Next Gen CXOs Need to Sign-off on Cyber Security


If you belong to the C-suite cadre, this would not surprise you. While the new age technologies and the initiatives of digital transformation are gaining momentum across the globe, the threat of cyber-attack is also growing in tandem. In consequence to this, there is a stemming need of embracing cybersecurity even more aggressively. Businesses, regulatory requirements, and technological trends are evolving, posing cybersecurity challenges too.

As the digital world is swelling, the cyber criminals are becoming smarter and mature, making digital services increasingly vulnerable. The cost, which the cyber security damage incurs, is huge – both in terms of finance and reputation. As per the estimations by Capgemini, the annual cost of cybersecurity attacks is anything from $375 billion to $575 billion.

There is no doubt to the fact that cybersecurity has emerged as a broad concern. But even the bigger concern that lies in front of us is- What percentage of CXOs is actually taking the initiative to embrace the cybersecurity? As per an A.T. Kearny report, more than 85% of companies have experienced a cyber breach in the past three years.

CXOs rank cybersecurity as the no. 1 challenge they face for the third consecutive year. However, only 39% of the 400 executives and board members surveyed in the A.T. Kearny report said their company has fully developed and implemented a cyber defence strategy, 24% have the strategy developed but yet to implement and 37% are yet to create a cyber defence strategy at all. What these numbers exhibit is a lack of sensitivity and inability to tackle the cybersecurity issues by the CXOs.

Answering the bigger “Why”

The need and urgency of senior executives and board members understanding the costs associated with a breach has become extremely crucial. But why is it so? If they fail to understand this cost, they would not be able to give a shape to productive risk management and are able to communicate with the resources required for effective security.

The CXOs or the C-suite hold the responsibility of maintaining the well-being of their organizations. Hence, they are the ones who ought to understand the nuances of cybersecurity and risk management. If the risk mitigation is left to the IT departments or risk managers without the intervention of decision makers, i.e. the CXOs, the organization is likely to be vulnerable to attack from gaps which were not understood and filled at the right time.

The digital world is evolving at a very rapid pace without much preparedness for the challenges it brings along. If the C-suite does not hold enough potential to combat these challenges, the organizations are likely to suffer.

It is no more a matter of choice but the need to have a cyber security expert in C-suite boardroom. If you are one of them, you ought to scrutinize the following four situations:

  • How to evolve the conventional security model so that there is a focus on data, people and risks?
  • How to align the new cybersecurity vision with business as part of the digital journey to deliver deep changes in the security function?
  • Where best to invest now that security operations no longer rely solely on infrastructure protection?
  • How to evolve the security function towards a people-centric approach in order to avoid employees being the weak link?

Unlike previous times, the scope and danger of cyber-attacks has increased multi-fold, moving beyond the alone intervention of IT team. The scale on which cybersecurity concerns are increasing calls for the devoted attention of CXOs.

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