A majority of an organization’s information is now stored and transferred in digital form creating an extremely urgent need for them to secure their data. The integrity of this digital information is constantly being challenged by attacks aimed at stealing, exposing or manipulating it. This hostile environment affects all industries, from healthcare to finance to retail and higher education. Failing to adequately protect this data can cause an organization great financial and reputation harm.

The ability to effectively detect a malicious insider can enable an organization to also stop outsiders when perimeter defenses fail. To combat both internal and external threats, organizations need a comprehensive security analytics solution that complements their perimeter and network security. Excellent technologies and tools are available encompass the full threat lifecycle. These investments are powerful and necessary to reduce cost, complexity, risk and the compliance burden in today’s world of cloud computing, escalating financial crime and menacing cyber-attacks.

Tools and technology are surely a must. But let’s face it, it’s a brave new world sitting before the C suite who now must keep cybersecurity front and center of their organization. It’s dangerous to underestimate the importance of information security and to neglect to educate your team as to how cybersecurity is everyone’s shared responsibility. It’s as much the people, as the technology, which can either be an organization’s greatest asset, or its weakest link against a defending against a data breach.

CEO’s must learn more about cybersecurity to ensure their company is taking appropriate actions to secure their and their customers most valuable information assets. This doesn’t mean that CEO’s   need to become a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP); but they must become knowledgeable of cybersecurity concepts. With that knowledge, they can leverage their role to manage risk in strategic terms, understanding and explaining the business impact of risk.

Cyber-attacks and security breaches will occur and will negatively impact your business.  Achieving information security compliance with one or more government regulatory standards for information security (i.e. ISO 27001, NIST 800-171, HIPAA, PCI, NERC, GDPR, NYDFS, etc.) is good… but not sufficient to ensure real cybersecurity.

Remember, cyber liability insurance premiums are significantly increasing in cost and often don’t cover all the damages caused by a cyber breach. To achieve real information security and data resilience it is vital to combine managed monitoring, detection, and response services with comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

A good start is to develop a threat profile of your organization based on your business model and the type of data your organization holds. Your threat profile should include information about critical assets, threat actors, and threat scenarios. Your threat scenarios are illustrations in which one or more threat actors can mount threat actions to compromise an identified critical asset by exploiting vulnerabilities and inadequate safeguards. Bottom line…. Work very hard to anticipate negative events that would lead to damage because of a vulnerability in your systems in the event of undetected access by a nefarious threat actor.

Some CEO’s simply don’t know enough about cybersecurity or haven’t been provided an accurate portrait of the cyber risks which their company is facing every day. While other CEO’s appear to be contending with a “knowing” versus “doing” gap. So, by developing a detailed threat profile, you provide your organization with a clear illustration of the threats that they face. This enables them to implement a proactive incident management program that focuses on these threat risks, along with the appropriate mitigation procedures

Think of the consequences if you do nothing…