The world has had to drastically adapt to the COVID-19 era in more ways than just social distancing. The almost complete shift from work-in-office to work-from-home culture has significantly increased the risks of being targeted by cybercrime. The boom of widespread vulnerabilities in company security infrastructures has forced corporations and businesses to add cybersecurity in the list of prioritized matters.
Ranked as one of the top ten risks of immediate concern by the World Economic Forum (WEF), cybersecurity is a company-boardroom-level issue. Strangely enough, a whopping 40% of corporate board members fail to address cybersecurity on the daily agenda.
Why Cybersecurity Is Mostly Ignored
Despite the looming threat of data breaches and ransomware attacks, companies often lack the experience or information needed to understand the magnitude of the risk, let alone tackle the issue correctly. There are several possible explanations for companies leaving cybersecurity out of the boardroom meetings.
1. Lack of Familiarity
It’s often the case that board members fail to fully comprehend the cybersecurity factors due to a lack of understanding of the field. Vectors for cyber-attacks are continually improving and evolving, making it extremely difficult to articulate concerns to the people at the top without somehow associating these concerns with business value.
It is even reported that companies where CIFO reports to a CIO are 46% more likely to suffer financial losses, further indicating the increasing lack of understanding of cybersecurity, the further one ascends the chain of command.
2. Type of Business
The more sensitive the data businesses deal with, the more aware they are of cybersecurity, and the more measures are taken on their part to fortify security infrastructure. Banks, healthcare, and insurance services are some examples of cybersecurity buffs.
However, in most cases, cybersecurity tends to be nothing more than an afterthought. Some companies only seek to invest in their IT defenses as kneejerk reactions to breaches or to prevent damages to revenue and the brand-image.
3. Difficulties in Assessing and Evaluating Risks
When cybersecurity processes lack a standardized set of performance metrics, it’s quite challenging to measure, visualize, and elaborate on the risks and results in the boardroom. These metrics are restricted to the technology being used, which changes when the technology is changed too.
Similarly, the impending risks are also hard to entertain if they are mostly underestimated because of inefficiency in accurately assessing cybersecurity threats. They could range from being slight inconveniences to causing catastrophic damages to the business. Modeling and tracking these risks can be complicated.
How to Make It Right
Companies that do not enforce strict policies and measures to combat the inevitable cybercriminal attacks will often face considerable losses in revenue, brand reputation, and stock value. The need to formalize a security strategy has never been greater,
Experts have suggested various measures for companies to take to bolster their defenses and asset protection. From fostering a culture of best online practices across the entire organization to creating virtual desktops for the employee-base to work on a secure channel, the executive decisions should revolve around cybersecurity.
It’s also advised to utilize cyber-risk analysis tools for scanning the attack surface, and frameworks, such as CITRIX VDI, to quantify cyber-risks to the same level as financial or reputational risks.