Even though computers, the Internet, email and even smartphones are practically ubiquitous in today’s world, for millions of professionals using these technologies every day, they’re still considered “magic.” Millennials’ tech-savvy notwithstanding, the majority of the workforce, including many of those sitting in corner offices, are content to know that their workplace technology works, without diving into the details of how or why.

This can raise interesting questions when cybersecurity concerns arise, however. As the number of ways we have of connecting with each other grows, so too does the number and type of threats to security that accompany these developments.

Online intrusions are often costly, both in terms of direct financial costs as well as PR and public confidence. If you don’t know how to navigate a cybersecurity issue when one arises, you may find yourself in financial or even legal trouble down the road.

Cybersecurity is now the chief concern
Online attacks may not be exactly commonplace, but they’re frequent and high-profile enough that they can be nightmarish. It’s not surprising, then, that many executives and HR professionals have cemented cyber threats as the No. 1 boogeyman in terms of company concerns.

A report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans revealed that 37 percent of respondents listed cyberattacks as their main fear in the workplace – a 75 percent jump from just five years ago. This also means that cybersecurity is now top-of-mind for more executives than natural disasters or violent attacks.

Getting executives on board
The increasing prevalence of cyberattacks means that companies can no longer take passive, reactive stances on Internet security. Instead, CEOs are being urged across the world to set their problem-solving sights on the issue, shifting responsibility for protecting sensitive data from IT departments to executives themselves.

Risk management is a key part of these efforts, at all levels of business. An increasing reliance on Web technology means that cyberattacks may be more widespread now, and investors, employees and customers should all be adequately apprised of potential risks associated with these instances.

A recent report outlined some key top-level strategies all companies should consider as a means of revamping their cybersecurity efforts. Among some of these bullet points were investing in security infrastructure and personnel, increasing security-related training efforts and preparing an action plan in the event of an intrusion.

Small-business owners can also benefit from working with PEO companies to add an extra layer of security and protection to their data stewardship efforts.