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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

What CEOs Should Know About Cybersecurity

What CEOs Should Know About Cybersecurity

Anderson Patterson
Jan 12, 2022

Table of Contents

The three most frequently asked questions asked by CEOs about cyber security are: How can the quality of our cybersecurity be assessed? What needs to be known about cybersecurity? What can be done about cybersecurity?

Most organizations educate their workforce on the importance of information security and how everyone must share in the responsibility of cybersecurity. One of the best defenses against cyber threats is to create a cybersecurity culture. It is vital to make the "culture" understand that it’s not technology, but people that can be an organization's weakest link or its most significant defence against cyber attacks.

CEOs must go the extra mile and obtain more cybersecurity information. All necessary steps need to be taken to secure all sensitive and valuable information assets. A simple way for CEOs to up their cybersecurity is to get a residential proxy. When using residential proxies, you can choose a specific location (a mobile carrier, city, or country) to use the web as a real user in that area. Proxies, like the ones provided by Smartproxy, are buffers against general web traffic that also conceals your IP address. This is just one small step to take in the right direction. But as you will see, there are quite a few other crucial cyber safety mechanisms to be in place to make sure your company does not fall into a cyber breach trap.

Five Facts Every CEO Should Know About Cybersecurity

When it comes to a company's cybersecurity, here are a few facts every CEO should be aware of.

  • Be prepared that security breaches and cyber-attacks will occur. And that will harm your business.
  • A survey on cybersecurity states that more than 60% of all data breaches came from unauthorized access. This access is usually done by third-party suppliers, current or former employees.
  • It is good to get information security compliance, but complete cybersecurity will not be achieved in doing only that.
  • Premiums of cyber liability insurance are increasing tremendously. And not all damages get covered by this insurance.
  • Response services managed to monitor and detect have to be combined with business continuity plans and comprehensive disaster recovery to achieve natural data resilience and information security.

10 Tips Every CEO Should Practice Regarding Cybersecurity

If you want to start improving the online security of your business, here are ten tips you can use as a starting point.

  • Awareness training and cybersecurity education should be given to everyone in the organization.
  • To identify potential gaps in the organization's information security policies, procedures, plans, and processes, be sure to hire an independent company to conduct a cyber risk assessment. The assessment will be done against industry standards and government regulatory compliance requirements and is a great way to identify any gaps or issues before they are exploited.
  • It is vital to have certified ethical hackers periodically do penetration testing. This will help to identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities that might be in your information systems.
  • Your IT team should implement a software patch management program to mitigate known security vulnerabilities frequently.
  • Ensure the organization's information systems have 24/7/365 detection, monitoring, and response capabilities.
  • The organization must have an appropriate cyber breach incident response plan, including the procedures and policies related to ransomware attacks.
  • An independent company should conduct a cyber liability insurance coverage adequacy evaluation.
  • Establish information security key performance indicators (i.e. cost of information security as a percentage of total company IT cost, cost of cyber insurance number of cyber-attacks, network downtime, network uptime, number of data breaches, etc.).
  • A periodically tested and well-documented disaster recovery and business continuity plan need to be in place to ensure that all lost or stolen data can be recovered.
  • Multi-factor authentication, highly restricted access, and encryption should be used to ensure additional security for all the company's sensitive information.

6 Questions to Assess the Quality of Your Cybersecurity Program

As the CEO, you’ll need to assess the quality of your cybersecurity frequently. Here are six questions you can use to help evaluate your current program.

  • What type of threat can our organization face based on the type of data we hold and our business model?

  • Does our threat profile align with our cybersecurity strategy?

  • How much of our IT budget is dedicated to cybersecurity?

  • Does our cybersecurity conform to industry standards?

  • Is our cyber security adequately based on our threat profile?

  • Does the organization have a person like a Chief Information Officer to dedicate their time fully to the function and mission of the company's cyber security?

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, some CEOs are in the dark about cybersecurity. Their Chief Information Officers and Chief Information Security Officers don’t do their jobs and give the information of all the possible cyber risks daily. On the other hand, you have CEOs who know all the risks, but don’t do anything.

After research was conducted on this matter, it was found that this sort of operation was due to short-term financial problems. They would much rather take the risk than be fully covered against the criminal threats in the cyber world. This can be a fatal mistake, as many cyber breaches can lead to millions of dollars in losses. It may be wise to pay a bit more now, rather than risk paying a lot later on.

Anderson Patterson | Anderson is a video editor and developer who believes in the power of visual organization. He recently graduated from the University of Washington, where he concentrated on post-production during his studies. He was first exposed to the mystical world of visual art creation while watching his father edit advertisements when he was a child, and he has been working towards his dream of becoming a video editor ever since.

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