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CISO – How you make sure that the management team prioritises cybersecurity

Digitalisation has led to cybersecurity becoming increasingly important, but it does not always receive the priority it deserves. It is not always easy for the CISO to explain to the management team why working with cybersecurity is so important.

With more and more devices connected to the Internet, possible attack routes into the IT infrastructure are increasing. All companies and authorities need to ensure that they do what they can to avoid an attack. A structured approach to cybersecurity is therefore something that must be in place. But how do you go about securing the management team’s commitment? Here are some things to keep in mind during a presentation for the management team!


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1. Analyse the risks

In order for you to be able to make the right priorities in your security work, some sort of risk analysis is needed – a protective security analysis. It determines the protection values of the business, the consequences that can arise if these protection values are attacked, what the threat is and what vulnerabilities there are. Based on this, appropriate protective measures can then be proposed! By asking yourself a number of questions, you can deliver a security protection analysis that allows you to be very concrete when you present to the management team or the IT manager.

You might have to meet the requirements of the Protective Security Act. The Protective Security Act (2018: 585) contains requirements for measures aimed at protecting information that is important for Sweden’s security, or that is to be protected in accordance with an international commitment on security protection. The law also applies to the protection of other security-sensitive activities, such as information systems important for society. If you are covered by this law, you have a clear argument for why you must prioritise your cybersecurity!


Analyse risks

2. Explain the consequences

You must reveal what the consequences could be if you neglect cybersecurity. There are several known cases of ransomware attacks, such as the Maersk case. You can also include more relevant examples based on your analysis. For example, if you have discovered that you have shortcomings in your software updates, it is more communicative and convincing to say that “a hacker can copy the entire payroll and post it on the internet” than to talk about the need for several security updates. So, adapt the scenario of consequences to your business and what you need to protect!

Read more about companies and industries that have used our solutions here!


3. Show how you can save money

A counterargument you can get is: “But does it not cost a lot to introduce a structured approach with information security?”. This is something you can quickly respond to by explaining that the cost of an attack is usually much higher than the investment needed for higher security. With an ever-increasing number of attacks, the risk of being affected is relatively high. Not investing in your cybersecurity therefore actually means that you take an extremely large financial risk. Ask the management team if they really want to take that risk?

Read our guide about when you need to invest in cybersecurity!


Management can save money

4. Elevate the benefits

It is good if management associates cybersecurity with something positive and uncomplicated. Therefore, it is important that you end the presentation with explaining that systematic cybersecurity work allows you to avoid negative publicity, information leakage, downtime – you can simply avoid several risks that could lead to lost business.

Another positive effect of structured cybersecurity work is that employees have access to the right information at the right time, which often increases efficiency. By emphasising these, and other benefits of structured cybersecurity work, it becomes easier to secure the management’s commitment.

Do you work as CISO and want to learn more about working with cybersecurity? Read our guide for CISOs!

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