CISOs need to engage with the board

Cyberspace has placed information risk firmly on the boardroom agenda, and CISOs need to engage with their boards to ensure their organizations understand and manage information risk appropriately while delivering their strategic objectives.

According to the Information Security Forum (ISF), cyberspace has made information risk a board-level issue in many organizations and with an increasing dependence on technology and the Internet, organizations need to understand and manage the information risk in order to deliver on their strategic objectives.

“When boards and CISOs engage successfully, organizations are better able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by cyberspace and today’s information technology while addressing the associated risk,” said Michael de Crespigny, CEO, ISF. “To manage the risk/reward balance, CISOs must drive engagement across their organizations, changing the conversation to convey the value of information security to the organization – in terms that resonate with top decision makers and align with business objectives.”

Cyberspace is continually evolving: its potential and threats, vulnerabilities, complexity and interconnectivity are always changing. The threat is asymmetric, as activists, cyber criminals and nation states disproportionately increase traditional information risks.

In many organizations, cyber opportunities and risks are a board-level issue, so the CISO needs to engage right up to the boardroom level, where information strategy and risk should sit comfortably with other types of strategy and risk that the board oversees.

“CISOs need to lead and drive engagement with the board – and start by changing the conversation,” continued de Crespigny. “They need to translate the complex world of information security and information risk into easily understandable issues and solutions. CISOs must change their way of thinking and the resulting conversation, so that information risk can be considered alongside other risks that boards oversee. As information security leaders, we have to shape the way we talk about information risk management for each audience.”

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