Many CISOs and CIOs struggle to find the most effective way to present their cybersecurity program to their board. Delivering this message in a meaningful way can prove to be important as your organization manages risks associated with cybersecurity. Pause to consider:
Are you providing information about your program in a manner that’s consistent with how the board consumes other data [financial, clinical, etc.]?
Educating board members is always a difficult task for a couple of reasons. First, board members are often not experts on the topic you are presenting. Secondly, they may only interact with your organization [or topic] a few times a year. Given this landscape, many leaders find themselves educating and re-educating board members on the subject every time they meet. As a result, they rarely get to the core details of what needs to be discussed. Cybersecurity updates are no different and are often derailed based on the latest breach a board member heard about and/or your time is spent re-educating the board on what your cybersecurity program includes. These conversations can be much more effective when leaders present updates on their cybersecurity program using data in a format that the board is used to seeing.
Are you presenting information consistently from meeting to meeting?
Once the data is presented in a way that the board is used to consuming, the next critical step is consistency. The threat landscape is always changing; your tactics might evolve, but the strategic elements of your cybersecurity program should remain the same. Providing a framework for updates that look the same and continuously promote the same message from meeting to meeting can help avoid a re-education discussion and drive results. Seeing the same information consistently positions your board members to better support your agenda and helps build confidence in your program.
Are you adding value during each update to remain part of the conversation?
In some instances, cybersecurity tends to fall on and off a board’s agenda, due to competing priorities within the organization. To avoid this from happening, it is essential that true value be provided during every board update. It is important to present cybersecurity as a patient initiative and not just an IT cost. Figuring out how to weave cybersecurity into the fabric of the organization and make it a part of every project versus a tangential or competing engagement is the best way to keep your seat at the table.
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Fortified Health Security is committed to strengthening the security posture of healthcare organizations. In the spirit of Cybersecurity Awareness month, we will be posting daily information for you to consider when maintaining your organization’s cybersecurity program.