Information security has become a major priority for companies of all sizes. A single data breach not only puts customers and companies at high risk, it can also destroy customer relationships. However, even though executive teams know that security is important, CISOs still have to manage a great deal of friction with their counterparts in the C-Suite, creating an uphill battle when it comes to tightening up company data.
Information Security and Risk Perception in the C-Suite
One of the biggest barriers to productive relationships between CISOs, CIOs and other members of the executive team is risk perception. Members of the team outside of technology believe that data security is simply an IT problem, rather than a business problem.
That misunderstanding creates a challenge when it comes to budgets and attention. When information security is viewed as a “tech issue,” it is not given the same type of funding or prioritization as, say, financial risk. Board members tend to keep their focus on shareholder returns, rather than managing risk or protecting customer relationships and brand reputation.
In order to overcome this barrier, CISOs must do everything they can to educate the other members of the team about the real business risk of information security. Once they can demonstrate the impact of security, budgets and support will follow.
Information Security and Convenience
Another huge barrier for CISOs is the matter of convenience. Often, executives feel that security programs and protocols interfere with their computing experience, adding extra steps that they believe will make their jobs harder. According to CIO.com, one CISO reported that during a routine system audit, the team discovered that every account in the company was compliant with its security policies except one. That single user? The CEO.
It is not just executives who resist security protocols, however. Middle managers who are under pressure to complete projects quickly and under budget are always looking for shortcuts as they maneuver through software systems. They may fail to follow password protocols or they may demand access to databases that they don’t actually need – circumstances that are ripe for a security breach.
Overcoming these barriers is a matter of communication. CIOs and CISOs must create a united front in the C-Suite, and they must be willing to take the steps necessary to educate other members of the board that information security is more than just an “IT problem” – it is an enterprise problem that deserves the same attention as other areas of risk.
Oftentimes, overcoming roadblocks in communication is a matter of hiring the right people. If you are looking for tech talent at all levels to help you improve information security, the IT recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are ready to help. Contact our experts today so open up a conversation about the ways in which our talent can help your team reshape its thinking about information technology.