Communicating the need for IT security to executives

A common challenge for many IT professionals is not necessarily putting an effective security system in place, but actually communicating the benefits of this system to executives. Often, neglect can lead to compromises in security.

Enterprises need to understand the necessity of IT security, especially given the chance of a malicious attack occurring. These often cause financial damage and affect reputation – important factors for an enterprise. In order to make security an enterprise priority, IT professionals need to have a plan for communication.

“Executive decision makers want to know the business is adequately protected against risk but need to weigh the risks of yesterday and today against the opportunities of tomorrow,” a Gartner report explained.

A plan is actually quite simple to implement, and Gartner has taken the lead by outlining several steps for businesses.

Formalise security programs

Businesses are likely already familiar with formalising programs, as many within an enterprise need to be both repeatable and measurable. An IT security program, when formalised, should cover governance, planning, building and operating.

Demonstrate value

Executives are almost always focused on driving business growth, and won’t want to hear from a professional about the risks of security negligence. As such, taking the time to demonstrate the value of a program is the best approach.

Measure maturity

A maturity scale is able to measure the security program, and identify gaps for improvement. This scale is also useful for executives, as it’s easily understandable.

The value of certifications

While it’s often difficult to convince managers, it can be even more challenging to ensure security systems have been put in place effectively. This is where certifications like SABSA are invaluable.

This security architecture is one of the most successful in the world, and is an open-use best practice method for delivering cohesive information security solutions. Once a foundation course has been undertaken, professionals will be able to more effectively handle the security needs of an organisation.

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