We have provided this simple self-assessment and score card free of charge in hopes that it will cause you to consider the impact that your organizations corporate cyber security culture has on your efforts to address your cyber threats and exposures.
Today the pace of change in malicious cyber events is accelerating. In the past the risks were mainly in someone gaining access to valuable information such as proprietary company information, financial records, customer credit card data, and similar information and then using the information for gain. We are now seeing a rise in harming the ability of an organization, or an individual, to function by disabling key operations, and sometimes demanding a ransom payment to return it to normal. Additionally there is a rise in malicious exposures to harm a company’s repute.
It seems every day a new cyber threat arises, which leads to a great deal of activity to determine how to react to it. This is a strategic mistake. Focusing solely on cyber threats is a losing proposition as there will always be a new cyber threat to deal with, it is technologies version of cyber ‘wack-a-mole’. You need to stop playing cyber wack-a-mole and begin to take the offensive against the predators that infest the cyber eco-system we all inhabit.
What you need to do is to identify and manage your cyber exposures so you are not always playing catchup. That is not to say you should ignore cyber threats. You need to deal with ones that are prevalent in your cyber eco-system. Rather, you need to also, if you want to get ahead of cyber threats, identify and deal with your organizations cyber exposures. By ‘cyber exposures’ we mean the vulnerabilities that arise from inhabiting the cyber eco-system. Realize that these vulnerabilities are not just technical but rather are rooted in human behavior, legal and compliance matters, use of social media, the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).
A key in improving the likelihood of success in addressing the many cyber exposures your organization faces is understanding the mindset of the members of your organization – the cyber security culture. This can be done by examining attitudes towards cyber exposure, responsibilities towards cyber security, and awareness of the cyber threats in general. In other words how does your organizations view cyber security? Is it only a technical concern? Not a real problem? An annoyance to be circumvented? The answers to these and similar questions will go a long way towards understanding the approach you will need to improve your organizations cyber defenses. If your culture treats cyber security poorly then your organization is more likely to undermine your efforts and experience a cyber event.
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