CEO2CEO: Why Cyber Security Should Be a Top Concern

ceo 2 ceo why cyber security should be top concern
February 15, 2024

As executive leaders, our list of responsibilities is extensive. When you’re driving growth and executing strategic initiatives, it can be easy to overlook a specialized field you’re unfamiliar with. Often, cybersecurity rises to the top of that list.

Risk management should be a top executive priority. Siloing cybersecurity as an IT-only issue can come with costly consequences. Businesses that strive to be future-ready must address cyber threats at the highest corporate leadership level. What does this mean for those of us in the CEO/President role?

Cyber Decisions are Business Decisions

Cyber-attacks can impact all areas of your organization and have varying levels of financial loss, damage to your reputation/brand, and potential legal liability. According to the 2021 IBM Security Cost of a Data Breach report, the average data breach cost reached $4.24 million, a 10% increase from the previous year.

As attacks increase in both number and sophistication, the importance of a robust cyber strategy has never been more critical. We see this every day as customers, vendors, and insurers are now expecting/demanding confirmation/documentation of cyber policies. We expect these to become more prevalent.

But what if you either don’t have an internal IT staff or the staff you have isn’t cyber-qualified? This issue is common, especially coupled with the continuing talent challenges of today’s workforce. Remember this – not all IT roles are created equal. Assuming that your IT staff are cyber experts can quickly backfire. Since most small to mid–sized companies don’t need a full-time cyber expert on staff, many organizations are turning to managed IT services.

Consider the following:

  • Is your IT department qualified to manage, monitor, and respond to cyber threats effectively?
  • Do you and your executive team fully know your cyber risk and liability?
  • Are you and your executive team updated regularly on cyber issues impacting your organization, including the frequency of breach attempts?
  • Has your IT department developed a cybersecurity strategy that aligns with and empowers your business growth goals?

If you answered “no” to any of the previous questions, I strongly encourage you to consider working with an external cyber expert.

Benefits of Outsourcing Cyber

A cyber security expert can help assess your organization’s vulnerabilities, identify potential threats, and develop a comprehensive risk mitigation plan. This level of knowledge and insight is invaluable for organizations, no matter their size or industry.

Because cybersecurity constantly evolves, keeping up with the latest threats and best practices can be challenging. Partnering with an expert can significantly minimize your risk while maximizing your preparedness and delivering the following organizational benefits:

Protecting Your Company’s Assets and Reputation

Companies that invest in cyber security and managed IT services can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack, protect valuable assets, and maintain a positive reputation. It just takes one security breach to experience lost revenue, damaged customer relationships, and costly legal ramifications.

Ensuring Compliance with Regulations

With data protection and privacy regulations constantly changing, staying compliant becomes complicated. You can reduce the risk of substantial non-compliance fines and penalties by partnering with a knowledgeable managed IT services provider.

Reducing the Impact of an Attack

A strong cyber security posture, coupled with expert-managed IT services, can help your organization detect and respond to threats more rapidly, minimizing the impact of an attack. You can limit damage spread and quickly return to normal operations with faster containment.

Employee Education and Training

Your employees are the first line of defense against cyber threats. An experienced managed IT services provider can help develop and implement employee training programs, to educate and raise awareness of phishing scams, password security, and best practices for handling sensitive information.

Cost Savings

Outsourcing your cyber security and IT management to a trusted provider can save your organization money by reducing the need for in-house staff and infrastructure. You can focus on the business of running the business and be confident that your cyber security is in good hands.

Next Steps

SN frequently highlights the urgency of investing in comprehensive cyber security measures, including managed IT services, to safeguard your company’s future and ensure its long-term success.

Unfortunately, our services are often sought after a breach has occurred. Most of these stories and the crippling financial losses don’t make the news. I’m willing to bet you would be shocked if you knew how often cyber-attacks happen. The risks are real, but so are the solutions. Proactively addressing these risks can secure your organization’s long-term success.

Cybersecurity is complex, but with the right expertise, you can proactively educate, train, and strategically implement processes and policies that protect your valuable data, reputation, and future. Reach out to us to start a conversation.

Steve Hake, CPA - Stambaugh Ness