Investors, governments, and global regulators are pushing board members to show vigilance in the field of cyber security as the frequency, effect, and media attention of cyber security events have increased in recent years.
More than ever, the desire for innovation and the clamor for productivity collide with the demands posed by cybersecurity challenges. Cybersecurity risk is expanding to cover the danger of a network data breach and the risk of the entire firm being compromised by business operations that depend on free and open access to the internet. Therefore, understanding how to manage cybersecurity risk is crucial for an organization, and it must be proactively dealt with from the very top. It is no longer acceptable to leave cybersecurity management to the Information Technology (IT) team. Everyone should be involved, even the board.
CISOs are in a unique position when it comes to risk knowledge. However, only a small number of businesses benefit from this viewpoint. According to a 2021 Ponemon Institute and LogRhythm study, just 7% of CISOs are solely responsible for reporting to their CEOs. Nearly half of CISOs frequently brief their board of directors, which may not seem like a big deal until enterprises understand that this occurs after a security breach.
In order to fully perform their duties and to ensure the safety and security of their firm as a whole, CISOs urgently need a better means to communicate cybersecurity risks to their board.
An improved risk reporting method
The majority of CISOs now report risk based on the frequency of vulnerabilities, incidents, and fixes and how those figures fluctuate over time, but they do not give the context that boards need to comprehend the risk appropriately. Lengthy discussions on the security team’s efforts based on traditional metrics can be distracting and obscure the true issue at hand: Are the assets secure? Ultimately, CISOs must communicate the whole picture of risk, which necessitates context and causality.
The commercial value of any security investment and the consequences of a cybersecurity event in the real world must be understood by the board. The key is ensuring that issues, solutions, and value propositions are all succinctly stated in business language and supported by measurements. These metrics will eventually influence key choices about the organization’s budget, resources, and general security posture.
Unless CISOs have comprehensive insight into the possible effect of changes, it is difficult for them to identify which essential apps, data, and systems are most vulnerable. Attack path modeling, which entails mapping all potential routes an attacker may take across the network (due to configuration errors, vulnerabilities, excessively permissive credentials, and other security hygiene problems) to access the organization’s crucial assets, is one effective technique. The risk to the company’s “crown jewels” may be easily quantified thanks to this graphical representation of the attack surface, which cuts through the clutter and makes the need for security measures crystal evident.
The security team may contextualize these threats for each organization component, such as customer databases, cloud environments, ERP systems, and business services. CISOs can assist their boards in fully comprehending cybersecurity risk, the efforts being made to reduce it, and the success of these efforts. They can also communicate how likely it is that specific high-profile attacks will occur in their environment and provide in-depth visibility into the real-world repercussions of cyber-attacks.
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