How does the boardroom deal with the issue of cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity and the associated threat of spam is a topic that now affects every company. Advancing digitalization, especially in the wake of Corona, has greatly increased the attack surface for cybercrime in recent years. But how do management levels react to the danger?

In a worst-case scenario, the damage caused by cyberattacks can reach business-threatening proportions. The number of attacks is rising and the criminals’ methods are becoming increasingly cunning. Reason enough to make the topic a “top priority” and to treat it with high priority. However, there is often a lack of technical understanding and an inadequate assessment of the potential danger.

Is the management aware of the dangers?

study by Kaspersky
, which spoke to 1,800 decision-makers and more than 1,000 employees in large companies from 12 European countries, reveals some astonishing results. Just under half of respondents said cybercrime is now the most serious threat to their business, ahead of economic factors such as inflation and competitiveness. The irony is that despite this, the topic is treated rather stepmotherly in many executive suites.

Kaspersky concludes in the report that this is mainly related to a lack of understanding of jargon and terminology among decision makers. In addition, management levels often make rash decisions in critical situations without a clear understanding of the nature of the threat and the resulting risk to the business.

New times, new risks

Digitization in German companies was already on the rise by 2020, but received a significant boost from the pandemic. Suddenly, the digital workplace was no longer just a vague future project or a topic for young start-ups with a Silicon Valley mindset. For many people, it was now the basic prerequisite for being able to perform their work at all under the applicable precautionary measures – home offices and video conferencing were now the order of the day. As a result, companies pushed the digitization of their business more and more strongly, as they dealt more comprehensively with the possibilities of digitization and recognized the existing potential. As a result, more and more areas of the working world were shifting into virtual space, providing a target for cybercriminals.

The Ukraine war also increased fears of Russian cyberattacks. U.S. President Biden directed companies to ramp up cybersecurity capabilities in a high-profile statement. It is the responsibility to defend against attacks and to protect critical infrastructures and services. For Germany, too, the BSI warned of possible attacks in the wake of the Ukraine war, especially in connection with phishing attempts, and spoke of an “abstractly increased threat situation”.

Biggest obstacle is lack of knowledge

Nearly half (48 percent) of the risk and security specialists surveyed in the Kaspersky study believe that management teams lack an understanding of cybersecurity terminology. According to the study, decision-makers have little understanding of terms such as phishing, malware, ransomware and zero-day exploits – this lack of insight into the subject matter in turn leads to a failure to take the necessary security measures.

In addition to budget constraints (47 percent), respondents cited inadequate or no training (43 percent) as the main reason for grievances. To ensure both awareness and understanding of cybersecurity and its associated terminology, he said, urgent improvements are needed.

Need for action in the executive suite

Companies are under pressure to act in view of the increasing threat situation. Cyber threats are now changing rapidly, and criminals are finding ever more creative ways to circumvent security measures. The task is to keep pace with developments by understanding the threats, assessing them accordingly, and responding appropriately or taking preventive action. This requires training and/or the consultation of experts who can act as a kind of interpreter, translating the subject matter for senior management and presenting it in an understandable way.

Email Security for Business

A functioning security concept for e-mail communication is one of the cornerstones of cybersecurity in companies. Spam is not only annoying, but sometimes also very dangerous, as cybercriminals target sensitive data and try to grab it through phishing attacks. For companies, such attacks via daily e-mail traffic take on business-damaging proportions in the worst case.

One of the basic cybersecurity measures is the implementation of an e-mail security solution such as eXpurgate, which protects against threats in e-mail traffic. eXpurgate combats spam of all kinds and removes harmful e-mails from circulation before employees are confronted with them. The extremely high spam detection rate of99.9% reliably protects you and your company from the dangers of a cyber attack.

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