As the digital transformation initiatives are picking up the pace across the globe and exponential technologies are advancing rapidly, the threat of cyberattacks is also growing in tandem. This, thereby, is giving birth to the need of embracing cybersecurity more aggressively. Businesses, regulatory requirements, and technological trends are evolving which are posing cybersecurity challenges too.
In this continuously swelling digital world, cyber criminals have also become mature and digital services are becoming increasingly vulnerable. The cost – both financially and in reputational damage – is huge. As per the estimations by Capgemini, the annual cost of cybersecurity attacks is anything from $375 billion to $575 billion.
Undoubtedly, cybersecurity is a broad concern strongly linked to trust, innovation, competitiveness and business growth. Safeguarding customer data, research and development findings, intellectual property, business development documentation, and other critical information assets should be taken care of in the context of digital transformation.
However, the question that lies in front of us is- What percentage of CXOs is embracing cybersecurity? As per A.T. Kearny report, more than 85% of companies have experienced a cyber breach in the past three years. CXOs rank cybersecurity as the no. 1 challenge they face for the third consecutive year. However, only 39% of the 400 executives and board members surveyed in the A.T. Kearny report said their company has fully developed and implemented a cyber defense strategy, 24% have the strategy developed but yet to implement and 37% are yet to create a cyber defense strategy at all. What these numbers exhibit is a lack of sensitivity and inability to tackle the cybersecurity issues by the CXOs.
The Need of Cybersecurity for CXOs
It has become extremely crucial for senior executives and board members to understand the costs associated with a breach in order to give a shape to productive risk management and are able to communicate with the resources required for effective security. Instead of leaving the security and risk management to staff members, the C-suite and boardroom, those responsible for the well-being of their organization, must understand the cybersecurity. If risk mitigation is left to the IT departments or risk managers without the intervention of decision makers, i.e. the CXOs, the organization is likely to be vulnerable to attack from gaps which were not understood and filled at the right time.
The world of cybersecurity is evolving at a very fast pace and taking a very complicated shape. Amidst this, running an organization can be a challenging task for the one without a background or experience in the new age technologies and issues prevalent in the industry. An organization’s senior executives need to understand exactly what it is they are making vital decisions about, hence the need for a cyber expert to sit on the board.
As a CXO, you must scrutinize the below given four situations:
- How to evolve the conventional security model so that there is a focus on data, people and risks?
- How to align the new cybersecurity vision with business as part of the digital journey to deliver deep changes in the security function?
- Where best to invest now that security operations no longer rely solely on infrastructure protection?
- How to evolve the security function towards a people-centric approach in order to avoid employees being the weak link?
In a cyber environment with ever-changing risks and threats, if CXOs are able to cater to above given four situations in an apt manner, you will be very close to keeping your organization away from the threats.