Using Cybersecurity Awareness Presentations in the C-Suite
Remaining competitive in today’s complex business environment means organizations must focus on a greater number of challenges than ever before. One of the most important challenges companies face is the threat posed by cyber-attack, cyber-espionage, exposure of sensitive data or other information security breaches.
While previous generations of C-level executive leadership teams have been tasked with general security administration and responsibilities, the cybersecurity challenges faced today require a more detailed knowledge of complex IT functioning than most executives possess. There’s no doubt C-Suite leaders are acutely aware of recent high-profile cyber-attacks, but usually just the general information provided by media reports. In other words, light on detail and analysis.
Cybersecurity awareness is something that the C-Suite needs to be educated on. Executives and corporate directors need to be made more aware of the actual information security risks their organizations are facing and develop a strong cybersecurity strategy. This includes providing them with information such as:
- Specific exposures and risks faced by the organization
- What today’s cybersecurity landscape looks like
- Strategies and approaches for meeting cybersecurity challenges
- How to incorporate the cybersecurity strategy into all business decisions
- The risks associated with doing too little or nothing at all
Learn How to Speak Their Language: Effective Cybersecurity Strategy Presentations
With all of the organizational responsibilities executives face, we must remember cybersecurity is just one of many they are held accountable for. That’s why as security professionals and analysts, we play such a crucial role in ensuring the executive team is kept informed. However, we need to keep in mind that executives and directors are oriented toward business risks, of which cybersecurity risk is just one component. That is why it’s up to us to present the relevance and context of the risks we assess.
If an organization is large enough to have a CSO, CISO or someone in a similar role, then chances are good the entire management team is better informed. However, all security professionals on the team have a responsibility to bring forward their assessments and to educate executives on the threats in the most effective way possible. To that end, here are 3 things to keep in mind when making cybersecurity awareness presentation to executives:
- When a data breach is in the news, take the time to put it in the context of your organization. A report to executive management detailing what occurred and the risk of the same type of attack happening to your organization is a great approach.
- Cybersecurity should be as much a business driver as financial and legal issues are. Take every opportunity to provide a cybersecurity perspective to your executive leadership team.
- If your organization doesn’t currently have a prepared cybersecurity incident response plan, then present this to executives as a critical business necessity.
A cybersecurity breach can be devastating to an organization, both financially and in terms of business reputation. Cybersecurity preparedness can lower the risks to an organization, and it can reduce the potential damage of any cyber-attack that does take place. Ensure your executive team is aware of the risks, how to address them, and how to respond in the case of a cybersecurity breach.