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Unlocking Senior Management’s Cybersecurity Vision

By Tom Seest

Can Senior Management Enhance Cybersecurity Insights?

At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.

As cybersecurity threats shift and evolve, CIOs and CISOs face increasing difficulties communicating risks to senior management while conveying their value.
One way to win over leadership on cybersecurity matters is to keep things as straightforward and transparent as possible, translating technicalities into real business risk and value. Utilizing metrics for quantifying risks, measuring security maturity levels, and linking information back to business outcomes can provide clarity for analytically adept executive-level leaders.

Can Senior Management Enhance Cybersecurity Insights?

Can Senior Management Enhance Cybersecurity Insights?

Have You Underestimated Your Business’s Security Needs?

Finding insights in Cybersecurity can take many forms: customer feedback, business meetings or simply talking with someone enthusiastic about a new career opportunity are just a few options available to us.
Learning best occurs through interaction and experience. Gaining more insight into a company’s security issues through knowing more about its challenges will provide greater understanding as to how these can be addressed.
Deloitte conducted interviews with CISOs and CIOs and discovered that security leaders can enhance their effectiveness at gathering insights from senior management by employing seven strategies.

1. Acquaint Yourself With the Business

If this is your first experience working with a particular business, taking time to get to know theirs can be invaluable in terms of asking pertinent questions and developing an in-depth knowledge of their offerings and benefits.

2. Share Your Expertise

Effective cybersecurity leaders are those willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others, which enables you to build authority and credibility by giving non-IT leadership a more holistic perspective of why cybersecurity matters for their organization.

3. Discuss Cybersecurity in Business-Friendly Language

The cybersecurity industry contains many terms that are foreign to most nontechnical people, making its language incomprehensible for nonspecialists. By speaking in a language that can be understood by all members of your audience, you can help them better comprehend how investing in security will contribute to improving company profits.

4. Discuss Recent Incidents

Security leaders can prepare for a board meeting by outlining recent cyber incidents within their organization and how they have affected various aspects of it. This will give board members an understanding of how the team is trying to avoid similar future occurrences.

5. Seek Feedback

The most successful cybersecurity leaders are those willing to engage their board members and gather feedback on ways they can enhance cybersecurity measures, from what worked well and could have been improved on all the way down to asking a series of questions about current measures that may or may not have met expectations.

Have You Underestimated Your Business's Security Needs?

Have You Underestimated Your Business’s Security Needs?

How can you leverage senior management for cybersecurity insights?

Senior management can be an invaluable source of cybersecurity insights. They have access to up-to-date information regarding threats and vulnerabilities, as well as helping determine which practices are the most efficient.
Although in-person is always best, cybersecurity professionals can also benefit from speaking to senior managers through emails or phone calls – this allows them to gain valuable insights while remaining in control of the dialogue.
Add outside security advocates who can offer fresh perspectives and new ideas on risk mitigation efforts to provide input from outside. Often eager to collaborate with IT to find solutions, security advocates are an invaluable asset in elevating cybersecurity as a priority across an organization.
Bringing cybersecurity leaders from outside your organization can be extremely beneficial to reorienting the discussion from IT-centric concerns toward overall enterprise risk management objectives. Furthermore, cyber risk intersects with many other types of risks, such as financial, patient safety, and shareholder value risks, that must also be managed responsibly.
Recently, on LinkedIn’s cybersecurity forum, an answer to the following question was posted: “What are some effective methods of engaging senior management with cybersecurity programs?
Answers were varied and thoughtful; for instance, some commenters advocated using business terminology instead of cyber lingo, while others advised speaking with senior managers in small groups about cybersecurity issues and their implications for their businesses.
When speaking with cybersecurity stakeholders, it is wise to first identify their goals and interests before targeting your efforts at them. By making cybersecurity programs a top priority for these groups, you can increase participation while showing them its positive effects in daily activities.
By keeping cybersecurity front of mind and regularly discussing it in casual discussions, you can foster trust among cybersecurity stakeholders, foster loyalty to your program, and report issues more quickly.
As you consider these suggestions, keep in mind that cybersecurity is a rapidly advancing field. Therefore, it is imperative to remain current on new information and trends by participating in online community groups, reading industry publications, attending cybersecurity-themed conferences or engaging in volunteer activities such as mentoring youth to gain valuable experience and motivation to pursue a career in cybersecurity.

