Organizations can enhance their executive cyber security protection on several fronts by:
- Providing executives and organizations with security awareness education: Short bursts of 10-15 minute lessons, featuring real-life simulations of common phishing attacks, can work best to hold executives' attention. These lessons should be tailored to executive-specific threats and run regularly.
- Reminding executives of the impact of breaches: Any discussion of potential threats should be framed in the language of the business. That could mean explaining the financial and reputational cost of serious compromise. Sharing historic examples of breached companies that got things wrong can help focus the C-suite's attention.
- Altering corporate reporting structure: Ensure the chief information security officer has a seat at the top table and reports directly to the CEO to provide more cyber security exposure for the C-suite.
- Formalizing the cyber security program: Align security more closely to the business and its leaders through established key performance indicators and metrics. CISA offers a guide to the key questions CEOs should be asking.
- Updating the C-suite regularly: The threat landscape moves at a staggering pace. Regular updates on the latest threat intelligence are essential to keep the C-suite informed and engaged. Always focus on business-centric metrics and contextualized dashboards to keep their attention and ensure funds flow to the right areas.
- Understanding the risks: Learn the risks most relevant to your organization based on an analysis of the surface, deep and dark webs. Better threat intelligence can give you an edge by enabling proactive detection and response to threats.
- Consider training your whole C-suite on how to react to a cyber attack with Executive Breach Attack Simulations (BAS).
“IDC believes that BAS gives enterprises a robust set of features and functionality that not only help validate the effectiveness of the security controls put in place but also enable a more proactive approach to cyber defense by utilizing automation. This has become a common theme in security services, where the goal of becoming cyber resilient is predicated on the ability to continuously monitor the environment for threats in a proactive way and accelerate the time to remediate issues in order to minimize the impact to the business. Subsequently, we believe that BAS will become an important component of an enterprise’s cyber defense strategy.1”
Executive cyber security protection is only one part of the company-wide security strategy, but an important one. By creating a culture that arms the C-suite with an understanding of the latest security risks and proactive measures, you can enhance cyber security for executives and help to drive a more coherent long-term security strategy. Because after all, cyber risk is business risk.
Verizon can help you understand how your organization stacks up against threats. Get an objective assessment of your cyber security controls.
The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.