With each passing year, cyber security challenges have become more complex and more frequent. But along with this, the threat they pose to the business revenue of an organization has become immense.
This is even more true in these times when the world is trying to recover from the pandemic. Cyber attackers are trying to make full use of this opportunity provided to them by the uncertainty of the future that companies face today.
Monetary Losses Due to Cyber Attacks in Numbers
Almost every cyber attack leads to financial losses for a company. Whether it is the money spent to pay ransom in case of a ransomware attack, money spent to recover data lost in a leak, or money lost to direct cyber frauds like BEC attacks, there’s always a monetary loss involved in a cyber attack.
Mentioned below are some numbers for the global monetary losses due to cyber attacks:
- The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) reported adjusted losses of more than $1.8 billion in 2020 due to BEC attacks.
- The cost of recovering from the impact of a ransomware attack in India tripled over the last year, going up from $1.1 million in 2020 to $3.38 million in 2021.
- According to a study by IBM, the average cost of a data breach has increased by $137,000 due to the transformation to remote work.
- As per an article by GlobeNewswire, cyber attacks cost the UAE an estimated $1.4 billion annually.
However, these are only some of the many statistics to exemplify the havoc a cyber attack can cause on the company’s business.
As cyber attacks prey on the business directly, the CEO’s involvement in the organization’s cyber security strategy and measures becomes a necessity.
In the next section, we will look at some starting points on how a CEO can participate in the cyber policy-making of the organization.
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How Can CEOs Do Their Part for the Cyber Security of the Company?
For starters, it should be settled that CEOs don’t need to perfect the art of cyber security. But some of the following can help them watch how their organization is treading on the this front:
- Learning the basics: For a CEO, it is not important to know everything about subject in detail. However, basic things like concepts, different forms of cyber attacks, and a basic idea about the protective measures are some things that a CEO should know. This can be very fruitful for the organization’s cyber health on the whole.
- Working in tandem with the information security team: A CEO needs to make sure that everyone in the organization is cyber aware, in his/her effort to minimize losses accruing from cyber attacks originating from human errors. For this, the CEO needs to work closely with the information security team to ensure that modern interactive techniques are being used to generate cyber security awareness in the organization.
- Making cyber security a board-level discussion: Cyber security should not be something that should be limited to only the IT professionals in an organization. Cyber security and its various aspects including consequences of failure should be discussed at a broader and higher level.
- Tracking the progress: It is imperative for CEOs that they track the activity of the different teams working in their organization. The rules shouldn’t change for the cyber security team. The CEO need not know about each choice their organization’s security team makes but should know how they are going about their cyber security policy and game plan. Giving inputs and suggestions wherever required from the business perspective of cyber security can be really helpful in taking the cyber security status up a notch for the organization.
Investment in cyber security will lead to the minimization of losses due to cyber attacks. This is a basic rule that every CEO needs to abide by. There’s no other way around this.
CEOs need to motivate their security team and other employees to find innovative ways to raise the level of cyber security awareness in the organization.
Other basic necessities like a setup to detect and respond to phishing attacks should also be something that the CEO should know about.
The evolution of cyber threats into a new monster requires vigilance and awareness at every level of the organizational setup. From the CEO to the clerical employee, the malicious actors only need one opening into a system to stall the functions of the organization. The CEO should lead from the front to improve the overall cyber resilience of the organization.
As cyber attacks have grown more complex and cyber attackers have become more ambitious, cyber security has turned into a make-or-break issue for organizations’ smooth functioning. The choices made by the CEO have a bearing on the overall well-being of the organization.
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