How can you leverage senior management for cybersecurity insights?

How can you leverage senior management for cybersecurity insights?

How can Senior Management Enhance Cybersecurity Measures?

When it comes to cybersecurity insights gathering, senior management can provide invaluable assistance. Their insight into the security environment can help prioritize cybersecurity initiatives in your company.
The question was posed on the LinkedIn forum of IT security managers, where CISOs responded with various suggestions of how to collect the best information. Some highlighted getting management to think in business terms about security; others suggested shifting focus from IT towards business matters.
Many CISOs believe that convincing senior management that risk is more of a strategic than a technical issue will likely increase their openness towards cybersecurity initiatives. Furthermore, some have found it helpful to make sure more people hear about security and risk messages within Executives and Board meetings.
Note that cybersecurity is a complex matter requiring significant expertise and experience for its successful management, making it hard for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to gain a full picture of what needs to be done within their organization’s goals and priorities, thus necessitating additional sources of information for help.
Cyber conferences or virtual webinars hosted by security experts are an effective way to learn more about cybersecurity. Many events can be recorded for later viewing and usually cost nothing to attend.
SANS Institute also offers free webinars and newsletters, providing access to current events and details about cybersecurity developments at any time. They serve as an excellent way to stay up-to-date.
An additional way is to work with your security team to create a list of stakeholders with specific expertise or guidance regarding cybersecurity programs that could help. For example, these could include those from human resources or finance who could offer guidance regarding implementation best practices while meeting organizational requirements.
Engaging these specific groups through quarterly presentations or just-in-time training is key to keeping them engaged with your cybersecurity program, while making sure their needs are being met.

How can Senior Management Enhance Cybersecurity Measures?

How can Senior Management Enhance Cybersecurity Measures?

How Can Senior Management Drive Cybersecurity Success?

Senior management can help your company gain insights into cybersecurity by asking the necessary questions, becoming involved, and supporting the implementation of an effective cybersecurity strategy. They may also offer valuable insight into business impact; both factors are vitally important to creating an effective program.
Although cybersecurity is increasingly recognized as an important business risk, many organizations lack in-depth knowledge of its value to their organization and how to leverage cybersecurity as a business enabler rather than a roadblock. The lack of such understanding presents a major hurdle; without it, cybersecurity risks do not receive equal board-level consideration and support as other business risks.
Businesses must approach cybersecurity as a human issue. This means educating employees on risk and security policies as well as creating an atmosphere of security that supports business goals.
Leaders must integrate security awareness and best practices into all business processes and technology that support it, according to Emazzanti. This step will create a culture that protects the organization.
An essential aspect of cybersecurity is aligning your security mindset with the desired outcomes of your business and supporting business processes, revenue sources, customers and any other elements that depend on technical components.
Once these are in place, you can create a cybersecurity context to assess how well technology matches those outcomes and processes. This will allow you to prioritize investments in terms of directly protecting business levels.
Your cybersecurity investments will have a greater likelihood of producing business outcomes and return on investment when supported by an outcomes-focused approach.
To do this, first identify your business’s most essential processes and outcomes before using those as the foundation for developing a cybersecurity strategy and governance process.
By following these steps, it will help your organization develop a cybersecurity plan tailored specifically to its specific needs and budget, as well as identify which technologies are necessary to meet those requirements.
Engaging senior management in cybersecurity discussions to gain their insight is also beneficial, enabling them to understand its impacts on business operations as well as any vulnerabilities most significant to your enterprise. Engaging senior managers will lead them to be more engaged and provide you with better decisions on where you should prioritize cybersecurity efforts.

How Can Senior Management Drive Cybersecurity Success?

How Can Senior Management Drive Cybersecurity Success?

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