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2/6/2019
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Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
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7 Tips for Communicating with the Board

The key? Rather than getting bogged down in the technical details, focus on how a security program is addressing business risk.
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

CISOs and other security leaders are under growing pressure to improve how they communicate with boards of directors.

Cybersecurity has become a board-level issue in many organizations amid growing concerns over the regulatory, financial, and reputational implications of data breaches and security failures. In fact, Gartner expects that by 2020, 100% of large organizations will be asked to report to their boards at least once annually on cybersecurity risk — up from the 40% that are required to do so currently.

That means security leaders will need to overcome their traditional communication challenges and find new and better ways to convey technology risk.

Ensuring board awareness about key metrics of cybersecurity programs has become critically important, says Greg Reber, partner at Moss Adams, a Seattle-based accounting, consulting, and wealth management firm. Board members need to be able to track not just cybersecurity events and actions, but also new and emerging threats. They also require a continuous assessment of how a program is doing, along with a road map of cybersecurity-related projects and their goals, Reber says.

"Cybersecurity is a relatively new risk but aligns very directly within traditional BoD oversight duties," he notes.

Here are the key steps for effectively communicating with the board.

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

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csoandy
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csoandy,
User Rank: Author
2/13/2019 | 10:25:19 AM
Too tactical
"Don't use FUD" might be the best advice here, even if "highlight legal consequences" doesn't follow it. The goal is to meet the Directors where they are. Understand their goals & beliefs, and work to meet them there. Explain the implications of recent news. Discuss the long term implications of risk — and highlight the benefits of wise risk choices being made. Don't be seen as the person who only criticized the business.
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