Cybersecurity is one of the most critical functions in any modern enterprise. CEOs are ultimately responsible for all aspects of their company; however, corporate leaders often ignore cybersecurity risks until it’s too late. The news is chock full of tales of sophisticated cyberattacks that cause significant damage to the company and the public. While most of the workforce was working remotely in 2021 due to the pandemic, it was still one of the most active years in cyberattacks.
Check Point Research reports that in 2021, the overall weekly cyberattacks on corporate networks increased by 50 percent compared to 2020. And In Q4 of 2021, there was “an all-time peak in weekly cyberattacks per organization, counting over 900 attacks per organization.”
With statistics like these, it is evident that CEOs must have a working knowledge of the current protections in place in their organization and its cybersecurity posture as it relates to the types of cutting-edge security available and any new threats that are developing.
The Top Cybersecurity Challenges in 2022
As the year progresses, businesses have experienced many cybersecurity-related concerns. We will discuss the three most prominent network security issues.
Insufficient Cybersecurity Awareness
As mentioned before, cyber attacks are increasing in number and aggressiveness. As a result, it is imperative that CEOs give cybersecurity a high priority. Not only should attention be given to cybersecurity tools and resources, but employees need to be educated about online threats and how to avoid them. For example, 97 percent of people cannot identify a phishing scam. In addition, phishing attacks are becoming more geo-targeted, meaning they are designed to be more localized and personalized. Therefore, robust and comprehensive cybersecurity awareness programs are paramount.
Remote Workforce Issues
Due to the current pandemic, more people are working from home than ever. And even as workers return to the office, many companies are adopting a hybrid work model. Having a remote workforce carries several security concerns:
- Unsecured home network connections
- Increased use of online tools
- Employee’s inability to spot scams
- Remote workers often lose sight of security concerns
- Increased vulnerability to phishing and ransomware attacks
- Unencrypted file sharing
- The use of personal devices
As of 2021, there were more than ten billion active IoT devices worldwide. And data theft through these devices is a scary prospect. In addition, with eCommerce replacing brick-and-mortar stores, keeping IoT-device integrity is more vital than ever. IoT security can be increased by:
- Conceiving IoT-device security early on—security should never be an afterthought
- Investing in smart devices capable of running software that can be updated
- Using professional support
Five Facts CEOs Should Know About Cybersecurity
- Cyberattacks will happen to your company, and there will be an adverse impact. According to IBM, a typical data breach experienced by companies in 2021 cost an average of $4.24 million per incident.
- Over 60 percent of all data breaches emanate from unauthorized access from a current or former employee or a third-party supplier.
- Twenty-three percent of data breaches are caused by human error.
- Compliance with government regulatory standards (such as ISO 27001, NIST 800-171, HIPAA, NYDFS, etc.) is suitable buy Spotify Plays but not good enough to ensure your company’s cybersecurity alone.
- Cyber liability insurance is expensive and is increasing in cost. In addition, it often does not cover all the damages suffered by a cyberattack.
Ten Things to Do to Achieve Effective Cybersecurity
CEOs must combine managed monitoring, detection, and response protocols to ensure real security with a comprehensive recovery and business continuity plan. Here are some suggestions:
- Develop a cybersecurity awareness training program, then make sure everyone (from top to bottom) receives the training.
- Hire a reliable and independent cybersecurity company to do a risk assessment of your business.
- Make sure you have periodic penetration testing done by an Ethical Hacker to determine any cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
- Mandate your IT team to develop a timely and effective software patch management program. This will help mitigate security vulnerabilities as quickly as possible.
- Ensure your information systems have monitoring, detection, and response capacity 24/7/365.
- Establish a cyber breach response plan that includes procedures for a ransomware attack.
- Hire an independent firm to evaluate your cyber security liability insurance coverage.
- Gather key performance indicators: number of cyberattacks, data breaches, network uptime and downtime, cost of breaches, cost of security insurance, percentage of total IT budget that pertains strictly to security, etc.
- Make a disaster recovery plan and revisit it periodically to ensure it is relevant.
- Mandate sound security practices such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and highly restricted access to the company’s most valuable information assets.
Prudent Questions to Ask When Assessing a Company’s Cybersecurity Stance
To get truly serious about your company’s cybersecurity, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What type of threats is my business most vulnerable to? (Base this on the business model and the kind of data the business has.)
- What type of entities could be after our data? (e.g., nation-states, sophisticated criminal organizations, hacktivists, etc.)
- After determining the company’s threat profile, ask yourself: Does our cybersecurity plan meet the challenges of our threat profile?
- Is cybersecurity seen as an organization-wide issue?
- What percentage of our budget is earmarked for cybersecurity? Do we meet industry standards? And is it enough for our unique threat profile?
- Do we have someone who functions full-time as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)?
- Do our written cybersecurity policies align with what is actually happening in the workplace?
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