CEOs Need to Take Cyber Security Seriously


16 Oct 2015

CEOs Need to Take Cyber Security Seriously

With cyber security threats on the rise, CEOs need to take the matter more seriously. Thinking that your IT department can handle the threats to your business is not good enough. Someone needs to sit at the top table to emphasise security and a CEO needs to listen.

Typically, an organisation’s cyber security is endangered due to a lack of understanding from those at the top. If a CEO does not understand the threat and implications of a cyber security breach, they are less likely to devote adequate resources to implementing effective security measures. Most believe that their organisation’s IT Department handles the issue. However, there is more to keeping an organisation’s data safe than implementing IT measures.

According to statistics, the biggest cause of cyber breaches comes from the insider threat, a threat that an IT Department is typically unable to tackle. The 2015 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that the common denominator across nearly 90% of all cyber security incidents was people. Individuals may act in ignorance and act inappropriately, they may deliberately or accidentally introduce malware, they may deliberately engage in malicious action or they may just lose a device containing sensitive data.

The introduction of a dedicated Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Security Officer (CSO) into an organisation can go some way to help secure an organisation. However, this can only be achieved if the CISO receives support from the board as well as the necessary budget and resources.

A ‘CISO in the boardroom’ provides vital information and insights that the board would not have otherwise. Most executives have business, operational, and financial acumen, but typically boards and executives are not fluent in the matters of information security risk.

Cyber Security Awareness (CSA)

To assist CEOs in understanding the cyber security threats their organisations face, PGI offers the Cyber Security Awareness  course  to allows leaders and managers of organisations to grasp the business critical issues of cyber security.  By understanding what needs to be done to mitigate risks, an organisation’s leadership can take appropriate and effective action.

Lack of awareness of the cyber security threat remains an issue. The vast majority of organisations do not have a CISO in place and continue to rely on their often overstretched IT department. In some cases the matter of information security only registers on a board’s radar after a security breach has occurred. By that time the damage will have already been done and in the case of a smaller organisation the repercussions can be devastating.  

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