Cyberliability is a growing concern for companies. While data security may have previously been the responsibility of IT departments, it’s now becoming a company-wide concern. This has resulted in new responsibilities – and worries – for board members.
A 2012 study from FTI Consulting and Corporate Board Member magazine revealed directors recognize the risks of cyber-threats. Forty-eight percent of board members, along with 55 percent of general counsels, cite cybercrime as a significant concern, numbers that have doubled in the past four years.
So what’s the board’s role when it comes to handling cyber-threats? The board’s role, as always, is to ask the right questions, help set priorities, demand accountability and serve as a strategic resource.
Woodruff Sawyer partner Lauri Floresca and I drilled down more specifically on what questions boards need to be asking in a recently released article. A useful framework divides the questions into three categories:
• Risk assessment
• Inventory of vulnerable assets
• Risk mitigation/transfer
While different companies clearly have different concerns when it comes to cyber-threats, we’ve found this framework to be a consistently useful starting point for boards of directors seeking to assess and mitigate the cyber-threats faced by their companies.
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