As technology becomes a more convenient and critical part of the typical business, the risk of cyber security breaches increases as well. To combat this risk, the modern C-suite must take an active role in keeping the company's sensitive data as safe and secure as possible. CFOs might not know the technical details of securing a database, for instance, but there is still plenty they can do to create a smart security plan that meets the business's needs.
Foster a Secure Environment
Cyber security can understandably feel like fighting an uphill battle. Technology advances so quickly that it has become literally impossible to plan for all the risks that your company faces. Although no plan is perfect, one of the best ways to combat obvious threats is by fostering an environment that prioritizes security. If your employees understand the safe way to use technology -- and why that way is important -- they'll learn to subconsciously act with security in mind.
Remember that any policy you set must align with your business's culture and make sense for the employees that are using it. Extreme measures that seem attractive initially may get ignored by employees who grow to resent their inflexibility. Enforcing milder measures with an emphasis on their importance will encourage an environment that empowers employees to become helpfully and independently cyber-aware.
Be Cyber Literate
CFOs have a distinctive appreciation for the business risks of their company, making them uniquely qualified to determine which cyber risks pose the biggest threats. Unfortunately, many CFOs are also completely illiterate when it comes to securing their company online. C-suite executives don't need to know all the technical details and industry jargon, but they should know their company's weak points and the security measures that are in place to counter them.
As a business executive, it is your job to help grow your business and optimize operational activities to plan its future direction and strategy. When it comes to cyber security, your role is to ensure that your company does not lose sight of the importance of keeping your data safe and sound. Go over the finer points with your IT technician to make sure that you have a strong handle on your security plan and what's at stake if it fails.
Revisit Your Security Plan
No security plan is completely foolproof. Therefore, you need to have a monitoring system in place to notify you as soon as a security breach occurs. You should have steps in place so that the right people are notified to counter the attack and engage in damage control.
Your security plan should also include the type of contact you'll send to your customers who were affected by the breach. How you respond and communicate to the affected parties is almost as important as how you respond to the attack itself. The last thing you want is for your customers to be the ones reporting the issue and notifying you of a problem. Be as transparent as possible, explain how you are remedying the situation, and consider offering your affected customers something to help repair the relationship.
Revised from the original at LinkedIn Pulse