Q&A: What Business Leaders Should Ask About Cybersecurity

Effective cybersecurity starts at the top. Where should leadership invest its time?

Unless your boardroom contains cybersecurity experts, leadership may overlook (or misunderstand) how to align business goals with security initiatives. Consider the following questions and answers to get on the right track.

Does our organization have a cross-functional approach to cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is not just an IT department issue. Today’s hackers are often employees of large, organized crime syndicates who seek to steal proprietary information and government data. Integrating security strategies into every aspect of the business is essential to defending against these sophisticated criminal operations armed with advanced cyber threats.

How can we reap more benefits from our cybersecurity efforts?

Optimally leveraging cybersecurity investments to improve operations and enhance efficiency is only possible with executive leadership support. Whether revising policies and procedures to limit exposure, instituting strong controls to achieve framework or regulatory compliance, or streamlining operations with new technology, maximizing returns and aligning the security strategy with business objectives is in reach with executive buy-in.

Are we prepared to evolve to meet emerging threats?

New threats emerge every day, making IT security an ongoing initiative. To keep pace, organizations should develop a cybersecurity framework that can adapt to changes in the threat landscape and grow with the business. Security programs that do not account for long-term business goals increase risk and cost over the long term.

Have we fostered a cybersecurity culture?

If the boardroom treats cybersecurity like a nuisance, every other level of the organization will follow suit. Negativity undermines security policies and deprives companies of a critical source of protection: engaged employees. Conversely, creating a culture of security encourages people to report issues to IT faster; to be mindful of phishing scams and other malware traps; to take password security seriously; and to avoid careless errors that weaken defenses.