Due to their access to extremely sensitive information, board members and the C-suite are prime targets for cyber-threat actors. Yet, by using personal email to communicate sensitive matters daily, far too many of them are endangering their enterprises. Senior executives don’t just take a risk now and then; they work in a permanent state of cyber risk.
Today’s boards are inextricably linked to their company’s risk management, including third-party, cyber, supply chain, and a host of other responsibilities, including compliance, ESG, diversity, and inclusion. This implies they must have complete control over sensitive communications and be able to securely communicate information and data to collaborate effectively – particularly in a security breach.
Finding the proper technological solution to protect data, arguably an organization’s most valuable asset, is a calculated investment. To ensure that boards, executives, and their teams can engage securely, limit risks, and make agile decisions, the following features are required for a robust data governance strategy:
All Communication Must Be Encrypted
The most effective technique for secure collaboration is to use a real-time, encrypted messaging platform, which is required for one-to-one or group board discussions. Canceling messages and “view-only” attachments are all essential features. Attachments can’t be downloaded, exported, saved, copied, screenshotted, or forwarded to other users. For both email and SMS texting, the messaging platform must be accessible through phone or PC.
Platforms Should Be Integrated
Security concerns are heightened when sensitive information is spread across multiple locations — systems, devices, and emails. Choosing a communication solution that integrates collaboration, chat, messaging, and data storage into a single network of interconnected platforms is essential. A solution that integrates this messaging platform to board management software and file-sharing systems for company executives creates a consolidated workstream. To reduce risk, all sensitive updates, documents, and conversations are removed from unprotected channels such as email.
The Solution Should Be Easy to Adopt and Use
Adoption and collaboration of the secure system are hampered by poor usability. To ensure board adoption, it is crucial to ensure the chosen communication solution can mimic the functionality and design of common systems and apps like email and provide real-time updates and notifications. It’s also critical to facilitate communication across groups, the entire board, committees, or the executive team. To ensure that proper product usage and cyber-hygiene are maintained, thorough training is required.
Weak Links Must Be Minimized
With board members routinely misplacing or losing devices and the risk of identity theft, these incidences should not be neglected regarding the potentially irreversible effects and financial costs. As a result, the communication solution must allow an administrator to delete lost or potentially compromised devices remotely.
Complies with the Security Team’s Requirements
Ensuring the proposed solution meets the IT team’s approval adds an extra layer of assurance that the enterprise is well secured. CIOs and CISOs should inquire about authorization and access and admin control for access rights. They should understand the process for retaining and deleting messages, check if data is backed up across multiple geographically distributed sites and whether the provider offers 24/7 real-time data performance intelligence. The solution must meet the board’s requirements regarding password strength and lockout restrictions.
Tools for Secure Collaboration That Empower the Board
In the face of rising cybersecurity risks and expenses, boards, executive leaders, and their teams must be able to collaborate securely on a day-to-day basis to drive digital transformation while maintaining immediate access to the most sensitive data.
Modern governance can provide businesses with the tools they need to manage entity and subsidiary data, securely streamline collaboration, and give insights that help executives make better decisions while safeguarding their assets.
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