Cyber security has steadily increased in importance over the last two decades. As organizations conduct more and more business operations online, companies have had to prioritize cyber security to protect assets. Because cyber security development is so important, it starts at the top. CEOs, founders, and other executives should create an environment where they demonstrate cyber security is important to them and thus should be important to the entire organization. 

While CEOs may think they are prioritizing cyber security and allocating enough resources, non-CEO employees may not. A survey found that 37% of CEOs believed that they ensured adequate resources, funding, and priority for cyber security, but only 30% of non-CEOs thought the same. Similarly, 34% of CEOs thought that they embedded cyber and privacy in key operations and decisions of the organization, but 30% of non-CEOs thought the same.

It’s important to note that none of these figures exceeds 40%.  That alone signals a need for emphasis, but the gap between CEO and non-CEO focus further indicates CEOs must be overt and clear when sharing their efforts in cyber security. Keeping the entire organization on the same page will strengthen the organization’s relationships with each other and strengthen its defense against cyber security threats. 

For CEOs who wish to make a bigger impact with their cyber security efforts, here are a few ways to help your organization prioritize and work together on this front.

  • Educate yourself and your employees on cyber security. For many organizations, it is not a case of if you will have a cyber threat, but when. It is important to be prepared.
  • Embed security and privacy in your company’s culture. Make it a common conversation and learn about it often. Consider holding quarterly meetings or seminars to discuss the state of the company’s security and learn about any new advances in technology or potential threats.
  • Partner with an IT team to make sure your organization is equipped with the proper protection against cyber threats. Security systems and protocols should be implemented by experts for maximum efficacy.
  • Create a response plan in case of a security breach. Communicate with the entire company on response protocols so that everyone is ready to work together on any issues that arise.

As CEO, you have many things to communicate with your team.  Cyber security is a critical component to keep in your communication. If it’s your priority, it will be the entire company’s priority.