For the past 24 years (and likely the foreseeable future), executive leadership and the IT Department have seen things differently… a lot differently. This stems mainly from the fact that executive management does not completely understand the needs of the IT department, and the IT department feels the same way about leadership.

The concept of cybersecurity is as wide as the Grand Canyon, and cybersecurity may as well be a four-letter word to executive management. They recognize it’s a concern, yet they may be unable to measure its importance like IT teams or security personnel would. Management is concerned with business development and the growth and prosperity of the company. They want to save money, and the perception is that IT Department wants to spend it.

This is what I call the Great Divide. The gap between leadership and IT departments widens with every boardroom debate. Leadership and IT can’t come to terms with the cybersecurity budget. The perception of IT teams is that leadership feels like cybersecurity is nice but not necessary.

Many IT departments are forced to fruitlessly attempt to persuade leadership that security should be at the top of their minds. Leadership doesn’t see it that way, and the response is often, “We’ve been okay; why do we need to spend now?” The result is a stalemate where the budget is not approved or is postponed. This is the dangerous outcome that hackers are betting on.

The rate of attacks, breaches and the like are increasing. The numbers prove it. We know that for most, it’s only a matter of time before they experience a business disruption or security incident. We encourage executive leadership to digest that your IT department can only do the budgeted work.

Equally important is their commitment to security. Drive from leadership throughout the company is a magical thing. It can literally change the entire organization’s philosophy regarding security! Yet too many leave that responsibility to the IT Department.

The IT department must also recognize that what you’re asking for may not always make sense to an executive. They need to know the risks. Your spending needs to be justified. Plenty of statistics can support your concern and request for budget. Show them, don’t just tell them.

Thankfully, we are increasingly meeting leadership teams that understand their role and its importance regarding the company's security. These companies are the ones that are more likely to avoid a security incident because all teams are playing towards a common goal.

Security is the foundation of all things IT-related, and it should be treated as such. If your company would like to talk about your needs or a concern you may have, please reach out to SecuSolutions Ltd. for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. We’re here to support you, wherever on your cybersecurity you may be.