After the past few years of global twists and turns, the highly effective CIO of 2023 is ready for anything! With the pandemic largely in the rearview, and big-picture goals dominating the cybersecurity stage in coming months, now is the time to examine your business practices to cultivate sustainable IT security strategies.
IT leaders know every year is a balancing act with different considerations and competing priorities. Here to help are BAI Security’s top five must-dos and major don’ts for the 2023 CIO.
1. DO embrace innovation. DON’T leave it all to tech.
2023 is the year of cyber-physical systems, where the digital world meets physical automation. Digital frameworks are becoming increasingly incorporated into the analog, expanding attack surfaces in high-profile industries. Organizational assets have been introduced en masse to the cloud, putting entire servers at risk of ransomware attacks and other breaches.
Tasking computers with menial, repetitive tasks and low-level functionality have been shown to increase overall efficiency and the risk of human error, but the modern CIO knows to moderate this asset with the critical thinking of human operators. Fully automating your organization can lull everyone into a sense of complacency—and that’s when cybercriminals strike.
2. DO shake it up. DON’T change too much too fast.
Foundry’s 2022 State of the CIO survey reports a tendency to make big impressions with big changes. When it comes to the role of the CIO, 84% of IT leaders describe the position as a fulcrum for change, with the ultimate goal of operational excellence and efficiency.
But rapid, large-scale changes can overwhelm an organization and leave members of your workforce behind, damaging team cohesion and inviting insider threats to emerge. Examine the necessity of your changes—technical, structural, or otherwise—and roll them out at a realistic pace with conscientious change management. While data can be transferred at a moment’s notice, people need time to adapt.
3. DO exercise influence. DON’T keep things to your inner circle.
Leadership can get clique-y pretty quick, but now more than ever, IT security is cooperative. Gartner notes that 53% of organizations have their Board of Directors as major decision-makers in Emerging Technology (ET) investments, which can take your organization’s digital footprint in new and exciting directions—if you’re willing to be a team player.
The modern CIO is willing to engage with all levels of their organization and speak the language of the C-suite and vendors alike. A communicative, diverse workforce will expand your perspective, foster a more supportive environment, and bolster your ability to respond to digital threats. Which brings us to…
4. DO prioritize. DON’T go it alone.
New CIOs may be tempted to hole up in their offices and make a plan. Still, you never know what you’ll miss, and that’s where interdepartmental communication comes in.
The total volume of data handled by enterprises worldwide jumped 1,000TB between 2020 and 2022—but not all assets are created equal. Tiering access privileges (or implementing Zero Trust) and flagging high-profile data creates shortcuts for organizations to mitigate damage in case of a breach. Speak to different levels of leadership about where access is most and least essential and identify the most at-risk assets. The sooner you can shutter an endpoint to an attacker, the less damage will be done.
5. DO be ready to respond. DON’T be reactionary.
CIOs took center stage at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, planning and executing swift and major security initiatives to keep their organizations operating. These moves were critical to the health of their business, but they didn’t come without a price. Yet tech debt doesn’t compare to the debilitating impact of a data breach.
This year, it’s time to reckon with the long-term investment. In an ideal world, IT security initiatives are implemented to benefit an organization and its people for years to come. Be strategic, not reactive. In 2023, consider how you might align IT developments with the overall mission and goals of your company.
And of course, DO partner with true experts!
Exposing your vulnerabilities requires deep audit expertise, best-in-breed-tools (sorry, open source ain’t gonna cut it), and knowledge of your specific high-risk industry.
Get a fully custom assessment package from among these à la carte options:
- IT Security Assessment with 11 Security Best Practice Evaluations to choose from
- IT Risk Assessment
- Network Vulnerability Assessment & Management
- IT General Controls Audit
- HIPAA Security & HIPAA Privacy Risk Assessments
- Ransomware & Endpoint Compromise Simulation
- Red Team Assessment or ongoing Residency
- Social Engineering Evaluation
- FedLine Security & Controls Procedures Audit
- Vendor Management Risk Assessment
Contact our team today for a proposal and discounts!