4 Strategies for CEOs to Win Their Cyber Security Tug of War



The cyber security tug of war is never ending even though chief executive officers and board members now get the importance of protecting their companies’ information assets. They’ve learned to fear cyber-security threats because they could lose their jobs.

If this is all true, why then are there incessant, worldwide cyber attacks? Business Web sites are facing an increasingly intense full-court press from cybercriminals – cybercrime now costs businesses $1 trillion.

thinking-272677_1280Ostensibly, executives still don’t understand all the nuances and methods used against their companies’ assets. And yet there are plenty of ways to understand the risks.

Companies face cyber-security issues in countless ways — from customer service and finance to human resources.

Often, companies and their employees self destruct. For instance, an epidemic of social-networking attacks represents unprecedented dangers to companies. In just one case, a Facebook user cost her company a $1 million loss.

The uninsured million-dollar loss wouldn’t have occurred if the company incorporated the right safety measures.

While it’s important to secure business assets but CEOs still can’t calculate their returns on security investments.

You’ve heard of the old saying: “Garbage in, garbage out,” right? Human conduct – intentional or otherwise — is the reason for most security risks. But for many people, old habits are hard to break.

CEO leadership is vital

President Harry Truman was famous for saying, “The buck stops here.” That’s true for CEOs in cyber security. The CEO has to see to it that their companies manage the risks and that they stay in close communication with their information technology managers.

While it’s important to secure business assets but CEOs still can’t calculate their returns on security investments.

But it’s a difficult task because CEOs don’t have reasons to respect their chief information officers. Indeed, CEOs have long complained to me about information technology.

They complain about high-priced consultants, and that IT projects are too expensive and fail to yield a return on investment.

And two studies underscore the need for IT professionals to become more businesslike.

So, CEOs must act.

To guard against cyber risks, here are four must-do strategies:

  1. CEOs must communicate proactively in cyber-risk management. Communication with IT professionals must improve – dramatically. Analysis should include priorities, the potential dangers to information assets and the tradeoffs.
  1. CEOs must direct security initiatives at every level and opportunity. This includes being transparent with customers and potential customers in the marketplace before and after any cyber attack.
  1. CEOs must be role models in security. They must walk the talk in cyber security matters. Only then will they be effective in motivating staff to use security measures.
  1. CEOs must make sure all employees and vendors employ security controls and diligent follow policies. It should be an ongoing process to monitor security issues to insure progress.

Short of implementing these four strategies, companies will not be able to innovate and prosper.

From the Coach’s Corner, here‘s more:

Do BYOD Headaches Outweigh Benefits? Yes — More than half — 53 percent — of surveyed global businesses admit they’re not ready to defend against attacks on their employees’ bring their own device (BYOD) devices. Nearly all say their devices might have been attacked, according to a 2014 study.

4 Recommendations to Avoid Spending Too Much on IT — To take advantage of big cost savings in information technology, a study says businesses need to change their buying habits. Here’s how.

4 Keys So Marketing and IT Can Create Business Revenue — Businesses will generate more revenue if their information technology and marketing professionals strategize more effectively. For instance, success in e-commerce is increasingly challenging for companies that want to dominate in brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising.

 How to Enhance Security in Your Company’s Wireless Network — Do you take it for granted that your wireless network is secure? Don’t make that assumption. Wireless routers present dangers. Your router is vulnerable to hackers and, hence, security issues. If you’re really serious about security, WIFI might not be for you.

“Unless and until our society recognizes cyber bullying for what it is, the suffering of thousands of silent victims will continue.”

-Anna Maria Chavez


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.