As Chief Information Officer (CIO), you are tasked with keeping the company’s data and digital assets protected against cybercrimes including ensuring compliance with agency-wide information security programs. These goals are implemented by your cybersecurity team, through tasks such as installing firewalls, keeping software up to date, backing up data, and ensuring endpoint protection. It is also supported as a cross-organizational effort as you enlist employees to perform their duties within the parameters of your cybersecurity policy.
But are you overlooking the C-suite’s role in preventing cybersecurity attacks? Getting the company leaders on board lends credibility and the financial and political backing that keep critical security projects a focal point of an organization’s objectives. Below we will discuss three executive roles that CIOs should manage for the most effective security strategy.
- Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
The connection between cybersecurity and human resources is often overlooked, yet the CHRO is critical to shaping security culture within your company. This role manages and trains employees and is adept at communicating and educating.
As CIO, you can ask for help that goes beyond the employee handbook to disseminate IT and security policies to the organization as a whole. The CHRO can guide employees on how to use systems and information assets effectively and safely. They can collaborate with you to determine the best methods and frequency to educate staff on security practices.
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
As the gatekeepers to company capital, CFOs play one of the most critical roles in facilitating cybersecurity initiatives. This executive must understand the organization’s security requirements so they can meet IT needs and fund projects.
The relationship between the CIO and CFO can focus on mitigating risk from a financial perspective. The CFO can provide examples of cybersecurity budget allocations to assist the CIO in prioritizing and planning. These roles should also make a collaborative effort to foresee any changes for future budget allocations as it relates to the IT security plan.
- The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Finally, working with the CEO is crucial to ensuring the success of your cybersecurity strategy. Nurturing a company-wide security culture is more attainable when the CEO is on board because when the CEO speaks, people listen. This executive can prevent and remove potential roadblocks faced by the CIO and is essential in communicating security policies.
CIOs should work with the CEO to find solutions that will enhance business security by demonstrating how it is used as a competitive advantage and a vehicle for achieving company goals. CEOs also can offer messaging that will encourage buy-in from staff across all departments.
Enlisting the support of the CHRO, CFO, and CEO is an effective way to garner different ideas, company buy-in, and resources needed to achieve a winning cybersecurity strategy. Think of these executives as part of your security committee as you work toward keeping your organization safe from nefarious cyber-attacks that threaten your digital assets and bottom line.