In Light of Ever-Increasing Cybersecurity Risks, Boards Must Deepen Their Oversight and Engagement

In Light of Ever-Increasing Cybersecurity Risks, Boards Must Deepen Their Oversight and Engagement

Just how much are companies struggling to get a handle on cybersecurity risks and digital disruption? According to the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)’s “2019 Governance Outlook,” boards are uneasy about the various digital risks their organizations face. The report is designed to provide leadership with a picture of the business landscape, and as you might expect, regulations, cybersecurity risks and disruptive technology feature prominently in the list of concerns.


More precisely, when asked to name the top five trends likely to have the greatest impact in the coming year, NACD respondents pointed to changes in the regulatory climate first (49 percent), followed by the potential for an economic slowdown (48 percent) and cybersecurity threats in third (42 percent). NACD commented on these findings, noting that “companies are bracing for the effects of proliferating cybersecurity and data-privacy rules as regulators play catch-up in overseeing the digital economy.”


In light of a regulatory landscape that is becoming more complex and costly — especially post-incident — boards need better insight into the organization’s cyber risk exposure and its ability to handle and recover from those risks. Here are a few questions board members can ask themselves to gauge their oversight and engagement.


Do We Fully Grasp Cybersecurity Risks?


Boards understand that digital disruption is a reality of business today. Sixty-two percent of board directors view “atypical, disruptive risks” as more important to organizations today than five years ago, according to NACD. While boards are confident in management’s ability to deal with known risks, directors are less cer ..