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Cyber Risk and the C-Suite

Cyber Risk and the C-Suite

The C-Suite must recognize cyber risk as a business problem, not just an IT problem. Cyber-attacks jeopardize business assets and, by extension, the financial livelihood of the entire enterprise. However, the consequences of cyber-attacks extend well beyond the financial, potentially torpedoing executive careers. As a business leader, are you doing everything within your power to improve your organization’s cyber risk posture?

With this post, we hope that you will discover areas of opportunity in which you can manage your cyber risk more effectively to not only protect your organization, your employees, and your customers, but to also demonstrate your own due diligence with respect to cyber.

Cyber Increasing As a Priority but Often Lacks Concrete Definition

Over the past ten years, companies have consistently increased annual cybersecurity expenditures, which are projected to reach 170 billion USD in 2022, per Gartner. As businesses advance along their digital journey, many leaders understand their increased cyber-related exposure and want to implement measures that ensure a strong cyber risk posture throughout this evolution; however, they wish to accomplish this while minimizing disruption to their growth trajectory.

Unfortunately, many organizations lack a proper framework for evaluating these types of tradeoffs. To perform this exercise, cyber risks require concrete identification and quantification, but without the right tools, these tasks can be perceived as too complex and too abstract to conduct properly.

Without a concrete quantification of cyber risk in financial terms, how can leadership correctly identify the most critical areas of need to right-size investments that properly safeguard their assets? Have you adopted a solution that provides these metrics so that you can make the best cyber risk management decisions?

Bad Actors Exploit Chaos and Confusion

The pandemic forced a dramatic acceleration of digital transformation for companies in ways that had not been anticipated. Teams needed to manage both the abrupt shift to a remote workforce and the sharp increase in digital transactions. In many instances, resources dedicated to cybersecurity functions were suddenly spread thin while trying to simultaneously manage these major changes.

Meanwhile, bad actors took advantage of the chaos, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in cyber-attacks throughout 2020.

Throughout the course of all this operational disruption, what did we learn about our cyber readiness and how it relates to business continuity? Have you factored cyber into business continuity planning?

Spotlight on Supply-Chain Attacks

The 2020 cyber plot thickened upon learning of a massive hack at SolarWinds, impacting thousands of customers globally, including government agencies. The malicious code that was inserted into their Orion software update went undetected for months, and remediation could endure for many months to come.

Are you sufficiently vetting your vendors with respect to cyber risk?

Companies should also reexamine their own DevSecOps practices to better ensure the integrity of their software’s code. Although many technology leaders are on board with the idea, some balk at implementing DevSecOps methodology since doing so may slow down their teams’ throughput and incur additional costs in the process.  Considering recent events, we see what may be at stake.

What measures are you taking to prevent malicious code insertions into your software? Has your organization made moves to institute DevSecOps practices or improve what you already have in place? Have you presented a business case to prove the necessity of making such moves?

Paying Closer Attention to Internal Threats and Their Origins

Strong cyber risk posture demands company-wide cooperation and cyber risk awareness. Complacency anywhere in the organization constitutes vulnerability. Companies must break themselves of the habit of assuming that cyber-attacks of a highly technical, complex nature can only be addressed with highly technical, complex solutions that rely exclusively on IT. Internal threats can arise from anywhere in an organization, sometimes stemming from improper access controls or bypassed processes, along with insufficient security training to improve risk awareness.

Are your employees trained on how to not inadvertently expose assets? Are they trained to not bypass processes that keep your assets secure?

Get Ahead of the Problem: Deter & Prevent.

At Maxxsure, we encourage leadership to adopt a cyber risk management approach that also accounts for deterrence and prevention of attacks, rather than disproportionately fixating on detection and containment measures, as is often the case.  As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

What can your organization do to deter bad actors from even attempting attacks?

While it remains important to have resources dedicated to addressing attacks that occur despite defensive measures, organizations will be well-served by deterring and preventing attacks from occurring in the first place.

Making Advancements in Your Cyber Risk Management Program

The C-Suite must demand a holistic interrogation of both their internal and external threat environments so that they can properly quantify their organization’s cyber risk.  This score requires translation into a corresponding financial loss estimate to fully recognize the magnitude of their risk. This business metric and supplemental insights will steer leaders to make the best cyber risk management decisions for their organizations, thereby demonstrating due diligence and minimizing their potential financial loss.

Maxxsure provides C-Suite leadership with the solutions they need to confidently manage their cyber risk.  Start a conversation with us today: Learn more