The CEO’s Plain English Cybersecurity Guide

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The CEO’s Plain English Cybersecurity Guide

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cybersecurity guideThe goal of this cybersecurity guide is to provide senior executives and directors with an understanding of the cybersecurity problem and what to do about it. No technical knowledge is necessary because, frankly, most of what you need to manage your organization’s risk involves engaging experts.

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We are losing the cybersecurity war

Make no mistake, experts agree that adversaries are gaining ground compromising valuable data globally. There are a few major factors contributing to this:

  • Crime pays: there is an efficient and sophisticated marketplace for stolen information where stolen data can be monetized with great efficiency
  • Adversaries are well armed: a plethora of increasingly sophisticated and effective tools and techniques are available to those who want to steal data so we are constantly in a state of responding to attacks
  • We value convenience over security: we’ve been engaged in a multi-decade mad rush to hyper-connectivity, convenience and unfettered downloading, linking and connecting that has made adequate security a nightmare. Many of our most commonly used software applications have serious security flaws and even the hardware we used may have internal code that came from unknown suppliers
  • Our online behavior exposes us to compromises: privately and on the job, employees, vendors and customers are compromised almost effortlessly by adversaries and become the avenue by which adversaries can wend their way to valuable data assets

The economic picture is that global cybersecurity spending is approximately $100B/year and global damages are estimated to be at least $450B/year. Both spending and damages are expected to increase rapidly.

Cybersecurity Risk Management

There are no silver bullets that can make your organization 100% safe, in fact experts universally agree that, like it or not, you either already have been or will in the future be compromised. Managing your risks involves not simply trying to prevent intrusions (impossible) but having the ability to detect and take appropriate response actions to them.

So, management teams and boards need to determine the ‘desired risk posture’, in other words, what is an acceptable level of risk for each organization.

To arrive at an actionable cyber risk posture means:

  • determining what data is most critical to protect, where it resides, who has access to it and what are all of the ways that it can currently be accessed
  • calculating the economic cost to your organization if that data is compromised
  • determining the best practice human behaviors and technology solutions that match your protection, detection and mitigation needs
  • allocating necessary funds for capital expenditures and expenses to deliver an acceptable level of risk

How do you get proper cyber protection in place?

Cybersecurity is a specialized discipline where experience matters. There is no substitute for engaging experts as you have a great deal at stake and cannot afford to compromise on the quality of your security partners. The Buy Maryland Cyber company directory is one of the world’s best resources to find the assistance you need. There you can learn cybersecurity basics, network security tips, and more. Want to get started developing effective cybersecurity strategies? Under ‘Listings’ use the filter ‘Planning and Training’ to find companies for you to contact and evaluate. You can further customize your search to find U.S. government solution providers – which means they probably have US Intelligence Community and/or Department of Defense experience. You will also find service providers for every aspect of your needs as you begin to understand each of the pieces of your protection puzzle.

Protect your world with Maryland cybersecurity company support.


The following five organizations can assess your cybersecurity needs and help you implement the proper level of protection for your organization:


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