How do you know it is time to check in with a Corporate Cyber Security Doctor?

With all the cyber security threats facing corporations today, you would think making cyber security a c-level/board room discussion would be as important as ensuring your doctor visits were on track. Something that is critical to the health of your company, yet recent research shows that’s not the case. So, how do you know if you need a cyber security checkup? If you find that you and your board perceive the following:

“Our board agenda is just too crowded”;
“Cyber Security is a function under IT and doesn’t belong in board meeting, our IT guy will let us know if something is wrong”;
A misplaced sense of security that attackers won’t target your particular industry (e.g., schools, department stores, etc.)
“They only hack Big Business”;
“Cyber threats are overwhelming and no one gets all the technical jargon anyway”;
“Cyber Security is a new buzz word lets turn it into a revenue generating stream,”
“If we just shore up our current technical defenses, we will be ok.”
Any of this sound familiar? If so call the cyber security doctor right away.

Recently, a 2016 report from the IBM Institute for Business Value, “Securing the C-Suite,” shed further light on the dynamics within the C-suite, especially among the various CXOs. IBM surveyed more than 700 executives from different countries across many industries and in various C-suite roles.

So how involved are top executives in their organization’s cyber security preparations? Among the report’s findings are that C-suite collaboration is built into the cyber security plan in 67 percent of the cyber secured organizations, 34 percent of growing-capability organizations and 10 percent of unprepared organizations. On a positive note, 61 percent of cyber secured organization indicated that cyber security was a regular topic in C-suite meetings.

Another finding from the report is a disconnect between what security experts consider to be true and the perceptions from other key stakeholders in the C-Suite. Specifically, “almost three-fourths of CEOs, CHROs, CMOs and CFOs indicate they do not believe the cyber security plans include them in a cross-functional approach.”

When respondents were asked about the degree to which they felt included in security threat management activities in C-suite meetings, nearly 60 percent “indicated they did not feel included in the topic or participate during C-suite meetings.” The breakdown was 57 percent of CMOs, 59 percent of CHROs and 62 percent of CFOs.

So “Wake UP” CEO’s and corporate boards, you need to take cyber security management as a serious element to a healthy organization. Just as there are a lot of vitamins, plans and nutrition experts for the human body, there are a lot of cyber security experts out there ready to lend some support. There are also hundreds of technology software packages and products that can assist you.

So how do you know which one is right for you? Just as a medical health plan needs to be reviewed to be compatible with your lifestyle, your cyber solution should also be reviewed to see what works best for your organization. Here are three of the top groups that we have found work well in almost all business areas.

Mark Graff, CEO Tellagraff, LLC: World cyber security visionary, cyber security practitioner and thought leader for over 25 years he handles board consulting, training and instruction as well as keynote speaking on Cyber Security.

BlackRidge Technology: BlackRidge Technology provides a new layer of identity-based network and cyber security that was developed for the military to cloak and protect servers and segment networks and is now available for corporations

Digital Authentication Technology, DAT’s mission is to elevate trust by introducing strong authentication of location into all things digital so critical business assets and functions can be protected, controlled, and monitored by location to reduce risks.

Reach out do your due diligence, check in with a cyber security doctor. Please take the time to make sure your company has a cyber security plan as part of their risk management process and that its being discussed and understood at the C-level. A healthy safe company leads to a healthy safe economy and community. That’s something we at Sahl Communications, Inc strive to create.

Kim Plyler, CEO of Sahl Communications, Inc.