Cybercrime costs across the globe are expected to grow by 15 percent per year, with a grand annual total of $10.5 trillion by 2025.
The challenges in cybersecurity are unlikely to disappear any time soon and it’s up to C-level leaders, along with their teams, to devise a sufficient action plan. Technology leaders are constructing security defences that are more sophisticated compared to previous cybersecurity frameworks. At the same time, attacks perpetrated by hackers are matching this intensity. It’s a vicious, costly, but vital, cycle.
Given the most costly cyber attacks—ransomware, malware, phishing and data breaches—are continually on the rise, technology leaders within and beyond HotTopics’ technology leaders community are getting creative with their responses. In a proactive and oftentimes predictive way, leaders have strategies and tools at their disposal. Learn more about them, below.
- Cybersecurity challenges and threats
- Responsibilities of the technology and security C-suite
- Proactive security measures
- Cybersecurity challenges and threats are becoming increasingly advanced and new forms of AI malware are being developed to deliver more sophisticated attacks
- C-suite and technology executives need to assess their current IT landscape and make sure that C-suite executives and other key players within the organisation understand basic cybersecurity concepts
- Going from a reactive to proactive security stance requires a some innovation from the C-suite – this includes collaborating with other departments to better understand what measures the organisation needs to take
Cybersecurity challenges and threats
A new and emerging form of malware is the AI-powered cyber attack. This is categorised as an attack that harnesses cyberspace while using an unlimited pool of resources to carry out what can be an unpredictable and more sophisticated attack on an organisation’s technology landscape and infrastructure. While AI can be harnessed for the benefit of cybersecurity teams, it can also be used “nefariously” by certain threat actors.
In August 2022, the American media streaming service Plex suffered a significant data breach. This compromised the personal encrypted data of their 16 million users. The sensitive data included customer’s passwords, usernames and email addresses. After discovering “suspicious activity” on one of their databases, they began investigating and conducting reviews to secure their security systems to prevent another incident from occurring.
Responsibilities of the technology and security C-suite
Security is a top priority for technology and security leaders. They and their teams are now taking a more proactive stance when it comes to evaluating and responding to cyber attacks and threats.
Business leaders and C-suite executives are also being held accountable for cybersecurity aspects within organisations – but how prepared are they for this responsibility? According to a global survey conducted by Trend Micro, only 50 percent of security experts felt that C-suite executives fully understand cybersecurity threats and risk management. This includes key cybersecurity concepts such as zero-trust security architecture.
In order to bridge this skills gap at the executive level, organisations have been told to assign clear roles and responsibilities to implement and manage the cybersecurity strategy. In spending more time working with the C-suite, other technical leaders and team members will eventually create an effective framework and strategy to better deal with cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
Proactive security measures
There are a number of proactive measures a technology leader can take on to meet the security needs of their organisation. When discussing 2023 security strategies at HotTopics’ industry event for technology leaders, The Studio, Head of ICT and CISO at Ornua, Adnan Ahmed, argued that technology and cybersecurity leaders need to adopt technology based on the current and future business requirements. This could translate into a significant upgrade in security tools and applications that are able to comply with different security risks.
In the same Studio roundtable discussion, GCB Bank’s CISO, Ronald Martey, highlighted the challenges of hybrid working environments and cybersecurity. His advice to leaders was to secure home networks, configure shadow IT and patch endpoints in portable devices such as laptops. Alongside this, innovative thinking is key. One out-of-the-box method Ronald and his team concocted involved developing and implementing an onboarding platform on cybersecurity content to educate teams.
Executive technology and security leaders are now well acquainted with the different types of cyber attacks that can be thrown at their organisations. With a dedicated team and good communication, solutions can be drawn up to prevent further attacks in the future. What this takes is a harsh assessment of the current strategies and procedures. This includes discarding anything that is hindering your security capabilities. Security and technology leaders are advising people to identify the threat, do their research and innovate where possible, and dictate who is responsible for what security aspect. Taking this into consideration, facing threats on a cohesive and united front is better than in a siloed and disorderly one.
Interested in some further reading on cybersecurity in the C-suite? Take a look at some of our Studio roundtable discussions: