Optimising network performance and keeping data safe are crucial for business success. But, poor communication between CEOs and technical teams can weaken your overall security position. It is vital that your CEO understands the nature of threats and risk if they are going to make informed decisions.
However, doing this can be tricky. Today the IT infrastructure of an SME can be very complex; with a plethora of devices, apps, and data to manage – all of which bring added risk. But most CEOs don’t want to be burdened with the details, they just want a solution that works. Furthermore, they can get frustrated about spending money on security controls when they don’t fully understand the issue, and the threat doesn’t go away.
Fortunately, there are ways to communicate network and security threats to your CEO more effectively.
Help your CEO to understand the threats
According to a recent study, while CEOs tend to be focused on malware, on the front line, technical officers see identity breaches as the biggest threat to business security. In fact, where a significant violation has occurred, 68% of those surveyed said that it could have been prevented by better access management and user controls. So, business leaders must be educated about the need to verify users, validate devices, and limit access and privilege. Of course, there is no point doing this at the point a breach occurs. Instead, there must be an ongoing conversation between IT and management teams.
CEOs can become irrational when talking about risk; particularly as the headlines are full of sensationalist stories over breaches and hacks. Furthermore, when fear takes over, decisions are more likely to be skewed. While security must be taken seriously, it doesn’t have to cause panic. When communicating with CEOs avoid negative language and focus on words such as ‘secure’, ‘protected’ and ‘enable’ instead.
Make risk easier to understand
IT teams are often frustrated by inadequate security budgets and spending being made in the wrong areas. Help CEOs to better understand the real priorities by providing intelligent analysis rather than just data. By explaining what the data says, rather than what it is, you can help to stop confusion and enhance your value to the business.
At the same time, avoid complex language that makes risk management more baffling. Instead, use simple, plain language without any jargon.
Arm yourself with better analytics
To maintain security, it’s crucial to be aware of device activity and threats. In fact, a lack of visibility, accuracy and timeliness is one of the most significant barriers to threat intelligence, which in turn hinders the effectiveness of any data when it comes to mitigating risk.
Make sure you can access a complete view of your network at all times. With improved visibility and enhanced analytics, you’ll not only be able to respond to risk more effectively, but you’ll also be better informed when communicating with CEOs. Cloud-managed networks make it much easier to see what’s going on and keep any security incidents at bay.
Report on security regularly
Today, cybersecurity should be a boardroom topic. So, rather than merely communicating when there is a problem, keeping management teams regularly updated on security risks and effective defences is a must.
Remove the fear factor from the cloud
CEOs are very concerned about security, and the more things move to the cloud, the more they worry about cybercrime. But the truth is, today’s cloud-based solutions are often more secure than existing on-premise ones. In fact, in almost all cases, where a breach or hack has happened, this has been down to a poorly designed and maintained system, not the cloud. In many instances, substantial investment would be required to make a traditional network meet the security and reliability of the cloud.
If you are looking to convince your business to move to the cloud – and access all the benefits this brings – an increased focus on security is to be expected. Be sure you are aware of each concern and find a way to address them.