Cybersecurity on the agenda for 80 percent of corporate boards

Cybersecurity is a topic of discussion at most board meetings, according to a new survey of 200 corporate directors.

The survey, conducted jointly by NYSE Governance Services and security vendor Veracode, revealed that more than 80 percent of board members say that cybersecurity is discussed at most or all board meetings.

Specifically, 35 percent said that cybersecurity was discussed at every board meeting and 46 percent said it was discussed at most meetings. Only 10 percent said they discussed cybersecurity after an incident in their industry or at their company -- and only 1 percent said they never discussed cybersecurity at all.

"It's become a really serious issue," said Chris Wysopal, CTO and co-founder at Veracode, a security vendor. "It's not just an IT issue, or a policy issue, or a compliance issue. It's becoming a corporate risk issue."

According to the survey, the board members held the CEO primarily responsible for cybersecurity, with the CIO as the second-most responsible executive.

One example of this is last year's resignation of Target's CEO and CIO after that company's highly-publicized data breach.

This bodes well for corporate security, he said.

"That means you're going to see the security get a larger budget," he said. "But also, more importantly, be an issue that the whole company is going to be charged with solving, not just the IT department or CISO."

However, 66 percent of board members are not confident of their companies' ability to defend themselves against cyberattacks. Only 4 percent said they were "very" confident.

And, despite this lack of confidence, security ranked second to last in priority when it comes to developing new products and services.

"There's obviously a disconnect between the true risk and what's been done to mitigate it," Wysopal said.

Top security concerns

The board members surveyed said that brand damage, data breach costs, and theft of intellectual property were the top concerns when it came to cybersecurity.

However, board members were less interested in specific details of how security was implemented.

Instead, 33 percent preferred to learn about corporate cybersecurity efforts in the form of high-level security strategy descriptions, and 31 percent wanted to learn about risk metrics.

Only 11 percent wanted to see peer comparisons or descriptions of specific security technologies, and only 9 percent wanted to know about the company's audit and compliance status.

Not surprisingly, while technical skills and experience was the top quality boards wanted to see in a CISO, the rest of the qualifications looked for, in descending order, were business acumen, strong communication skills, ability to take risks, and expertise in crisis communications.

This was the first year that Veracode and NYSE Governance Services conducted the survey, so historical comparison data was not available.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags TargetapplicationsVeracode21softwaredata protection

More about NYSE

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Maria Korolov

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place