Guest Post by Mark Essayian, President and CEO of KME Systems

I am welcoming back Mark Essayian for the third time with a guest post. This time it’s all about your firm’s security planning and execution! Mark specializes in security, networking, and collaboration in his company’s managed services offerings. Here is his newest post:

Security. Security. Security.  You hear it all the time, and as a CEO, you might consider you have two choices:   truly get educated on the subject, study, research, and gain firsthand knowledge or do what 99% of CEOs do, outsource, or hire a person to lead an internal team.

Then you can report to the board that security has been handled and you’ve got it covered.

And for 99% of you, that’s the wrong way.  Yes – you are doing it wrong, my fellow CEO.

Consider if you have an outside accounting firm audit your books.  Do you correctly demand the lead on the team report to you in clear financial language the results?  Of course! It’s finance and that’s a language a CEO must speak.

When you engage legal counsel, you must understand the risks being presented and gain a clear understanding of the issues at hand.  Again, you are a CEO and must mitigate risk to the organization by clearly seeing and acting on said risk.

But with security you might think, my IT team is on it.  And you would be most likely wrong.   IT people are not, by default, security people.  It’s like thinking your CFO can be your legal counsel, they are two different disciplines.  The people working on your network, servers, and helping your end users with email have not probably been given the security education required to understand and protect the firm properly.

Your CEO mind is thinking.  “So now what? – I must get up to speed on more tech?  I don’t have the time… “  I’m telling you to make the time to understand your security risk as you do your legal, financial, and other potential risks.

I’m also telling you there are free, easy-to-consume resources to help.   I’m part of CompTIA  – a vendor-neutral organization committed to helping the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. 

The CyberSecurity committee I’m a small part of has created a resource specifically for you, the CEO, about Cybersecurity.  Want to know how your firm is doing?  Ask your team these questions with an open mind.  Be sure to tell them it’s not a “witch hunt” but a genuine desire to protect the firm.

Take a look at the link that follows and reach out to your security and IT folks. Review the 11 questions (free downloadable pdf) together, document, and improve your processes.

Protecting your reputation, profits, and people are what a CEO must consider daily.  Get started on getting good answers on your Cybersecurity.


Having known Mark Essayian as a partner and channel partner for multiple companies for over 17 years, his customers rely on his “trusted advisor status,” and he has earned this reputation. Mark loves to share his knowledge, as he has in previous guest posts on CEOInsights, and in his interview with me here.

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