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Updating The Board on Cyber Issues

Cyber threats are considered one of the most worrying issues for businesses of all sizes, both in terms of probability and overall consequence.

In a connected world, all companies rely on technology at every layer of the organisation, and so the possible harm caused by a cyber breach can be substantial.

It is essential that a company’s board receives regular detailed audits from management regarding cyber vulnerabilities, detected breaches, and corrective actions that need to be taken.

Many company boards are not fully aware of their risk exposure and do not receive the information they need in a format that is easily consumed.

To help improve Cyber Auditing, we suggest regular Compromise Assessments

Cyber Auditing

Data breaches and privacy:
In today’s world Cyber-crime is commonplace and a consistent threat when trying to protect your sensitive business critical data.

Governments across the globe have, or will be introducing some form of legislation to ensure private data is protected against misuse by criminal elements.

The threat of a cyber-breach is now more of a concern for businesses than that of traditional threats such as natural disaster, and thus, requires a well-considered plan and expert skills to ensure the company is protected if a breach occurs.

The topic of cyber security is now a mainstay on the agenda of many company board meetings where the CISO or dedicated Cyber Security Officer delivers regular assessments of the company’s security posture and vulnerability risk.

The role of the board is to audit their management team regarding its ability to successfully mitigate the threat of a breach and to challenge existing procedures, policies and processes. However, to be effective, the board needs to have access to appropriate information regarding the company’s current cyber security posture.

Less than half of companies provide their board with an accurate cyber security audit

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Updating the board:
The board should receive a report that is easy to digest and clearly highlights the most critical threats to the business.

The quality of these reports will depend on where the organisation is on their journey to cyber safety. Some organisations will have developed reports that satisfy the requirements of all stakeholders whilst others will still be fine tuning their format and content of the report.

Reporting to the board on cyber-security issues will become as important as reporting on financial matters, and in the future companies may need to produce cyber audits along similar lines to financial audits.

Guiding principles for board reports:
Relevant to the board

Easy to read:
Use summaries, dashboards, and visuals,
avoid technical vocabulary

Put things in context, not just details.
Emphasise progress and trends

Keep it short.

Audits should encourage discussion


Gain credibility from the board:
What metrics are being audited to determine risk to the organisation?
Boards need assurance that critical assets are protected.

What cyber-security investments are essential?
Boards need to understand their current and future cyber-security vulnerabilities and calculate what level of investment is needed to reduce risk.

- What improvements were not completed this year and why?
- What compromises were made?
- Is the present level of resourcing effective?
- How does the current cyber-security strategy compare to industry best practice?
- Would trusted cyber-security partners be better placed to advise and deliver best practice solutions?

Supply Chain: If a company is part of a wider supply chain network then the board may also be concerned with the increased risk from external organisations given the degree of interconnectivity and data-sharing involved.

Areas of concern will be:
- What number of external vendors have access to sensitive data?
- Should we conduct Compromise Assessment on our 3rd party suppliers?

At GuardYoo we have been delivering automated Compromise Assessments as a service for many years and via our SaaS platform can provide a detailed cyber audit that whilst easy to consume, contains valuable information concerning an organisations true cyber posture.

Our Compromise Assessment audits will ensure that both the board and its management team have all the information needed to highlight current vulnerabilities and the risks associated with them.

For further information contact us at: info@GuardYoo.com