Top 5 Cyber Priorities for the Discerning CTO
A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of an organization – including technology and oftentimes security teams. As the leader and representative of all things digital and technical, the CTO should champion identifying and protecting the critical data needs of the organization. Plus, the CTO must ensure that their organization’s technology, a key business enabler, is secure and available.
What Keeps CTOs Up at Night?
A December 2016 IEEE survey of 300 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) found that cybersecurity was the greatest threat they faced. No surprise here. As the steward of data, arguably an organization’s most prized possession, it makes sense that CTOs are concerned with the exposure or unavailability of this data. Because technology is paramount for so many business operations, the CTO needs to ensure that the technical solutions and services put in place remain up-and-running. Any degradation in performance or unexpected failures can have significant impacts across the business. The CTO needs to make sure that its systems, and the data and information they process, remain secure from cyber attacks and incidents.
Top 5 Cyber Priorities for the CTO
The recommended top priorities for the CTO to achieve company cyber resilience include:
- Creating a cyber secure work environment and culture. CTOs should lead by example and educate personnel about the importance of personal and professional cyber hygiene
- Integrating security into the development lifecycle. Security must be prioritized before and during development. It cannot be added in after development. This is especially true of software development.
- Encouraging company-wide cybersecurity awareness and literacy training
- Partnering with the CISO to make sure that any technology enablements are properly safeguarded from cyber incidents, as well as planning and advocating for incident response best practices (including simulated exercises and full-scale simulations)
- Partnering with the C-Suite and Board to ensure a culture of security and cybersecurity preparedness from the top down
The CTO’s most important cyber role is the partnership with the CISO to ensure that cybersecurity is never an afterthought but rather a cultural imperative for his or her organization. The CTO should be the shaper and enabler of technology strategy, but each member of the C-Suite needs to know what data the company has, how data is processed and protected, and have a clear understanding of each leader’s role in safeguarding that data. Don’t think your organization is doing all it can? Join us at our Cyber Resolve seminar in NYC on May 1. Prefer private training for you and your executive team or your board? Contact us. We’ll bring the education to you.