Organizations now face numerous obstacles, particularly following the challenges created by the pandemic. Cybercrime is today one of the most noticeable and immediate threats to an organization. Becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is impacting critical services, enterprises, and even individuals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom over people’s personal and professional lives, prompting more quarantines, lockdowns, and self-imposed isolations, the role of the chief information security officer (CISO) has increasingly become a shared responsibility among all personnel of a business, including the entire C-suite.
People are looking to the individuals in control as threats become more sophisticated and data breaches have an impact on a company’s bottom line, overall reputation, and investment prospects. Customers hold them accountable when their credit cards are compromised by a data breach, and investors question the C-suite when the company’s value is lowered by an attack. When a company is crippled by a cyberattack, the public always points to the C-suite’s failures.
Three steps the C-suite can take to protect their company from cyberattacks
The C-suite, along with the IT team, is one of the first responders on the scene in the event of an attack, and it should be their first priority. Here are three steps the C-suite can take now to secure their company and lessen the risk of cyberattacks on the front lines.
Make employee education and training a priority
The first step that the C-suite should take to guarantee that their company’s data is safeguarded from prospective cyberattacks is to educate and train their employees on the latest risks. Whether it’s phishing emails, malware, or DDoS attacks, the C-suite should devote time and resources to educating employees on fundamental cyber hygiene. This includes teaching employees how to detect and identify phishing emails with suspicious links, as well as frequently updating passwords for essential endpoints like emails and social media sites.
Take charge from the top
While CIOs are normally in charge of these initiatives, other C-suite executives support them to provide an added layer of confidence and integrity. The Chief Operating Officer (COO), can help offer the authority needed to push for a better security culture and practices within the organization. The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) can also assist in communicating this to other employees and stakeholders, thereby increasing trust and adoption of the company’s security vision. Most importantly, the CEO, as the company’s de facto leader and public face, can take a more active role in making data security a primary topic of discussion and engagement in meetings with the whole executive team, the board of directors, and partners.
Ensure that recovery and continuity plans are in place from the top down
The global pandemic has provided an ideal diversion, which malevolent actors are exploiting fully. Several pandemic-themed attacks have been linked to the coronavirus. Despite having several plans and strategies in place to prepare for any eventuality, businesses are still caught off guard by new and more sophisticated attacks.
To keep the business going in the event of a cyberattack, the C-suite should establish a more comprehensive response and recovery strategy. They should inventory all data on hand, encrypt sensitive data like employee information and financial records, and maintain frequent backups that are properly stored outside of the network. Data backup is the most exceptional technique to ensure that even if data is destroyed as a result of an attack, external copies can be accessed and utilized later. This ensures that an organization’s data is never completely lost.