Employee Security IQ: Why Executives Need a Strategic Initiative to Tackle Security IQ

Enterprise-wide security strategies are dynamically changing. It’s now important for C-level executives to look at security as a big data problem. Employee security IQ is essential to tackling your most sophisticated cyber incidents. The old way of responding to threats after an alarm is triggered no longer supports today’s sophisticated threat landscape. Now more than ever, it’s essential that enterprises both large and small take a proactive approach when developing their security strategy.

Security Battles the Threat Landscape

Employee security IQ has become a boardroom discussion for many organizations. Securing your business is no longer only an IT initiative; investors and stakeholders are requiring executive officers to tackle security strategically.

We’ve seen many Fortune 500 executives lose their jobs over a security breach. We’ve also seen small business customers question the security of the personal data stored with their business provider.

The threat landscape is fundamentally changing. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and are now working together in large criminal organizations to directly attack many of our businesses.

With stakeholders and customers now requiring a strategic effort by executive officers to tackle this issue, where does one start? There are five key initiatives every organization must take to secure and protect their business from a cyberattack. The first is to raise the security IQ of all members of an organization.

Increase the Security IQ of Your Employees

Why does security IQ need to increase? More than half of cyber incidents are caused by insider threats, according to IBM research. Every time I share this with potential clients, the first response I get is something along the lines of, “I hired these people, I trust them, we have a family culture, and they would never do anything like that.”

While these reasonings may be true, in the big picture they’re irrelevant. Most of the incidents that occur internally are accidents. It starts with someone opening an infected email attachment, logging into a fraudulent website or even unknowingly downloading an infected mobile application.

While we recognize that it’s virtually impossible to be 100 percent protected from a cyberattack, we can take proactive measures to prevent attacks from happening, detect attacks when they do happen and respond appropriately to attacks after they occur.

Increasing employee security IQ is within our control. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to secure our business and also our client’s information.

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Kevin G. Joseph

Cybersecurity Strategist, IBM

Kevin Joseph is an IBM Cybersecurity Strategist serving the Great Lakes Region of the United States. He is focused on...