Cyber security professionals need to find out ways to circumvent corporate politics.
Even though cyber security is a top business priority, there is a lack of clear definition when it comes to an understanding the real influence and utility of a CISO. To understand the significance of this position, and its criticality in current times, here is some data. According to a report by Cyber security Ventures 100% of large corporations globally will have a CISO or equivalent position by 2021.
Typically, the board prioritizes revenue and tends to ignore cyber risk mainly due to a lack of technological representation at the board level. This is mainly because many of the board members are predominantly from financial backgrounds. Hence, cyber security leaders don’t always have a seat in the boardroom; however, they can bring a ton of value to board-level conversations.
Here are three ways in which CISOs can get heard at the board level.
rework on the conversations approach
Cyber security leaders should change their approach and narrative about the risks and maybe use the language that makes the risk clearer in money terms. The board needs to realize the risk, and what it can do to the business. To do that, CISOs need to represent the entire technology agenda in a way that is understood and adds value in terms of their goals for the business. Another point of view is that competition will always be one up if they have better security tools. CISOs need to provide a solid insight into the competitive advantages that technology and digital transformation will help in scaling as mostly board members are concerned about their competition.
Break down the threat landscape
Since the beginning of 2020, the conversation around IT security has gradually emerged as a board-level discussion topic. It is now also considered as an operational risk that could have a negative impact on the revenue. However, operational technology (OT) security still has a long way to go in getting on the agenda.
It is essential to prioritize OT security by explaining to the board that when these networks are neglected, the impact of those breaches is much higher than those on IT networks, and therefore likely to be even more costly for the business.
Establish goals and benchmarks
Merely conveying to the board that cyber security is a priority is not enough. It is crucial to set goals and benchmarks and take action towards them by allocating budget, generating resources, and tracking progress. In order to be heard and get strong visibility, CISOs need to set up certain timelines and make cyber security an ongoing process in order to secure buy-in from the board.
As per experts, security leaders can help the board to set benchmarks about their responsibilities related to security initiatives. This will also help CISOs secure appropriate budgets required for their security strategies.
CISOs should get a chance to elevate the conversation around cyber security issues with the other major stakeholders like CIOs and CDOs at the board level in order to ensure total business alignment.
Boards that lack a specialized perspective and expertise may fall into a false sense of security. Enterprises need to offer more CISOs a seat at the table as it will help them move forward with digital change initiatives effectively and efficiently.