In 2020, enterprises across various industries had witnessed more security breaches than ever before. Even though such attacks garner most C-Suite executives’ attention at first, they seem to lose the priority status as soon as the incident’s impact recedes. This results in enterprises returning to their previous practices without updating their current cybersecurity infrastructure. Hence, it is critical that CISOs find ways to translate the urgency of security breaches into a business strategy.
In the effort to accelerate their digital transformation journey, many enterprises are left vulnerable to evolving cyber-attacks that cause drastic financial and reputational damage. When such incidents take place, many C-suite executives across industries quickly turn to their CISOs, offering their help to avoid or mitigate the impact of these security breaches. In fact, according to a recent survey done by Trend Micro/Enterprise Strategy Group, over 85% of the security leaders are now more engaged in security decisions and strategies than they were a couple of years ago. But, as the negative impact of COVID-19 slowly recedes, many enterprise leaders, as per experts, are no longer considering cybersecurity as a priority.
Even though the board of directors may be at fault for neglecting the urgency and priority, CISOs should also be held accountable for staying in their lane and not looking at the whole picture. Experts say that CISOs should take initiatives for building relationships with executives and board members and have regular conversations with them.
CISOs must keep their board’s attention by providing them information in business terms. They should present the information in the form of strategy and risk for cybersecurity and not just as another tech solution.
Let’s look at a few ways in which CISOs to translate security into strategy and keep the conversation going.
Align with Business Goals
To get their point across to the board, CISOs should develop the skill to speak strategically with them. They should learn about the different business models and frameworks that executives use for measuring risk and developing strategy. If they have difficulty identifying, they should simply ask the board member which business models and frameworks they find suitable for presentations.
By using data visualization tools, CISOs can easily translate cyber data into the board’s language and explain its impact on the business operation. This can help CISOs to deliver the crucial damage points such as customers’ perception of the company after a breach and the relationships between vendors and partners.
Measuring Progress against Competitors
To stay ahead of the game, board members want their CISOs to measure their work against the competitors of the enterprise. They are interested in knowing how they are competing against their rivals when it comes to security initiatives or securing the supply chain. Very often, this task isn’t easy. Hence, CISOs should utilize the information available on the National Council of Information Sharing and Analysis Centers and ISACs that can help them share information on cyber threats to critical infrastructure with the board members.
Leveraging the Push for Legislation
In the wake of emerging cyber-attacks, government agencies have directed their attention towards fortifying the country’s cybersecurity defenses. They are taking strict measures and introducing bills to strengthen customer privacy. CISOs can use this new legislation to their advantage when introducing their cybersecurity proposal and justify the investments for compliance.
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