Many times we learn by our mistakes. But when it comes to cybersecurity, especially if you’re a CXO or board member, it’s a lesson that’s too costly. As Gil Shwed, CEO of Check Point Software recently told the business daily Globes, “two years ago that while hackers were formerly regarded as ‘children who wanted to prove themselves,’ it was now already clear that global organized crime was involved, and countries realized that cybersecurity was part of national security.”

In an opinion piece by Gerhard Eschelbeck, Google’s vice president of privacy and security spells out clearly why cybersecurity is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a critical element for business, community, and society as a whole.

Eschelbeck recommends three key steps to keep at the forefront of re-framing our perspective on cybersecurity:

  1. Everyone needs to learn the fundamentals of online security. “A Google survey shows the No. 1 thing experts do to secure their data is update their software; that wasn’t even in a top-five answer for non-experts in the same study.”
  2. Every organization needs to treat cybersecurity as a constant, critical priority. “Small organizations should be consulting with security experts on a regular basis; larger organizations should have a chief security officer who can drive a sound security strategy, and the supporting processes and procedures to eliminate vulnerability.”
  3. Every citizen deserves to have government representatives who prioritize online security education and defend national infrastructure from cyberattacks. “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue….Citizens should demand that their representatives fight for funding of critical cybersecurity organizations like the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) that enable everyone to stay safer online.”

Read the full story at CNN.