The Management Series
May 2017

Executives Are Crucial to Effective Cyber Security

Sick of hearing about the importance of cyber security to the success and stability of your company? Too bad. C-suite executives almost always need to know and learn more.

“It is a potentially disastrous mistake for executives with non-technical backgrounds to simply assign responsibility for cybersecurity to the chief security officer, chief information security officer or IT team,” CIOReview warns in the article “Why the C-Suite Must Embrace Cybersecurity.”

“As we have seen in recent headlines, a particularly bad public data breach can ruin a CEO’s career,” the magazine adds. “As enterprises and government agencies are required to follow [federal standards and guidelines] and other cybersecurity guidelines, more than just the CEO will be targeted for replacement.”

The article outlines four things C-suite executives should look for and consider when trying to shape their company’s cyber-security culture and practices. Two key ones:

  • Apply Cyber-Security Brakes: “Are employees circumventing security measures in order to access business applications more easily? Have they created a shadow IT environment of unauthorized systems and solutions for their convenience? … Finding ways to minimize the risk of human error, such as automating as many security processes as possible, can also help increase business efficiency.”
  • Stay Ahead of the Curve: “Companies need to adopt practices that don’t affect their workflow and don’t disrupt the actual business in any way. Look to what universities, incubators and startups are producing, as they are the best sources for cybersecurity solutions and talent, and hire the expertise you need from that pool.”

Many executives rely on the advice of their IT pros and on information they can glean from journals. But what if they need more detailed information to do their jobs knowledgeably?

Consider taking an online cyber-security course designed by MIT and aimed at grounding non-IT business professionals in the basics of cyber security.

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