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Risk. Successful leaders understand risk.

Cyber Risk
They understand that cybercrime poses a risk and they need to in order to remain in leadership in any sustainable way. Leaders today in business, education, non-profits, and state, local, and federal government care about cybercrime. Most know they need to change their past tactics to prevent it, and at the same time the majority do not what priorities to set and in what order.

After all, we are talking about our beloved technology. The river that flows through every aspect of a modern organization today. From email, intellectual property, drawings, video, customer invoices, contracts, you name it, and it is digitized.

While most organizations could benefit from evolving in their “digital transformation” journey, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room.

The Large Daunting New Existence: RISK

There is a lot of noise today from social media, news, war, mobile technology, and more. Risks come from all angles, but successful leaders cut through the noise. Successful leaders see from where the biggest risk stems. An attack on everything that matters: your data. Intellectual property, bank funds, credit, employee, private customer information, and more. It’s all at risk and targeted daily.

Successful and sustainable leaders place combatting cybersecurity risk at the top of their priorities since doing otherwise becomes fruitless and against your interests, both financially and in an operational sense.

Why would a strong leader ever invest in more operations, real estate, or production before investing in protecting the brand from destruction?

Priorities have shifted. It’s been a forced shift, but a shift, nonetheless.

Today We are Digitized

Unlike the way we all conducted business operations 20 years ago, today, we are beholden to being online in large part. Back in the day, we used to essentially have two different versions of our operations, one in physical reality and one on computer. If the systems were down, we could still function: payroll was met, sales deals were closed, initiatives didn’t fall off track, and so on.

Today is different. Everything an organization does today has a digital component to it, unless, of course, you’re in an industry or part of the world with limited access, in which case you likely are not here reading this.

Managing the Risk

Leaders are well aware of the risks that cybercrime poses to them daily. Every single day when an employee gets online, a new risk occurs. Yet, they cannot function without leveraging advances in technology in the modern workplace.

This is why we exist, and why Cybersecurity Services are a needed line item in every budget this year, next year, and beyond. Go cheap, and your brand risks not being in existence no matter how much revenue you generate or how big or small the organization is.

No Brand is Too Big or Too Small

No Brand is too big to fail, nor too small to be missed by cyber criminals.

No brand is too big to fail or be destroyed by a devastating reputation-damaging breach. Likewise, no brand is too small to be missed or overlooked. The SMB space is a key target as they often do not implement fundamental protections that can thwart most attacks.

After all, this is a matter of Risk Management. The risk will always be there, but managing that risk and taking concrete steps to mitigate it is something leadership is aware of.

And if not aware or if they do not care and fund it, then we will see them in the news as their doors slowly shutter, sooner or later.

While possibly sounding harsh, it is reality. As a successful leader, adapting to change, growing, and managing risk are essential elements of grit and strong leadership.

Set Cybersecurity Priorities

Cybersecurity is not the responsibility of the CIO. It’s the responsibility of the C-Suite. Top leadership who own, founded or manages the brand. When a breach destroys customers’ trust in the organization, the brand is irreparably harmed. That accountability does not solely fall into the lap of the top tech person. Sure, they may have the team to manages systems and infrastructure, but it’s the executive leaders who set funding, priorities, and place security top of mind into the culture.

Those who run the culture of an organization actually own the responsibility for cybersecurity.

If you don’t know what steps to take or which priorities to set this year, then simply get help.

Tech Assistance

Contact your IT advisor or VMA-vetted small business IT company. VMA recommends Mick Wolcott (mick@goldmanlockey.com) at Goldman Lockey (goldmanlockey.com).

Cyber Security Insurance

The next step is to protect your business with cyber insurance. VMA has partnered with Cowbell Cyber Insurance to provide members with rates as low as $300. Contact Shannon@vma.bz or 415-710-0568 for more information or a free quote.

This article has been rewritten by VMA from Americas Print Show 22 blog post and was originally written by David Mauro, Regional Manager, All Covered, IT Services from Konica Minolta Business Solutions, US.

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