybersecurity initiatives may initially seem to have a relatively low return until you consider the extreme risk associated with a serious data breach or ransomware attack. Providing your leadership team with the proper tools and guidance to evaluate this risk often falls to IT teams, but it requires translating the technical risk into business terms to be successful with this conversation. The team at ECW Network & IT Solutions can help create and execute a targeted plan built to mitigate the cybersecurity risk for your company. Contact us at (561) 306-2284 or chat online with our friendly team of service professionals anytime.