In today’s business world, preparing for potential security risks, especially those involving malware or hacking attacks, can be a vital part of any manager’s duties. In fact, a growing part of obtaining a master’s degree in business administration involves learning about the importance of having a proactive security policy in place for the manager’s business.
The Threat of Cyberattack
The fact of the matter is that as the importance of online commerce grows, the number of threats related to attacks by hackers has exploded. This is especially true for small businesses, due to their perceived vulnerability to online attacks with fully 43 percent of 2015 cyberattacks focusing on small businesses. These numbers will only increase as even small businesses start to increasingly focus on various types of online marketing and customer interaction.
The damage of a successful cyberattack can be tremendous. A business, large or small, that has been victimized can expect the following possible consequences:
- Lost productivity due to the need to repair damage to the company’s databases and other software assets. In severe cases, vital information may be lost completely, forcing the company to rebuild the data from scratch.
- Lost business due to the failure of online purchasing and customer interaction systems.
- Possible legal liability due to the unauthorized release of confidential customer information.
- Reputational damage due to poor publicity surrounding the cyberattack, especially if the company was seen to be unprepared for an attack and its aftermath.
The Importance of Management
However, one of the best ways to prevent a cyber attack is to have an effective and engaged management team. By making the company’s security a priority, a manager can ensure that his or her team is fully prepared to defend against any cyberattack. Indeed, many programs offering a master’s degree in business administration stress the importance of being prepared for these challenges.
Managers and Cyber Threat Management
The most important contribution a manager can make is lending his or her support to preparing for potential security threats, as well as the aftermath of any attack. This includes the following steps:
- The manager must ensure that any security is up to date and properly supported. Even a smaller business must have one or more employees with the explicit duty of maintaining the firm’s cybersecurity.
- All employees must be trained on proper security practices. Most hackers gain access to a business due to poor password policies or the use of unsecured USB sticks by an employee. By establishing and enforcing an effective security policy, management can drastically reduce the potential avenues of attack for malicious individuals or groups.
- The manager must put a comprehensive data backup plan into operation. By doing so, the potential for the loss of business-critical information can be eliminated.
- Should the company suffer a successful cyberattack, a manager must have a policy ready to mitigate any losses, while also keeping in touch with customers, news agencies and law enforcement agencies. In smaller businesses, a single manager may handle all of these responsibilities, becoming the primary point of contact between the company and other concerned groups. For this reason, having a skilled manager with a prepared policy can literally become the difference between success and bankruptcy for a business that has suffered a cyberattack.
The Benefits of Training
Because the field of business security is a rapidly changing one, it is important for individuals who are interested in becoming business managers to seek out a qualified master’s degree in business administration program that offers training in cybersecurity management practices. By doing so, a manager can become prepared to effectively work with other professionals in order to ensure that his or her business is adequately protected from the ever-growing number of online threats that exist in today’s world.