Customers care about the protection of their personal information (cybersecurity) and rely on the companies that they deal with to take the necessary steps to guard their data. Customers also care about the products and services being available when they want them and any security breach will hinder this ability. Any disruption in service or compromising of sensitive information due to breakdowns in operational systems has a negative impact on consumer perception for the company and brand.
The CEO has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the proper steps have been taken to protect the critical information for their company. Any major problems will eventually wind up with the CEO to deal with the consequences and explain what steps the organization has taken to protect the personal information of their customers. The CEO needs to determine if IT will be viewed strictly as a cost center or will it be treated as a valuable part of the organizational infrastructure and a contributor to building and protecting the company and brand. Cyberattacks can damage the company’s reputation and potentially lead to negative press for the brand.
The CFO must make the tough decisions as to how much of the IT budget should be dedicated to protecting and managing the network. The financial demands for the entire organization must be evaluated and the appropriate level of expenditures must be assigned to IT concerns. If cybersecurity is not a high priority in the financial planning for a company, then it can be frustrating for IT personnel to demonstrate the need for dedicating funds for activities that may not be essential for operations. The CFO is responsible for working with the CEO to determine the risk tolerance in all aspects of the business including cybersecurity and determining the level of spending that will be dedicated to this service. A consideration for the CFO is that any cyberattack can have a significant financial impact to correct, far greater than the preventative steps taken to secure the network.
CIOs and CTOs are primarily responsible for analyzing all aspects of IT to determine the allocation of funds, processes utilized, measuring the effectiveness of all components of the IT infrastructure, personnel, products utilized, and program expenditures. Establishing baseline information, maintaining ongoing statistics on risk and activity, and regular reporting to the CEO and CFO on IT performance measured against established standards is essential for effectively positioning IT needs and the role it plays in a business operation. The lead technology officer in a company is the bridge between IT expenses and its role within an organization. They are also the first person the top executives will turn to if a breach of security occurs.
CISOs are responsible for ensuring that company assets, data, processes, and personnel conform with company policies and industry standards (if any). Policies and action must always be up to date with requirements and industry requirements. The CISO is responsible for monitoring activity and ensuring changes are made in operations to conform with best practices and match company objectives. A part of the role of the CISO is to conduct periodic vulnerability testing, regularly check the security effectiveness and supervise necessary changes that are implemented once problems are identified.
In companies where any of these positions do not exist, steps must be taken to cover the activities as part of the cybersecurity protocol. Many companies that cannot afford full-time personnel to assume the functions outlined above, must make other arrangements for the work to be completed. A network monitoring service can assume all of the operational functions needed for establishing and maintaining a secure network. The monitoring service can work in conjunction with internal company IT personnel or as a remote monitoring service. A network monitoring service should provide the required documentation, statistics, information, and guidance for the company decision makers to assess IT risks and determine expenditures that their company requires. Most importantly, addressing cybersecurity concerns and installing ongoing network monitoring will help instill confidence in customers that their data is protected and any downtime where they are unable to access the network is limited.
Since 1992, Global Link has been on the forefront of communications technology and can provide the development, installation and ongoing support to help your network operate safely and effectively while addressing any compliance issues that your business faces. For a free, no-obligation consultation on how Global Link can partner with you to effectively and cost-efficiently manage your IT, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-494-LINK.