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The increasing number of cyber security threats has forced all C-suite executives and board members to pay more attention to their cyber security hygiene. However, they No they share the same lens as they look at your information security posture. And this is where a disconnect arises.
A recent global survey of C-suite executives indicates that around 71% of board members have severe gaps in knowledge about cybersecurity and the threats facing their organizations.
Whether we’re talking about data breaches that compromise sensitive business information or exploit consumer identities, executives and chief information security officers (InfoSec heads) are already prepared for the worst. But senior management isn’t sure why they need to spend more on their cybersecurity budget.
While InfoSec bosses often emphasize security and risk management as part of their job, board members often link cybersecurity as part of their business, but hardly see it as one of the foundations of modern business success. .
Related: Learn how to protect your business from cybersecurity risks
As a result, their communication mismatches and challenges them to translate cybersecurity risks and potential business implications.
Simply put, no matter how aware they are of cybersecurity risks and growing threats, most board members can’t understand how cybersecurity and cutting-edge technologies translate to underlying business risks.
So what needs to be done from an executive’s point of view to translate the risks? Let’s find out.
Communicate cybersecurity risks through effective storytelling
How you interact with your board leaders makes all the difference. And an effective narrative is undoubtedly the best way to convince them.
Although storytelling is not a new concept, having been used by humans for centuries to convey a strong message, executives can harness its true potential to help process crucial information.
Stories have been a part of our lives since childhood, and several studies suggest that the human brain is wired for stories. And a compelling narrative could eventually evoke an emotional connection and change behavior and attitude.
Now as you talk to your leadership while using storytelling, you need to make sure you’ve done your homework to back up your story and leave an impact. Otherwise, it would be of no use.
Share some facts and ideas, and talk about the latest tools and technologies that can be incorporated into your processes that could make a big impact. Additionally, representing your competitor’s cybersecurity best practices can also help impact your board leaders.
Additionally, you could use real-life examples of organizations that ignored their general cybersecurity hygiene, resulting in reputational and financial losses. This could be a great way to bolster his opinion in addition to the story he crafted.
Related: Harness the power of storytelling to transform your business for the better
How to prepare for your discussion with board members
As a board member, you need to be confident enough that you understand your board’s mindset to connect with them on an individual level. And it would be great if you could first know how they see the importance of cybersecurity and threat management for the organization.
Once you understand their perspective, it’s time to create your action steps to get your message across and make sure they’re convinced that cybersecurity is an absolute necessity and not a luxury for growing your business.
Here’s what to do before starting a conversation with your board members:
- Inform them about the latest compliances: More often than not, your senior management is unaware of the latest data privacy and security compliances. And this could be why they’re not in favor of stretching your cybersecurity budget. You need to educate them on the latest compliances and the consequences of non-compliance. A great example is breaching the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which eventually leads to hefty fines and reputational damage.
- Background screening of board members: Researching the backgrounds of board members could be the first step in understanding their mindset and approach to overall business growth. Analyze their past experiences, educational background, and personality to ensure you strike a chord while convincing them about cybersecurity and the underlying risks.
- Know your goals and priorities: Another crucial step is to know your leader’s priorities and goals. Do you often think about growing your organization without increasing your overall security budget? Do they keep cybersecurity as part of their business but not as a priority? Is there a way they can relate to organizational growth through cybersecurity best practices for customers and employees? Once you’ve resolved these questions, the next step is to represent your version of information security and its direct impact on growing your business. And for this, you can take advantage of the latest statistics, competitor data and data related to the latest violations.
And ultimately, your C-suite executives, like everyone else, would be convinced that cybersecurity hygiene is, without a doubt, a fundamental aspect of your business. It is your responsibility to make sure you are on the right track and tell the right story through which you will relate and act.
Related: Cybercrime Could Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025
To be sure, the role of the modern executive is predominantly people-centered. And getting caught between highly technical IT staff and growth-focused leadership while making cybersecurity-related decisions could be an uphill battle.
However, the key to business success without compromising security lies in incorporating cutting-edge technology that fosters growth, builds customer trust, and maintains compliance.
And a modern executive must navigate business success by convincing board members of the need for cybersecurity best practices to jump on the digital transformation bandwagon.