Cybersecurity risks are becoming more systematic and more severe. Although the short-term impacts of a cyberattack on a business are quite severe, the long-term impacts can be even more important, such as the loss of competitive advantage, reduction in credit rating, and increase in cyber insurance premiums. They should not be ignored. In order for companies to address these concerns effectively, there needs to be a cybersecurity champion on the board to help set the tone for the organization and develop a long-term cybersecurity strategy, which should be a priority for every organization.

The viewpoint shared by around 70 percent of executives representing financial institutions is that cybersecurity presents a strategic risk to their companies. When comparing European and American companies, it is evident that European firms display a slightly greater level of apprehension. It is noteworthy that a considerable number of executives perceive internal threats arising from employees to be equally perilous as external attacks (McKinsey).

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It is alarming that most executives believe that cyber attackers will gain an edge over corporate defenses. A survey revealed that 60% of executives expect cyber-attacks to advance more rapidly than institutions can defend against them. Product companies, especially those in the high-tech sector, are particularly concerned about industrial espionage. The unauthorized disclosure of proprietary information related to production processes is considered more harmful than leaks of product specifications, given the widespread use of disassembling  techniques and legal protections for product designs. Conversely, service companies are more apprehensive about the exposure and release of identifiable customer information, as well as service interruptions.

Safeguard Your Profits from the Threat of Cybercrime

It is evident that cyber incidents have repercussions that reach beyond temporary stock price decreases, underscoring the necessity for executives to ready themselves for enduring impacts. Implementing a structured response plan and embracing a proactive customer stance, such as emphasizing existing cybersecurity protocols, shifting towards planned upgrades, and conducting practice exercises, have been effective in lessening the negative effects of cyber incidents. To equip themselves for the long-term view, executives should prioritize two crucial endeavours.

Appoint a Cybersecurity Advocate to the Board of Directors.

To safeguard their companies, executives must prioritize the initial task of establishing robust cybersecurity measures. By appointing a dedicated champion, they can effectively respond to cyber incidents and maintain cybersecurity as a strategic priority. Furthermore, this champion can impart valuable cybersecurity knowledge to the board, ensuring that the entire organization remains well-informed and prepared.

Establish a Sustainable Cybersecurity Strategy for the Future

It is crucial for executives to embrace a long-term cybersecurity strategy instead of a short-term, reactive approach as a key initiative. Despite the potential short-term impact on revenue-generating resources, investing in cyber risk management will yield positive results in the future.

Giving paramount importance to cybersecurity across the entire organization is crucial, as employees serve as the primary defence against cybersecurity risks. Integrating cybersecurity into the job description of each employee is imperative. Consider the data breach incident at Samsung semiconductor, where employees inadvertently shared highly sensitive source code with ChatGPT for error fixing. This incident was not a result of a technical vulnerability but rather a reflection of cultural and operational issues. By fostering a robust cybersecurity culture, your employees can avoid such unintended cyber incidents while simultaneously capitalizing on the advantages of cutting-edge digital innovations like ChatGPT.