How to help Non Tech Board members understand Cyber Risks

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Cyber Risks

As the number of cybersecurity-related attacks is rising, it has become essential for CISOs to help their board members understand the importance of cyber risks without technical jargon.

As enterprises are rapidly advancing their businesses by leveraging innovative technologies, it has become essential that board members of the enterprise understand the risks that come with it. It is crucial for CISOs to come with cyber-risk measurements to help the C-suite members understand the risks related to cybersecurity, stripped of its complex technology jargon.

While there are already methods in place to measure cybersecurity, nothing can help alleviate an organization’s stance without having informed decision making. CISOs must create their scores not only on the basis of third-evaluation but also with a holistic approach that considers technical analysis, governance, culture, and the financial impact of adverse cyber events.

  Creating the Audit

Before creating an assessment for the board members, it is important to clarify the assessment’s requirements. It should go beyond the technicality and should provide them with both outside and inside perspectives. Such assessments allow board members to weigh cyber risks against other business risks and other strategic opportunities.

Read More: The Perfect Communication Mechanism for CISOs to Mitigate Cyber Risks

Below are few cybersecurity assessment methodologies:

  • Being Clear about the Risk Appetite

Defining the company’s risk appetite with regards to cyber-loss events will help the board recognize its impact on the company’s growth. When the board members get an insight into the cybersecurity subject and risks associated with them, they will understand that it is impossible to attain perfect cybersecurity.

The board will appreciate this evaluation of cyber risk and will realize that the key to a successful business is to understand what enterprises’ customers are and what their competitors are doing to mitigate such risks.

  • Focusing on Results

The rating comparisons of cyber risk assessments cannot provide the whole picture. Hence, CISOs should explain to the board, to have an end goal in mind.

The board should be aware of the criticality of the cybersecurity infrastructure and the level of requirement the enterprise needs. For example, a retail brand’s cybersecurity strategy will be different from that of a law firm where protecting the data is the utmost requirement.

The results of the goals combine an enterprise’s risk appetite, their prior future investment in cybersecurity, and the expectation of shareholders, customers, and the industry regulators.

After making a firm decision on the outcomes, the board should set internal standards and targets to hold management accountable for meeting them.

Read More: Does Cyber Security Escalate Business Risks – Including Resilience?

  • Integrating cybersecurity and resilience with the enterprise culture

The company’s culture plays an important role in the assessment of cyber risk. CISOs should help the board understand what aspects of the company’s cybersecurity program should be upheld.

Though the approaches to measure cyber risks can vary, the outcome related to it can be enhanced by a culture that stresses the importance of cybersecurity best practices. In fact, the right culture can enhance technical processes in outside scores, management engagement in cyber relative to business initiatives.

In the ever-evolving market of cybersecurity assessments, leaders need to ensure that the measurements deliver an accurate comparative benchmark that considers a balance between inside and outside measures, thoroughly examining the organization’s technical, governance, and cultural aspects.