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All IT Executives Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now

All IT Executives Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now

We’re all connected to the internet in every aspect of our lives. Making friends, keeping in touch with family, working, dating, shopping, debating, learning, entertainment, banking, investing, etc. all happens online. This means we’re using the services provided by various companies throughout the day. A lot of them have access to sensitive information that can cause harm if it falls into the wrong hands.

To go offline isn’t really an option for most of us. Instead, fear of cyber crimes calls for executives to update their cybersecurity knowledge. Malware, ransomware, virus attacks, phishing, etc. are common enough nowadays. Even a disgruntled employee can end up costing the company money if they launch a successful attack. This is serious enough for most senior-level management to take cybersecurity seriously.

A cybersecurity survey by BAE Systems was conducted among a sample of 300 respondents who were managers for companies in the Financial Services, Insurance, or Tech/IT industries. It revealed that about 85% of the managers said that the biggest threat of a data breach was reputational damage. Around 74% said that legal liabilities were the second primary concern for them.

This shows that most managers are at least aware of the dangers of a cyber attack on their systems. However, the same survey also revealed that around 40% of them stated that they didn’t have too clear an idea about the cybersecurity protocols of their companies. This is clearly a gap that needs to be covered soon. All senior-level managers should be encouraged to take cybersecurity very seriously. 

To begin with, executives need to be aware of the current protocols in place in their organizations. It’s only by understanding that clearly that they’ll figure out where they need to improve. They should put biannual assessments in place to make sure they follow best practices to avoid cyber crimes. Such assessments reveal the number and the scope of the data attacks they might face, so they can tailor their responses accordingly.

There will always be a degree of risk when it comes to storing data online. Proper cybersecurity doesn’t completely prevent risk but brings it to a more acceptable amount. Your company will have to decide the degree of residual risk that it’s ready to face to set a standard. Your cybersecurity experts will then ensure things are stored in a way that prevents complete disaster in case of a breach.

When setting up your cybersecurity protocols, always favor a dynamic approach. The tech world is rapidly evolving, and your security measures need to keep pace with that evolution. Cyber criminals are ready to employ the latest tech breakthroughs to hack into your data so cybersecurity can’t be lagging behind in dealing with them. Encourage your information security specialists to keep pace with technology by offering to pay for courses. 

It really isn’t enough to merely educate the executives. To have a good defense system, employees need to be made aware of the kinds of cyber threats the company faces and the methods criminals use to cause breaches. A click on a wrong link sent to a junior employee’s email address can spell disaster. Ensure your employees are trained to recognize suspicious content and they know what to do when faced with it.

Research shows that only 38% of companies conduct training on quarterly or biannual basis to ensure employees are educated about cybersecurity. That training often only leads to a 25% chance of the employees successfully recognizing a cyber threat. Training should be frequent with follow-ups to check knowledge retention. Training should also use real-world scenarios so employees’ recognition and response can be more effective.

It will work in the favor of managers to build a close working relation with their lead information security specialists. This is a crucial role in ensuring the company has good defenses. This way, the managers can also stay updated about the latest tech breakthroughs as well as the latest dangers and security controls available to them. All new business initiatives should be run by security specialists to figure out the best practices. It’s better to have a foundation of security rather than try to overlay security measures on a defenseless system.

Being successfully attacked by cyber criminals can cause massive loss and disruption. Defending against that is now part of every manager’s job. Not only do they have to keep themselves informed, they also have to train everyone under them to use defense protocols successfully. Failing to do that isn’t just liability for the company but also a serious loss of face for a manager in this tech-dependent world. 

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