So, Who Is The Cyber Risk Stakeholder at the Executive Level?

By Hana LaRock | CEO Best Practices

Jan 28
CEO, technology stakeholder, IT

“With great power lies great responsibility.”

Even in the smallest of businesses, there is a certain hierarchy of power. And, despite what could potentially go wrong at each level, either by a team or an individual, the question is, who should take the blame?

Ultimately, there can be a lot of things a CEO already has to take responsibility for, even if something which occurred wasn’t technically their “fault.” While it may feel good for a CEO to point fingers at his or her employees, that would be doing him or herself a huge disservice. And, at the end of the day, it doesn’t fix the problem.

The only thing you need to be responsible for when it comes to your network’s security?

Finding someone else to take the responsibility.

If you utilize the services of a CIO or another outsourced cyber security professional, he or she will become the cyber risk stakeholder at the executive level. This way, you can do what you do best for your business, while this person takes care of the rest.

Wouldn’t it be nice to put such a serious responsibility into the hands of an expert?

When Common, Not-So-Serious Cyber Threats Come Through

Cyber threats nowadays can happen at any moment. We’re talking everything from entire system shutdowns to unexpected data breaches. While certain problems are more likely to happen at a small business than opposed to a larger business, if you’re business is onto something good, then hackers may be onto you, too.

And, if you’re a small business, you most likely have an IT guy or an IT team helping you to avoid these cyber threats. Though sometimes, the occasional virus will get in or someone may accidentally delete important files.

Like any employee, IT people put in a lot of time and effort into making things go right. However, their role is a little bit different than that of an outsourced CIO. While IT may be around to fix things up in the office, they aren’t the ones that should be taking care of your network’s entire security and compliance plan. It’s essential that situations in terms of security are unbiased and thus taken outside of the office.

This is why you call an outsourced CIO, who is an expert in risk management and cyber security. This way, if a serious problem does occur, they will be in charge and held fully accountable; not the IT guy, not you, and most importantly, not your company.

When a Serious Cyber Threat Succeeds in Breaching Your System

Hackers work in all different ways, as do hacks and the way they affect your business. Sometimes, a hack can really set a small business back. It can cost you a lot of time and money when it comes to making repairs.

These are bigger, more serious cyber threats which lead to complete data breaches and ransomware. Sometimes, they can’t be solved, and the damage has been embedded way too deep to even try. In these cases, it’s less likely a CEO is going to be empathetic to their IT team, or design team, or content team, or whatever team it was that was ultimately the one to “click the big red button.” It may cause a lot of frustration. But, it happens.

Thankfully, when and if these problems do occur, if you’ve made the right choice about utilizing the services of an outsourced CIO, they, as the cyber risk stakeholder, must take the blame. That’s their job. They’ll handle the audits, the lawyers, the victims, the repair plan, while you go about business as usual.

CIOs Take a Lot of Stress Away from CEOs

With start-ups or small businesses, there is a lot of “figuring out” that a company needs to do together. Problems will come along that no one could have predicted. But, when a CIO is responsible for anything serious that may happen, it takes away a lot of potential stress and finger pointing that could happen if you were the one meant to take the responsibility.

Why worry about something else when you already have enough to worry about? An outsourced CIO is an expert in what they do. Leave it to them.

Smeester & Associates can help CEOs like yourself make the right decisions for your company, whether those involve cyber threats or other concerns in your IT department. To see if you’re at risk of a security breach, take our RiskAware™ Cyber Security Scan & Report today.