A well-crafted and well-timed cyber threat report, as experienced CISOs know, will help executives understand what is going on in the world of cybersecurity and how it affects their own companies, allowing them to make better-informed decisions.
Over the past few years, with cyber-attacks becoming critical business concerns, security chiefs are seeing C-suite colleagues, board members, and other business executives becoming more involved in security problems. In its 2021 Global CEO Survey, PwC discovered that 71% of U.S. chief executives are “extremely concerned” regarding cyber threats (up from 61% in 2016.)
However, concern and interest do not always imply an understanding of the dynamics of a successful cybersecurity activity. Reports on cyber threats will help close the void. Let’s take a look at the following points for CISOs to create an effective cyber threat report.
Take into account the target demographic
Cyber threat reports, unlike other executive reports such as the CFO’s quarterly financial statements, are not mandated under any regulations or formalized by long-standing business practices. According to seasoned security leaders, CISOs can monitor when a cyber-threat report is sent, who receives it, and what each one should contain. They shouldn’t, though, handle these reports as free-form communications.
Security experts encourage CISOs to create and distribute these reports in a manner that is more beneficial to their own organizations, and to tailor them to the recipients’ levels of security awareness. Furthermore, CISOs should understand their organization’s monitoring system and culture before deciding who should receive the survey.
Since their organizations encourage a strict chain of command, some CISOs only submit their reports to their boss. While, others deliver their updates to the entire C-suite as well as their security teams, and they can also have board members on the delivery list, particularly if they work at companies with cybersecurity subcommittees and/or security-related regulatory requirements
Form, function, and timing are all important factors to consider
Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a threat report, it should resemble something that businesses think people would read. Senior managers are bombarded by documents, so it must get their attention in whatever way it is presented.
CISOs should also think about how much data they need to produce. Security experts agree the updates should be released on a regular basis – whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
According to experts, the optimal schedule is one that corresponds to the organization’s own cultural pace. CISOs should also produce and send personalized updates to various recipients on different schedules depending on the different types of risks and concerns each group has.
What should be included?
Despite the fact that cyber vulnerability reports can convey challenges, vulnerabilities, dangers, and mitigating measures, security leaders warn against getting into too much detail.
CISOs must come up with something that is specific to the company’s vulnerabilities. Security reports should include details regarding attacks that may target vulnerabilities inside the enterprise, as well as how the security team is addressing vulnerabilities, protecting against threats, including any other measures that may be taken.
Furthermore, even though the CISO’s organization isn’t in jeopardy, these reports should include some newsworthy events or major incidents that affected others; the point alone is worth reporting, along with a concise clarification of why the CISO’s organization isn’t at risk. To help prevent surprises down the track, the reports should also illustrate any new trends or issues.