Did you know we are more at risk for cyber-attacks than domestic terrorism? In fact, according to a report by Sky News, the number of cyber-attacks affecting federal networks alone is up two-thirds since 2009 — from 30,000 to 50,000.1
A large majority of the attacks aren’t the result of poor security measures but rather, human error, such as employees visiting risky corners of the web or losing portable phones without being proactive about security updates.
Are You the C-Level Fall Guy?
As the C-Level Executive Fall Guy, what steps can you take to ensure you’re A-Team doesn’t backslide? Mandatory workshops where security enforcement protocol is established is a good starting point to fight cybercrime. Advanced training and recruiting is becoming more commonplace as the reality that cyber espionage is only going to escalate sinks in.
Here is a check list or questions you can ask on cyber security enforcement within your organization:
- Can you and other senior business executives clearly convey the challenges of cyber-security and how your company should respond?
- Is there a Security & Privacy executive who reports to a senior level position within your firm?
- Do you have a documented cyber-security strategy that is regularly reviewed and updated with new threats?
- Do you perform regular risk assessments and technical audits?
- Are you taking into account the security of your partners?
- Do you have a response plan for a cyber-incident, which may or may not include data backup and disaster recovery?
To Fail to Act is to … Fail
Admittedly, these are new hassles which require new ways of thinking in the dawn of the data breach. However, what is shocking are the results found in a recent study by the Deloitte Business Confidence Report. Findings of the study include that in fact CEOs and other top executives do see the threat of cyber-attacks as valid, yet 72 percent of concerned parties have not yet prioritized the needed investments in technology or in preparedness for and response after an attack2.
Interestingly, cyber-threat vulnerabilities as a major barrier to business growth took a back seat to downturns in the economy. Deloitte Consulting’s Jonathan Copulsky found: “The surprise was very few companies identified activities that they were actively taking to address the issue.” He continued, “I think there’s a certain degree of hubris that senior executives have that it couldn’t happen to me. There’s a vulnerability created in organizations because of that hubris. It is no longer a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when.”
Share Your Thoughts
Are you a C-Level exec or IT Manager who has a related personal story to share? Sound off in the comments section below. As we continue to share our stories, we build an arsenal of information that can be of great value to those just learning about precautions they can take to protect their greatest assets within any organization.
- US Government Faces Increasing Volume of Cyber-Threats, Allen, Darren, 11/11/2014
- US Execs Fail to Prioritize Cyber Threats, Training: Survey, Domm, Patty, 10/28/14