For company executives, understanding information security is a task in and of itself. To put it mildly, determining whether or not your organization is vulnerable is difficult. The majority of boardrooms now have some representation of information security. Many companies demand that cyber threats be communicated by an IT director, CISO, or technical personnel. However, many board members leave these presentations with a hazy knowledge of the actual hazards and concerns. Executives making operational and financial choices do not benefit from technical presentations that detail system vulnerabilities, network anomalies, and suspicious events.
In March of last year, AI spotted sophisticated, targeted marketing cyber or Ransomware attacks that used a zero-day vulnerability to target many firms. The AI discovered, examined, and stopped the attack, concluding that it was a completely new threat. Within two weeks, this effort was officially traced to APT41, a Chinese nation-state actor. Government agencies, essential infrastructure, giant corporations, and, perhaps surprisingly, midsize enterprises were all targeted in the attack.
Cybercrime has entered a new phase. Cybercrime would be the world’s third-largest economy, trailing only the United States and China. Cybercriminals usually regard midsized enterprises as easy targets. Cybercriminals frequently feel that midsize firms are taking precautionary efforts to improve their cybersecurity, making them a tempting target. They’re often employed as a launching pad for attacks against higher-value targets, essential services, and highly classified information, just like APT41. Most companies expect to execute or have already implemented the broad, technology-driven organizational changes that define a digital transformation. An increasing number feel these changes will become vital to their competitiveness shortly.
Midsize enterprises, on the other hand, face a diverse cyber threat. They are, in fact, under-resourced, and global cyber skills have a disproportionate impact on them. Cybersecurity teams are tasked with protecting the organization against a wide range of cyber threats, from advanced, creative, and targeted campaigns to lightning-fast smash-and-grab attacks, while also managing numerous workers and complicated digital infrastructure. The problem goes beyond a lack of resources; the dangers these companies face are too rapid or too subtle for people to manage. The number of new access points for hackers is increasing at a rate that security teams can’t keep up with.
It’s long past time for information security specialists to communicate in business terms. There needs to be a simple system for measuring key performance indicators and displaying the dangers and hazards that such companies may face, as well as their commercial ramifications. Executives make strategic and operational decisions that help the company develop, drive, and grow. Information security experts are on standby to help with those operations. As a result, CEOs, board members, and information security departments are in charge of laying the groundwork for quantifiable goals and recurring risk thresholds. According to cybersecurity experts, a common language can help bridge the gap and communicate the severe nature of cyber hazards that might otherwise go unnoticed:
Critical Risk: Likely to result in lasting company harm, significant financial loss, or a significant tarnishment of the brand image or consumer confidence. Critical cyber threats can be irrevocable at times. Consider security weaknesses that would likely lead to a widespread ransomware assault that business backups would be unable to cure.
While less likely, the negative consequences could cause permanent damage to the company and financial loss that could be fully covered by cyber insurance, necessitating an increased focus on product marketing and consumer confidence.
Moderate Risk: While a bad event is unlikely, it will necessitate an average level of attention to correct, eradicate, or otherwise mitigate it if it does occur. Financial loss, brand health, and consumer trust are unlikely to be harmed.
These are examples of language that can communicate risk to executives and set decision-making parameters. It’s important to remember that not everything is critical. Organizations have missions other than information security unless they’re cybersecurity firms.
Corporate executives and information security experts should work together to create a common vocabulary and measurements, thresholds, and decision points. The first meeting between these two parties should not occur during a crisis. To restart this conversation and build a structure for expectations, responsibility, and regular updates, business leaders must take the following steps:
Establish the security guidelines that your company will follow. CIS 18, SOC2, ISO-27001, and NIST are good places to start. This is something that business leaders and security specialists should agree on.
To determine the present condition of security, conduct a security assessment. This assessment should be completed by an independent security organization to guarantee that the results are objective and seen from a distinct perspective.
Make periodic meetings (monthly, quarterly, etc.) a must-attend habit! Hold each other accountable, set goals, and work toward them. This is the opportunity for the security department to convey concerns, celebrate triumphs, and raise the alarm when anything is wrong and needs to be addressed.
Symptoms and signs All too often, only during the 911 crisis does cybersecurity become a topic of discussion. Before data breaches or total incursions occur, the security department must be capable of identifying and responding to security events. Address the elephants in the room once they’ve been placed. Risks must be discussed and addressed as soon as possible.
Business people and information security professionals must get to know one another and often interact in the same language. Determine and define your company’s risk tolerance and cyber-resilience, and then face threats immediately.