Cybersecurity in the Boardroom

I had the pleasure of attending Chertoff Group’s Security Series in Palo Alto, CA. The crowd was made up of CISOs, VCs and high ranking officials in government agencies responsible for our country’s cybersecurity. The conversation in the industry has recently been turning toward the fact that cybersecurity is becoming a board level conversation. This is driven by the sophistication and widespread financial impact of ransomware attacks like WannaCry and Petya.  Below are a few pertinent questions discussed at the event that board members should ask as they strive to stay ahead of cyberattacks:

  • Have we prioritized our risk and do we know what’s acceptable and do we know what success looks like?
  • Do we have confidence that we can do the job?
  • Do we have a CEO-led cyber-conscious culture? Is there a linkage between our growth strategy and security?
  • Do we have the right financial incentives to ensure company buy-in?
  • Do we have a healthy appreciation for what we don’t know?

So how do you stay ahead of these threats?  For one, overall board members believe that media coverage is too technical and lacks a clear resolution to security challenges that the non-security experts can easily understand. The Chertoff Group conducted a survey of the top 500 public global enterprises and found that board members learn from sitting on other boards and talking to other CISOs.  “Everyone else” learns from the media and consultants, which makes their decision-making processes more reactive.  While this is a bit frightening, it’s also an opportunity for our clients.  We counsel our clients to move the conversation away from their whiz-bang technology features and more toward how they solve the real-world problems of their customers. It’s both an exciting and challenging time for our clients to help their customers save brand reputation and the negative economic impact of cybercrime.  We’re up for the task and will continue to help our clients focus their messages around influencing the C-suite while also demonstrating how their technology can have a positive business impact.

By Angela Griffo

Special thanks to the Chertoff Group for inviting us to be a part of this conference on security.

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