Every now and then, news breaks of a major cyber security attack that costs a company millions, if not billions, of dollars. These usually represent the extreme side of cyber security and the reality is that all businesses are at risk of experiencing a range of threats, such as viruses, malware, ransomware, and even CEO fraud. Even if there aren’t millions or billions of dollars at stake, businesses of all sizes are vulnerable.
However, it is important to understand that the outlook is certainly not bleak. Businesses need to develop and execute a strategy for dealing with cyber attacks, and the CIO, or Chief Information Officer, or VCIO, the Virtual Chief Information Officer can both do a lot to help facilitate this process. Here are some key ways that the CIO or VCIO can help businesses meet these cyber security challenges:
Understand That Employees Are Especially Vulnerable
It is true that employees are the weakest link in any cyber security plan, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. There are few behaviors that employees often engage in that can put the company at risk, and their actions both at work and at home can actually cause cyber threats to infiltrate the company’s network and IT infrastructure. Regular education and training about cyber security can certainly go a long way to helping minimize this threat because it will enable them to recognize emails they shouldn’t answer, attachments they shouldn’t open, et cetera.
However, CIO’s and VCIO’s also need to recognize that their behaviors on their personal devices can also make the company vulnerable. If an employee were to have a virus or malware attack on a personal laptop and then they email an attachment to someone in the company from that laptop, do their work on their personal laptop, or even simply use their laptop at work on the company’s network, this could all transfer the cyber threat to the business. CIO’s need to educate their IT department and their employees company-wide on the best way to minimize this threat.
Continually Review and Monitor Existing Cyber Security Policies
Once companies establish a cyber security plan, the tendency is to believe that once it is set up, the business will remain safe from cyber threats. The truth is, cyber criminals are diligent and they’re constantly upgrading their approaches so that they can be more effective at their craft. If companies create and implement their cyber security plan and then leave it alone, this can make the company vulnerable. CIO’s need to recognize that simply creating and implementing the plan once isn’t enough. The policies need to be reviewed and updated on a regular schedule in order to insure that the business remains protected from threats. CIO’s also need to ensure that their employees are implementing the scheduled security plan and not becoming lax in their efforts.
When it comes to keeping a business safe from cyber attacks, it is up to the CIO or VCIO to keep a close watch and address these security challenges. For more help on how to do that, contact Roan Solutions.