Why cybersecurity belongs in the C-suite.

18 Jul 2022

Why cybersecurity belongs in the C-suite.

We operate in an era whereby cyberthreats are constant for all business, every single minute of the day. Not only is their threat perpetual, they continue to evolve. In this climate, in order to protect day to day runnings of business, executive leaders need to play the role of not just members of the C-suite, but also be cybersecurity experts. Cybersecurity within the C-suite is heavily linked to two factors. Firstly, it relates to boardroom priorities concerning governance, particularly for respective stakeholders and compliance obligations. The second factor includes GDPR and the protection of client data. Whether the person is the CEO, CFO, COO or CMO, cybersecurity is a top concern for all of us.

At the start of the year, Radware published a report illustrating how cybersecurity is continuing to dominate talks in the boardroom on a universal level. Generally speaking, all business decisions made on the board are centred on calculating risk and cybersecurity is one of a company’s greatest threats to its health and success. According to the report that interviewed 260 C-suite executives globally, 70% of organisations have cybersecurity as an item for discussion in every board meeting. 98% of respondents accept that the C-suite is responsible for the management of cybersecurity. It’s great to know it’s being talked about, but we also need to take action.

Simultaneously, a report issued by KPMG at the start of 2022 also detailed how CEOs are paying closer attention to risks associated with cybersecurity under an umbrella of overall technology risks. With regards to the US, 72% of CEOs in 2022 reported that strong cybersecurity strategies are critical for their reporting and trust to key stakeholders. This is a significant figure considering that it was just 15% in 2018. Such a sharp increase not only reflects the acceleration of digital transformation and its penetration into the work of finance and work, but it also evidences how cyber risks are no longer viewed as a separate topic to business, but rather their management is essential to ensuring a business can stay alive.

With greater focus on cybersecurity within the C-suite, boards are embracing a culture of embedding cybersecurity into their cultures, operations, programmes and services. The management of cybersecurity starts from the very top and manifests as a core strategy throughout the rest of the business and it is no longer something that ‘impacts’ a business from the outside or is a ‘nice to have’. This cultural shift in organisations when it comes to their cybersecurity heath is unprecedented and has largely accelerated due to the pandemic and shift in working and lifestyle patterns. The message really feels like its now getting through and that is such a positive from my perspective, as with many others.

By consequence, more and more executives occupying C-level positions are ensuring they have an informed, efficient and effective cyber approach put into place. This not only protects the business from threats that occur on a daily basis, it also safeguards their financial health and reputation, whilst simultaneously creating value in the perspective of stakeholders when it comes to growth and data when it comes to employees and customers.

The C-suite is responsible for the health and performance of an entire company. Having the right cybersecurity approach is key to remaining committed to this responsibility and RFA can help businesses stay focused when it comes to this goal.

RFA provides clients with IT service management, Risk Management and committee leadership and Compliant Cyber solutions that enables businesses to efficiently and effectively implement and manage their cybersecurity strategies within their own technological environments, whilst also complying with governance demands, stakeholder needs and GDPR obligations. Reach out to me to chat, I am happy to help.

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