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Why It’s time for CISOs To Have a Seat at the Boardroom Table

By June 22, 2021September 14th, 2021No Comments
CISO in the boardroom

As cyber attacks continue to grow in sophistication and volume, research firm Gartner forecast that global spending on information security and risk management services will jump to over $150.4 billion this year, up 12.4% from 2020.

Gartner predicts a growth in spending across all areas of security, including applications, the cloud, data, identity access management, infrastructure protection, integrated risk management, network security equipment, security services and consumer security software.  And to be more effective, security will increasingly rely on automation and further adoption of machine learning technologies in support of AI security.

This continued growth in spending is perhaps an indication of how more CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) now have a seat at the board room table.

Whilst no doubt some Board of Directors (BODs) perhaps continue to view security as a business overhead, with businesses maintaining remote working and embracing digital transformation initiatives, security is being increasingly seen by more BoDs as a fundamental part of the business.

A cyberattack is one of the greatest dangers facing a company today. According to the Gartner 2020 Board of Directors Survey, cybersecurity-related risk is rated as the second-highest source of risk for the enterprise, following regulatory compliance risk.

What’s more, taking into account that the average cost of a data breach today is $3.9 million plus damage to reputation and customer trust,  it’s no surprise that many BoDs are now placing information security higher up the agenda as a business wide issue as opposed to a task undertaken by the IT function.

Boards need to include CISOs in their senior leadership team to mitigate risk, provide advice on moving forward with digital change initiatives and help the business prepare for future growth.

To ensure that cyber risk receives the attention it deserves, many BoDs are forming dedicated committees that allow for discussion of cybersecurity matters in a confidential environment, led by someone deemed suitably qualified. In fact, Gartner Research predicts that by 2025, 40% of boards of directors will have a dedicated cybersecurity committee overseen by a qualified board member, up from less than 10% in 2020. 

That’s potentially a huge increase over the next 4 years, and will give CISOs a much needed boost of support and resources to keep organisations both cyber safe and cyber resilient.

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