Cybersecurity Consultants Deliver Must-Know Information
Cybersecurity literacy is becoming a hallmark of successful board members, but are you confident that your governing bodies have all the information needed to make solid decisions for the future of your organization? Your board of directors plays an integral part in budgeting and resource allocation. Unfortunately, boards are often far enough removed from the day-to-day operations that a massive infusion of funds for cybersecurity might be drastically reduced or even eliminated when budgets are being approved. Working with cybersecurity consultants to prep your board members for these vital conversations helps ensure that you are able to mitigate the ongoing risks around data privacy and cybersecurity with appropriate allocations for upcoming projects.
Rethinking Your Security and Risk Strategy
It’s essential that leaders are able to embrace modern cybersecurity principles. While network security may not be part of daily conversation for your board members, they need to know enough about the topic to ensure they can make informed decisions. Robin Ferracone, founder and CEO of the Digital Directors Network, recently shared with Forbes that digital transformation oversight may be missed within the boardroom. “Everything from marketing to supply chain to credit card transactions” can be impacted, noting that “board oversight of opportunity risk is often seriously deficient.” While no one expects board members to become technologists overnight, maintaining a working knowledge of the threat landscape and potential risks helps board members protect the organization.
There are several questions that board members may ask regarding cybersecurity, but these may not be the right approach to the conversation. It’s not unusual to read recent articles and question the preparedness level of the organization, particularly in the light of the increasing range and ferocity of cyberattacks. With business email compromise (BEC) attacks alone topping $25 billion, it’s quickly obvious that cybercriminals have plenty of reasons to continue their illicit activities. Companies are struggling to maintain shields against these threats, and risks continue to mount for organizations of all sizes. While it may not be feasible to present a full course on cybersecurity to all of your board members, there are 7 basic tenets that can help them understand the magnitude of the dangers facing your enterprise.
Cybersecurity Consultants Recommend Covering These Key Points
It’s best that you resist the temptation to create a half-day course on cybersecurity for your board. Even if they are able to make it through the level of detail needed to get them truly up-to-speed, most of the strategic information you need your board members to consider could easily get lost under the complexity of information around the topic. Starting with setting the stage and ending with a call to action, here are the 7 slides you need to share with these important constituents.
1. Setting the Stage for Cybersecurity Knowledge
As with any solid presentation, you want to set the stage and help your audience understand why the information you are sharing is important to their understanding. Cover the main points around current business performance, any materials risks and your current position, an overview of the external threat environment and a high-level overview of your security strategy.
2. Tie Cybersecurity to Business Performance
Are there specific activities or initiatives that will not only support an enhanced cybersecurity posture as well as creating a positive business outcome? Highlight these details to help your audience understand the direct correlation between the avoidance of risks and revenue growth or cost savings. Creating this link can help further the conversation through difficult questions about funding or the overall security levels within the organization.
3. Focus on Financial Results
While slide 2 should focus on the current, slide 3 helps tailor the conversation to the future. Provide details on how a proactive approach to security will benefit the organization in the coming years, allowing you to execute projects on-time and on-budget. Many cybersecurity initiatives result in a stronger, more resilient infrastructure — a positive outcome that can be difficult to quantify. Instead, look for indirect outcomes such as ways these new platforms can help grow the business or manage suppliers more cost-effectively.
4. Focus on the Customer
It can be difficult to show how positive customer experience can grow your business, but there are some infrastructure metrics that can be measured in this portion of your board presentation. Share how a higher degree of availability and uptime will improve customer relations and confidence in your ability to deliver while helping ensure that all applicable compliance and privacy laws are being followed with new systems that are being put into place. Protecting information becomes a valuable component of this conversation, as the leakage of customer data can be a serious detriment to your business.
5. Focus on Operational Issues
How can any upcoming cybersecurity initiatives help create a more robust infrastructure that allows your teams to execute flawlessly? Continuous process improvement and operational excellence are much more than buzzwords — they are a way of life for thriving enterprises. Leaning into these initiatives through the lens of cybersecurity helps bring home its importance with your board members. A recent AT&T study showed that 73% of larger organizations view robust cybersecurity as a success factor for their organization — even going so far as to create a direct link between security maturity and business enablement.
6. Focus on Learning and Growth
Share how the leadership team plans to provide ongoing training opportunities at all levels of the organization. Developing this expertise in-house is not always possible, but the skillset should be nurtured whenever it is found. Your institutional knowledge can be considered a competitive advantage, providing ways for your organization to compete both now and in the future.
7. Create a Meaningful Call to Action
What is your preferred outcome from your board presentation? Do you need funding on specific initiatives, or do you simply want to improve the knowledge of your most trusted advisors? Finish strong, ensuring that your board of directors is confident that your plans will mitigate cybersecurity risks, quickly remediate any known issues and provide a launchpad for the future growth of the organization.
Getting the right information in front of your board in a way that will encourage them to fund upcoming cybersecurity initiatives can be a challenge. When you work with the cybersecurity consultants at 360 Smart Networks, our team is well-versed in developing information for all levels of your organization. Our experts can provide insight and strategies to present to your board of directors — so you can be assured of receiving needed funds for your upcoming projects. Contact the 360 Smart Networks team at 770-518-7087 or via email to email@example.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.
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Meet Our CEO Marius Nel
Marius has over 25 years of extensive technical and business managerial experience. After beginning his career in the R&D sector of mechanical engineering Marius made the switch to IT in 1996, first acting as a technical support engineer and later moving up to the departmental general manager of a large JSE-listed company. After immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, Marius began laying the foundation for what would eventually become 360 Smart Networks.