How Does the C-Suite View Cybersecurity?

By 08/08/2017Security
C-Suite

Traditionally all things technology have been exclusively limited to the IT department in most organizations. Due to the increased number of security breaches and the latest ransomware attacks, though, technology has brought cybersecurity front-of-mind for the C-suite.

Despite the vulnerabilities technology invites with today’s ever-changing threat landscape, there is consensus among top executives that technology presents more opportunities for business growth. According to the report from management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney, 2017 Views from the C-Suite, global executives’ top concern this year is the convergence the government’s regulation of technology and cybersecurity.

A complex proposition presenting businesses with myriad opportunities and challenges, technology has become a top priority in the C-Suite. Here are key takeaways from the A.T. Kearney report that C-Suite executives need to consider as they pursue effective ways to overcome the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities.

  • The C-suite expects a continued rise in cyber attacks as the most likely global development in the next 12 months.
  • Executives agree that technology presents a variety of business operational opportunities with successful adoption of new technologies being a top-ranked opportunity for more than a third (38 percent) of the global C-suite.
  • More than a quarter (27 percent) of those respondents ranked enhancing their level of cybersecurity a top priority.
  • Nearly half (41 percent) of executives are optimistic about the business operational opportunities that cloud computing, big data/predictive analytics, and mobile technology can offer.
  • The most high-ranking (43 percent) operational challenge is rising cybersecurity risks.
  • Of those who view cybersecurity as their paramount challenge, 38 percent rank weak defense systems as their primary concern.
  • Beyond the vulnerabilities in hardware and software, global executives are also concerned about the problem of finding highly qualified people to manage the technology.

C-Suite Expectations for the Next 12 months

With the C-Suite now recognizing the risks of cyberthreats to business success, it’s no surprise they’ve come to see the urgency of making cybersecurity a core component of a risk management framework.

This presents an opportunity to IT leaders to engage with the C-Suite on cybersecurity issues in terms that are meaningful to their non-technical peers. By aligning security technology and cyber risk to business strategy and goals, IT leaders will have greater success getting executives on board with cybersecurity initiatives.

It’s important to note; however, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to connecting cybersecurity strategies to C-Suite goals, because different organizations have different definitions of risk. An essential first step then is to develop a risk profile that’s unique to your business and target your cybersecurity strategy to that profile.

Of course, as your network and the cyberthreat environment changes, so will your risk profile. Finding the right people to help you navigate these changes and develop an adaptive cybersecurity strategy that aligns with the view of the C-Suite is essential.

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