Picture this, a large organization has been hacked, compromising the financial information of millions of people. News headlines detailing similar stories are now frequent, causing the job description of CSO to rapidly expand. In the past, the main responsibility of this role has been managing the physical security of an enterprise. But in today’s dominantly digital world, CSOs must expand their reach to not only monitor tangible risks, but also address the uninsured risks that live in the digital world.  

Digital risk continues to be a puzzling area for CSOs, but one that is only going to grow with time. In fact, the Gartner Digital Risk Management Hype Cycle recently found that less than five percent of enterprises are currently monitoring their digital risk.

With such a limited focus on digital risk, it is imperative that CSOs be proactive in addressing these vulnerabilities before they become larger enterprise issues. Two areas where CSOs should place their focus are cybersecurity around bring your own device (BYOD) policies and proper employee digital risk training. With a proper strategy in place to address these issues, CSOs can significantly alter their security landscape, ultimately protecting their company and reducing their digital risk exposure.


Bring Your Own Device

The acceptance of BYOD practices brings with them a bevy of digital risks, many of which are still being realized by CSOs. Traditionally, CSOs have focused on protecting the enterprise from hacks through their own systems, but the emergence of BYOD has extended these practices to include employee-owned devices. In leaving device selection up to the employees, security teams now find themselves having to account for wider technology platforms ranging from computers, cellphones and even tablets, each of which carry unique operating systems.

To counter these practices, CSOs must serve as the first line of defense in establishing remediation strategies that protect employees and the enterprise from risks and breaches, no matter their device. In doing so, CSOs must understand the risks that these devices bring due to the nuances in their security protocols and employee usage.


Employee Education

Education is one of the best defenses against hackers. Many companies have security policies in place, but employees are not responsible for what they do not know. If employees undergo security training, enterprises can benefit from increased employee understanding of risks as well as help improve visibility into arising risks and appropriate remediation strategies.

In these training programs, employees should learn the signs of phishing emails, the importance of securing their devices when they aren’t using them and how to best set up passwords. This is also a good opportunity for the CSO to explain company policies with the employees. Such policies may include; how to report missing computers, how often passwords and security software should be updated and steps to take during a possible cyberattack.

CSOs must create an environment where employees know how to identify risks and inform appropriate parties when risk arise. This allows the enterprise to get ahead of the risk, helping minimize long-term damage.


Risk Management Starts with the C-suite

When it comes to enterprise security, C-suites should be vocal leaders on the importance of digital risk for the other employees to follow. A CEO who is very vocal about reducing digital risk will provide the leadership and employee buy-in that will resonate throughout the enterprise.

The role of a CSO will continue to evolve as the world of digital risk changes, so it is imperative that they take the time to understand where/how these risks arise as well as how to address them. With digital risk’s continual growth, now is the time for CSOs to act.