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How to Keep Executives From Under-investing in Cybersecurity

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When it comes to investing in cybersecurity, it’s hard to believe that some executives are still under-investing in securing their businesses. There are several drivers involved when it comes to these decisions. For some, it’s the false sense of, “if I follow a compliance framework like NIST or PCI, and check off all the boxes, then my business is secure.” Knowing that compliance doesn’t equal security will keep a business from falling into this trap. Then there is also the “I wasn’t breached this year, so I don’t need to fix anything” belief, which is fraught with many problems. Just because you weren’t a hacker’s target this year, doesn’t mean you won’t be next year. Or perhaps someone has already broken in and you just don’t know about it, yet. In addition, vulnerabilities in software that are left unpatched could eventually be exploited. While others follow the approach of “if I fortify my business from the threat of an external attack with a strong firewall, then I’m safe” doesn’t consider the number of insider threats of either a malicious nature, or those committed via human error. If you’ve found yourself saying any of these phrases, then you’re underestimating the likelihood of a breach.

So, how does someone motivate an executive to better invest in cybersecurity? Alex Blau writes in the Harvard Business Review, that security professionals need to explain cyber risk “by using clear narratives that connect to risk areas that high-level decision makers are familiar with and already care deeply about. For example, your company’s risk areas may include customer data loss as well as the regulatory costs and PR fallout that can affect the company’s reputation.” Blau also states that we need to re-frame what success looks like. Finding vulnerabilities in systems and patching them before they can be exploited is a good thing, it’s not a failing. Once executives understand that no system is completely impenetrable, they will understand the importance of building a process to better manage risks.

Another tool to help get executives on board is to frequently test your network and systems against attack. By using penetration testing, and by targeting the CEO especially, it could be the wake-up call required. Blau writes, “by making the CEO the victim of an internally initiated (and safe) attack, it might be possible to draw their attention to potential risks that already exist and motivate leaders to increase their investment in cyber infrastructure.” This attack is on the lines of Ethical Hacking; where people or organizations are certified as ethical hackers and are paid to “hack” a network to show exploitable vulnerabilities.

In some instances, security professionals can help make their case by engaging the help of an external consultant. Uzado can offer clients their cutting edge, user-friendly platform that offers simple risk management, real-time reporting, and more - all at your fingertips. This advanced system allows users to gain a greater understanding of their technical network, while working towards a more secure strategy. Vulnerability Remediation Management, Compliance Management, and incident management can all be combined into one platform. Moreover, Uzado offers a suite of consulting services to help you simplify IT. Want to learn more? Click below to learn more about our core services.

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