An effective cyber risk management strategy requires everyone within the FI to work together with a unified goal for budget allocation and solution implementation.
In parts 1 and 2 of our blog series, Redefining Cybersecurity, we discussed the shift from traditional cybersecurity to cyber risk management as well as how to achieve cyber risk readiness. An effective cyber risk management strategy requires everyone within the FI to work together with a unified goal for budget allocation and solution implementation. Currently, there is a significant communication gap about cybersecurity between front line IT workers and decision makers within the financial sector. IT workers are responsible for implementing and managing cybersecurity measures and are knowledgeable about the needs and intricacies of security. Unfortunately, C-level executives and the board who ultimately make the final decisions about budget and solutions often lack the technical knowledge to fully understand the risks and implications of cyber threats. This can lead to a lack of investment in cybersecurity measures and a failure to prioritize it as a critical business issue. As a result, FIs are potentially more vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can have significant financial and reputational consequences. It is crucial for all decision makers to recognize the importance of cybersecurity and foster open communication with IT workers to ensure that appropriate measures are implemented and maintained.
Understanding the Gap and its Implications
When it comes to IT and business strategies, there can be a disconnect in communication due to different priorities and varying knowledge levels. C-level executives and board members tend to focus on broader business objectives such as profitability, customer experience, and market expansion, while IT professionals prioritize operational, security, and technological advancements. This difference in priorities can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts in goals and strategies. Many FIs work in silos, with each department focusing on its own objectives, leading to limited cross-departmental dialogue and a lack of understanding about each group’s challenges. The result is frequently inefficient allocation of budget and resources, mismanaged security risk and vulnerabilities, and failure to adequately innovate and improve security measures. When IT professionals speak to board members and executives about cybersecurity, the use of technical jargon can sometimes create a barrier due to varying levels of knowledge about cyber risks. Designing an effective cyber risk management solution can be challenging when there are different priorities and a lack of understanding. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize breaking down silos and improving communication.
Effective ways to improve communication include:
The communication gap is a long running issue, but while it’s widely recognized as an obstacle, some FIs are still not effectively bridging the gap. DefenseStorm has designed resources to aid in rectifying this problem. We explored the DefenseStorm Cyber Risk Readiness IQ – a free tool that provides valuable information about your financial institution’s level of cyber risk readiness through an evaluation of your preparedness level, which then identifies areas of strength or weakness and offers recommendations for improvement. The results of this evaluation are easy to understand and provide actionable insights to improve cyber risk readiness, which makes it a great resource to engage in dialogue about cybersecurity goals and objectives.
The Buyer’s Guide is another resource that breaks down the communication gap because it offers detailed explanations of critical cybersecurity elements in accessible language, eliminating the technical jargon that often creates barriers. With a better understanding of these elements, C-suite executives can effectively plan, allocate funds, and support their IT teams in implementing robust cybersecurity measures. Both resources simplify the information so that conversations can include all employees and decision makers, regardless of cybersecurity knowledge.
Communication is critical in every aspect of business, especially cybersecurity. Bridging the gap between IT professionals and executives is essential for effective planning, risk management, and compliance. Through tools like the CRRIQ and the Buyer’s Guide, DefenseStorm offers organizations the means to understand, evaluate, and improve their cyber risk readiness, ultimately ensuring the FI’s security and resilience in the face of cyber threats. By harnessing these resources, FIs can empower their executives and IT teams, fostering effective communication and collaboration to efficiently stay threat ready and compliant.