How to convince your CEO to address Cyber Security Risks?

Cyber security is one of the most important issues facing businesses today. To protect your company from cyber-attacks, you must convince your CEO that addressing these risks is critical.

Here are three typical reasons that are practical from an informational standpoint.

  1. The Cost of Not Protecting Yourself

  2. The Damage That Can Be Done by a Cyber Attack

  3. The Risks Involved in Not Acting

Before you stop reading, understand that it is not the information that you share, it is HOW you share the information. Keep reading to discover those essential tips.

If managing up was easy, everybody would be doing it. The challenge is speaking in such a way that your C-Suite team can hear you. This requires emotional intelligence, not just facts. The mistake that most people make is that they prepare graphs and charts to share without considering the emotional part of the presentation.

Every salesperson knows that people purchase on emotion, not numbers. How are you creating an emotional connection with your leaders so that they are moved to act?

Here are three steps that will enable you to share critical information so that it will no longer fall on deaf ears.

Share The Benefits

Approach your leadership team with their language. Write down all the key phrases that they typically use. What are their mantras? What is most critical to them? Practice weaving these phrases into your conversation.

People love hearing their words and phrases, just like they love hearing their names. While you don’t want to overdo their names or phrases, use them as a connector.

One of the phrases that you want to use is: “Charlie when we focus more on cyber security, it will benefit the company by (insert their favorite word or phrases.)” Remember that the conversation is not about you; it is about them!

Get Them To Feel The Situation

Since people buy on emotion, dip into their imagination where all things are seen and felt before they occur. Present your graphs and charts with all the possible scenarios that could happen if more attention and budget are not focused on the hackers.

The difference in the conversation is that you will be using two phrases that will garner attention:

1) Imagine if.

2) Picture this.

“Picture this, Suzie, we are on the road to double our production this year. Right? Imagination a single hacker disrupting our computer systems. One guy and all the goals for the year are in shambles. Imagine only one hacker taking down years of your hard work.”

Prepare For Their Objections

Expect objections. This is normal. Leaders will object to your knowledge because they don’t know what you know. They don’t see the world from your eyes; they see the world from their penthouse view of the company.

If you were standing at the top of a penthouse, your view is of all the surrounding areas—the ocean, the shops, the sunrise, and the sunset. From the bottom floor, the view is of the building next door, the sidewalk, and the people walking by. You see the guy in a black hood with a machine gun hitting the elevator button to the penthouse. Because they can’t see it or imagine it, there is no threat.

Understanding their view, write down all the possible objections that they could have regarding increasing the budget for cyber-security. Then, write down an answer to every objection. In fact, if you can clear the objection before they ask it, it is almost guaranteed that they will see your view.

Change Who YOU Are To Get What You Want

Many times, we stop short of the goal, because we don’t possess the toolset to get what we want. To get what you want, you must change who you are. You can’t keep beating the same drum, getting angry, and complaining. You must shift the way you lead.







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***Sherry has spoken over 3,500 hours to organizations such as Adobe, Dell, and Edward Jones. She is a Two-Time Olympian and a National Championship Coach.