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March 9, 2023
By: Chris Clymer

5 Things CEOs Should Know About Security

The top executive in any organization has a lot on their list of responsibilities. But in today’s world, a thorough understanding of cybersecurity should be among the top items on that list. The things CEOs should know about security aren’t exclusively technical either. You don’t need extensive insight into the specific threats present, or tools used to safeguard against them. 

However, every CEO needs to know how security should be approached, discussed, managed, and its relevance to the ongoing health of their organization. The risk is too high to do otherwise. Consider the current landscape: 

With this information as a backdrop, let’s examine five things CEOs should know about security and how to improve their organization’s risk management.  

Startups Need to Step up to SOC 2: Pursuing SOC 2 compliance should be a high priority for startups. Learn why here. 

1. Security Costs Are Not Receding 

You spent more than ever before on cybersecurity last year. Why can’t that be dialed back? Isn’t progress being made? Aren’t you set there? In a word, no. New technologies, and new ways to exploit them, are constantly developed. For instance, one major survey found three-quarters of respondents believe that foreign states already use ChatGPT for malicious purposes.  

If you aren’t adjusting to the new landscape, you’ll be vulnerable, face more attacks from bad actors, and more harm. But you’re also not alone. Spending on IT security and risk-management tools will reach nearly $190 billion in 2023 alone, according to Gartner — continuing an 11% compound annual growth rate.   

2. Weak Security Costs More in the Long Run 

CEOs are rightfully concerned about the bottom line and the ROI of every decision. While the choice to skimp on certain security measures or solutions may save resources in the short term, it’s impossible to assess the full weight of that decision until a major incident occurs. When that happens new regulatory standards, lost business, and outages often follow; these will cost a lot, and quickly. 

Keep in mind that security is about risk management. You’re investing now to prevent more substantial damage (and costs!) due to a breakdown later. According to the annual data breach report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S was $9.44 million in 2022. 

3. Stronger Security is a Business Enabler 

Stronger security helps you win more business. With high-profile incidents — like the SolarWinds hack — still top-of-mind, companies are more conscious than ever about the security profiles of partners and vendors. You can meet those concerns head on. 

Better cybersecurity practices help you seamlessly meet requirements from customers, such as qualifying for cyber insurance or having security certifications like SSAE18/SOC 2 or ISO 270001 and present your business as one that can be trusted. 

4. Security Expertise Differs from IT Expertise 

If you’ve built out an internal IT team or budgeted heavily into one, you might believe you don’t need additional security insight. However, IT does not equal cybersecurity. They are entirely different disciplines, with different priorities, areas of focus, and development tracks. An experienced IT professional won’t necessarily translate into a great CISO to build and maintain a security program. 

It’s critical to remember that finding and retaining security talent is exceptionally difficult and expensive. This is a big reason why fractional CISO services have become a popular option. 

5. Make Security a Key Part of Your Culture 

Setting the tone for an organization is one of the things non-IT executives excel at, and is one of the most impactful ways they can help enhance a company’s overall risk-management profile.  

If security is important, then those at the top need to ensure everyone knows it and realizes that it’s something everyone plays a part in. If the CEO is talking about the need to follow proper procedures, the rank-and-file will be more likely to do so as well.  

Find Your Gaps and Mark Your Assets: Every business can benefit from a cybersecurity risk assessment, which identifies your most valuable assets and biggest threats — and how to address both. 

Inversion6: We Deliver What CEOs Should Know About Security 

Inversion6 has decades of experience as a risk management solutions provider that brings a full suite of information security services to help you define your strategy, deploy the right technology and protect you from the digital dangers facing every business. From fractional CISOs to full-service MSSP, we partner with you to protect your business at every level. 

Inversion6 is uniquely positioned to talk to CEOs about the aspects they need to understand regarding cybersecurity across many industries. Our team of expert CISOs all come with expertise honed from working as security and IT executives — as well as third-party consultants. We know the constraints you face, the risks that are present, and how to bridge the gap between them.  

We’ve outlined some great first steps, but there are many more things CEOs should know about security. To discuss them in depth, connect with our team today. 

Post Written By: Chris Clymer
Chris Clymer has more than 20 years of experience in various roles in IT and IT security, including assessor, developer, analyst engineer, manager and chief security officer. Chris has worked in numerous industries with unique challenges and specializes in security management, risk management, information technology and more. He has been with Inversion6 since December of 2015 as Director and a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

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