CIOs engage in a cat-and-mouse struggle to secure company communications


Everyone in the C-suite has a stake in keeping their company’s intellectual property and internal communications secure, away from prying eyes. While Chief Security Officers (CSOs) are growing in popularity, CIOs are still the first line of defense to secure the technology and communication systems used by their employees.

As I work with various clients, the onboarding process now, uniformly, includes an in-depth orientation to their security protocols. What I can accomplish is less important than how I accomplish it.

The biggest buzzword during these introductions is “phishing” – messages designed to trick employees into entering their credentials into fake websites or forms that send the data to hackers.

And email isn’t the only risk area. Social media has become a breeding ground for phishing links. For example, two official Equifax tweets accidently included links to a fake Equifax site. To make things more embarrassing, this was in the immediate aftermath of a statement advising consumers that their data had been compromised.

It seems like the moment new protocols are distributed to employees, and new security patches are made, the hackers come back even stronger than before. CIOs have a lot on their plate. They’re already being stretched thin by the increasingly rapid pace of product development, rollout and upgrade.

CIOs are leveraging vendor relationships to deploy comprehensive security platforms.

The problem is that by the time a weakness is identified, it’s already too late. Imagine the farmer sticking his finger in the dike as water leaks through the damn. Eventually, the farmer runs out of fingers and the water bursts through.

CIOs engage in a cat-and-mouse struggle to secure company communications