July 17, 2018

Cybersecurity and the CEO

It might be the fact that global ransomware demands exceeded $5 billion in 2017. Or maybe that corporate cybersecurity damages are projected to hit $6 trillion by 2021. Or perhaps it’s that heavy hitters like Warren Buffett have cited cybersecurity as “the number one issue facing humanity.” Yeah, an even greater threat than nuclear weapons. No matter how you look at it, it’s time to pay attention.

Unfortunately, even though more than one-third of corporate directors in North America, Australia, and Western Europe claim that cybersecurity is a top issue for their business, most of them don’t feel confident they are taking the right steps. In a McKinsey survey of corporate directors, the majority of respondents reported that their boards had at most one cybersecurity-related discussion a year, and almost half claimed that the attention they gave to the subject was insufficient.

“Corporate cybersecurity damages are projected to hit $6 trillion by 2021.”

Fortunately, the tide seems to be turning and the corporations are finally getting their cyber on. And that’s a really good thing. According to a recent study by Accenture, CEOs and boards of directors are starting to step up to the plate to take more control over cyberthreats and attacks. The study reports that nearly two-thirds of CEOs and boards now have direct oversight over cybersecurity strategy and budgets. And it seems to be working — even though the average number of attacks has doubled, detection and response times are getting faster and more efficient.

With the ever-growing demand for attention to cybersecurity, training for senior executives and boards of directors is becoming increasingly important as well. Organizations like the Wall Street Journal, Cybervista and the National Cybersecurity Center are offering training specifically for CEOs and boards of directors. In September, the NCC will host its Cyber for Executives course at the Governor’s Mansion in Denver. For more information, visit www.cyberforexecutives.com or contact the NCC at april-trinkle@cyber-center.org.

Chamber & EDC note: Thank you to John Bolin and the National Cybersecurity Center for providing this blog.