All companies connected to the internet are vulnerable to cyber attacks. And the potential losses are significant. Retail giant Target, for example, estimated its losses from a 2013 data breach at more than $250 million. What’s more, according to a recent survey conducted for BAE Systems of 300 managers in the financial services, insurance, and IT/tech industries in the U.S., 85% of respondents listed reputational damage as the most prominent result of a data breach, with 74% citing legal liability as the second largest concern.
Liability for data breaches that affect customers leads directly to the C-suite. Executives need to personally know how strong their company’s cyber defenses are, as well as the expected responses for attacks or breaches. But according to the survey, 40% admitted that they lacked a clear understanding of the cybersecurity protocols within their organizations. This should be an urgent wake-up call to executives that cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously throughout the organization.