Management of cyber risk represents a top business challenge across enterprises worldwide. In many places, board members are new to the idea of digital risk and cyber security governance, yet bringing board members into the cyber security conversation is growing increasingly important.

Board members need the right level of cyber-risk knowledge and understanding in order to make decisions in an organization’s best interests. Ninety percent of security and risk management leaders have met with the board at least once in the last year. But much is still misaligned among stakeholders, directors, and security practitioners.

This year, the World Economic Forum developed the Principles for Board Governance of Cyber Risk report to illuminate precisely how boards need to conceptualize, address, and account for cyber risk.

Leverage this report to advance your understanding of board-level cyber security conversations, how communicate effectively with your board, and how to collaboratively achieve stronger cyber security outcomes.

Wondering about why you should bother bringing your board into the security conversation? Does stronger cyber risk governance sound paternalistic? Read on to learn more about how board-level cyber risk conversations can yield net gains and can help you avert losses.

Board-level education benefits CISOs

A top-down understanding of cyber security risk management can make a CISO’s job easier. Although CISOs are responsible for overall cyber security provisioning and day-to-day risk management, in the absence of an informed board, CISOs commonly experience challenges in securing adequate funding for cyber security, and in getting organizational buy-in around regular employee awareness initiatives.

Third-party risks

Boards need a robust understanding of linked technologies, supply chains, and associated threats. While the board cannot and should not be involved with every vendor relationship, board members should understand the organization’s overall strategy as it relates to external parties.

When boards are informed about third-party risks, boards can use this information to improve comprehensive empirical economic and development assessments.

M&A risk

A merger and/or acquisition involves integrating systems and processes, which increases third-party attack risk, risk of insider missteps, risk of gaps in business continuity and more. These threats can lead to stock devaluations, legal liabilities and other serious issues. Providing board members with some level of insight pertaining to cyber risk enables them to better conduct due diligence prior to and after an M&A deal.

In conclusion

Organizations’ digital footprints are expanding. The frenetic pace of digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution are accelerating at full-force. Enterprise leaders must introduce cyber risk to board members, help them accept cyber risk, and empower them to apply key cyber governance principles in building a more resilient, risk-limited enterprise.

Strategic decisions should be made with an eye towards cyber risk, and how it can be transformed into an opportunity for business growth.

Discover a reference guide that can help you engage with stakeholders around cyber risk. Download the World Economic Forum’s report.

Lastly, to learn more about managing cyber risk in a rapidly changing world, please join us at the premiere cyber security event of the year – CPX 360 2022. Register here.