New Worry For CEOs: A Career-Ending Cyberattack

New Worry For CEOs: A Career-Ending Cyberattack.

“Cyber threats have zoomed to the top of chief executives’ worry lists for fear a data breach could cost them their jobs and take down their businesses.

“The fallout of attacks on companies from Target Corp. TGT 1.10% to Yahoo Inc.AABA -0.57% and, most recently, EquifaxInc. EFX 0.63% has thrust more corporate bosses to the front line of cybersecurity issues and changed the way they work.

No longer leaving data protection just to I.T. departments, CEOs are now often the ones reassuring nervous boards, stressing the importance of data-security to employees and are leading cyber drills to gird for a potential hack. And as especially ripe phishing targets, chief executives—more than many other staffers—are being forced to rein in once-freewheeling email habits.

The number of U.S. data breaches jumped to a record 791 in the first six months of 2017, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center and data security firm CyberScout. That is a 29% jump from the same period last year. At the same time, U.S. CEOs surveyed by KPMG LLP this year on average ranked cybersecurity as their top investment focus over the next three years, up from its second-place spot in last year’s survey.

“This is something a lot of us just didn’t have to worry about five years ago—someone else was handling that,” says Michael Riggs, chief executive of car-hauling company Jack Cooper Holdings Corp. But now, “any CEO who’s not putting this at the top of their priority list is crazy.”

 

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.