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5 Key Questions Every C-Suite Needs to Ask About Cybersecurity

With the advancement of technology, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and intricate.

Organizations of all sizes face the risk of cyberattacks, necessitating the attention and participation of executive-level managers (C-Suite or even those serving on boards of directors). To help C-level executives understand their risks and prepare for cyberattacks, here are 5 key questions that the C-Suite can use to get a better understanding of cybersecurity best practices.

1. Why should I be concerned about data security?

The threat of cybercrime is very real. Any internet-based system or service is at risk. Approximately every 39 seconds, a computer or web server connected to the internet is attacked. While most of these are unsuccessful, it only takes one attack to create havoc on unpatched or exceptionally vulnerable computers.

2. What are the top cybersecurity threats today?

The most critical threats for organizations are undoubtedly wire transfer fraud and ransomware. Fraudulent wire transfers occur when funds are transferred manually between entities. A hacker breaks into an organization's email system and looks for employees involved with finances and payments. Payment information is then exchanged between the two parties.

Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts data and critical system files, making computers and data impossible to access without decryption. An attacker only provides a decryption key if a ransom is paid to them. Because of the cost of recovery, many businesses affected by ransomware have even gone out of business.

3. Do our employees receive appropriate cybersecurity training?

It is crucial for organizations to provide security awareness training. In wire transfer fraud, employees are tricked into giving restricted account information. The most common way ransomware is spread is via emails, which require the employee to open malicious attachments or click on malicious links. Cyberattacks and emails can get past even the best-configured security systems with robust monitoring mechanisms.

Finally, the person sitting at their desk should determine if what they are seeing is a real communication and not an attempted cyberattack. To keep employees informed about security, all organizations should provide cybersecurity awareness training at least once a year and when they hire new employees

4. Is it possible to detect a successful or attempted cyberattack?

An effective information security program not only puts mechanisms and controls in place to prevent a data breach, but also includes methods to monitor the operation of a web server and notify users of a cyberattack. Because an internet-connected environment is under constant attack, the use of a 24/7 monitoring system is essential for network security

5. Are we prepared to deal with a cyber security emergency?

In response to a cyberattack, having a documented plan is only the first step. The next step in the process is educating people who will respond to emergencies. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the plan must be tested frequently (and the results should be evaluated).

In today's ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, businesses need to be able to respond to critical incidents in the event that the unthinkable happens. At Safe Harbour, we have a team of IT veterans who can help educate C-level executives to understand and create a proactive plan to mitigate cyberattacks.