Security Experts:

Boards Dissatisfied With Cyber, IT Risk Info Provided by Management

Enterprise Board of Directors Room

A recent survey from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NCD) found that the majority of directors are dissatisfied about the quantity of information provided by company management about cybersecurity and IT risk.

The survey fielded responses from more than 1,000 corporate directors. The research found that directors are spending more time than ever on board responsibilities - an average of 278 hours per year. These directors want changes in how risk oversight responsibilities are allocated. More than half of them believe this should be the province of the full board, rather than an audit committee alone.

In addition to being dissatisfied about the quantity of information management provides on cybersecurity and IT risk, some 36 percent said they are also unsatisfied with the quality of that information.

"As we continually hear from our members, and as this survey bears out, concerns about cyber risk are top-of-mind for directors today," said Ken Daly, NACD president and CEO, in a statement. "Additionally, directors are expanding the time they are spending on critical board leadership issues, from CEO succession planning to risk oversight to responding to shareholder feedback. NACD's annual public company governance survey provides a lens into the key issues influencing today's boardroom."

In September, a survey of 340 C-level execs, auditors, IT directors and managers by consulting firm Protiviti found more than a third of the respondents say their organization lacks a formal and documented crisis response plan to execute in the event of a breach or attack.

At the executive level, the research uncovered mixed levels of involvement in cybersecurity. Forty percent said they have board-level management fully taking an active role in security matters, while 12 percent said they weren't involved at all.

"Cybersecurity policy needs to be set and led by executive management," Yuval Eldar, CTO of Secure Islands, told SecurityWeek. "CEOs should be leading the security charge, not be excluded from complying with security policies so they can get on the network from their smartphone without hindrance. Along the same lines, security needs to be ingrained into corporate culture: if productivity and convenience continue to trump security, well…when nothing changes, nothing changes. For the most part we have integrated security into the organization via regulation and punitive measures. What if organizations incented/rewarded their employees into more secure behavior?"

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