With the development of digital technologies, cybersecurity has become an increasingly vital prerequisite for a business to operate successfully. Executive decision-makers must have a solid awareness of cyber risk ideas and challenges in order to take effective action in the new digital environment, which needs corporate leaders to evaluate and manage cyber risk adequately.
Managing the risks that represent the most significant harm to an organization’s overall health is critical for CISOs to focus on because it’s difficult to avoid becoming overwhelmed by cybersecurity firefighting. They must achieve this by connecting cybersecurity to corporate objectives. It’s a difficult task that can be accomplished with the appropriate strategy.
The following methods can help CISOs advance cybersecurity and business alignment in the correct direction.
Prioritize risk reduction above risk elimination
Security spending and the efficacy of risk reduction will eventually cross paths, even if each business will have its unique risk appetite. Beyond this point, enterprises will experience declining returns on their ongoing investments.
It’s crucial for CISOs to comprehend and effectively convey a fundamental cybersecurity premise to the board of directors and C-level stakeholders: Risk can never be entirely eliminated, no matter how much money companies spend on security.
Instead, when it comes to dealing with specific risks, companies have four options: they can minimize them, accept them, transfer them, or overlook them. The exquisite course of action will lean on how much money and effort must be invested to reduce the risk and how much risk could disrupt operations if left unchecked.
In order to change the practice’s outdated reputation as a cost center, CISOs who can precisely map the intersection of risk mitigation effectiveness and security spending will be in a much better position to show cyber accountability and responsibility having to pass to the C-suite and the board of directors.
Customer trust and reputation are in jeopardy from cyber risk exposure
As exposure to cyber risk may affect reputation, competitive positioning, consumer trust, and possibly result in penalties and lawsuits, leaders frequently confront difficult choices when managing cyber risk.
In this situation, executives must address a variety of contemporary issues, including fluctuating organizational priorities, altering budgets, technology, and staff headcounts, as well as developing enemy strategies and emergent security events. The dynamic nature of cyber risk refers to this complexity as a whole. However, executive decision-makers are frequently blown away by the complexity and time constraints when coping with cyber risk issues. Under such events, there is a chance of security blind spots.
Techniques that simulate cyber-attacks in a controlled way include cyber event simulations and exercises. They frequently take the form of approved planned attacks against the defender’s infrastructure or tabletop exercises.
The fiery nature of cyber risk is not taken into account, despite the fact that these actions are useful in creating a baseline for cyber risk management. They are best characterized as a one-dimensional strategy, which usually causes decision-makers to underestimate the risk.
Recognizing C-suite issues
CISOs frequently find themselves outside of crucial C-level planning and business strategy input since they are adjacent to the C-suite adjacent. Because they will vary among stakeholders, it is crucial for CISOs to comprehend each C-level leader’s top business and security issues in order to ensure that security activities have a good business impact. The integration of a forthcoming acquisition, for instance, might be the CEO’s top concern. The unabated cost of security controls might be the CFO’s greatest worry. The chief risk officer might be most concerned with the accessibility of sales tools from any location.