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18.10.2022Leadership Development

Do Leaders need to take responsibility for cybersecurity?

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Yes. Your organisation’s cybersecurity should start and end with the highest level of management.

Gone are the days when cybersecurity can be treated as a purely technical aspect of a business and delegated to a cybersecurity ‘techie’. It needs to be front-and-centre for the health of the company as business information is increasingly stored online and therefore open to threats.

In this article we look at reasons why it is important for leaders to take their role within cybersecurity more seriously.

What Needs to Be Protected?

Digital assets, intellectual property and IT systems all need to be protected from cyber risks, especially as our economy and society becomes more and more inter-connected. Cybercriminals adopt and develop ever-sophisticated methods of launching cyber-attacks and it can be disastrous for a company to remain vulnerable to such threats.

As more company information and systems become automated, it is crucial for businesses to protect their assets, customer information and strategic insights from cyber-attacks.

Why Do Leaders Delegate Cyber Responsibility?

This is often because leaders don’t feel they have the digital knowledge to make informed decisions. Whilst this might have been acceptable a number of years ago, those days are long gone.

It is true you need in-depth knowledge to tackle the issues around cybersecurity, but this is not a reason for leaders to delegate this responsibility elsewhere. Leaders need to appoint experts in this field and take personal ownership of working alongside them to understand the threats and what procedures, policies and protection can be put in place to mitigate risk. The health and success of their business depends on it.

What Risks Should Leaders Be Aware Of?

Cyber risks will of course evolve with time, however keeping up-to-date with the following topics can help leaders understand their cybersecurity health better:

  • Ever-changing threat landscape – what are the most current trends and threats? Are these specific to a certain country or more global?
  • Wrong decisions & solutions – what management errors have happened when previously dealing with cyber risk? Have you got the right solutions in place now? How is the senior management team and cybersecurity team working together?
  • Simulated cyber attacks – have you undergone a simulated cyber-attack, known as penetration testing, to check your protections are working and identify new vulnerabilities and risks?
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