How Can Board Members and Executives Close the Cyber Accountability Gap?

In a recent webinar, Nasdaq’s Directors Desk teamed up with Tanium to discuss the research report, “The Accountability Gap: Cybersecurity & Building a Culture of Responsibility”.

This webinar, led by the report’s lead researcher, Dr. Chris Brauer, discussed the results and trends of the report, and featured industry professionals who contributed to the report to provide insights on the key findings and give their expert opinion on how to close the Accountability Gap.

Guest speakers included Blake Stephenson, Governance Management & Strategy, Nasdaq, David Damato, Chief Security Officer, Tanium, Kris McConkey, Partner, Cybersecurity, PwC, and TK Kerstetter, CEO, Boardroom Resources & Host of “Inside America’s Boardrooms”.

The Accountability Gap report was created as an attempt to establish a baseline understanding of what board members and non-executive leaders need to be aware of in relation to cybersecurity. The most notable finding from the report is that 90% of respondents had a medium-to-high level of vulnerability risk.

Predicting vulnerability was another central aspect of the report. The researchers, and expert speakers on the webcast, found that the factor that most predicts vulnerability is the lack of visibility of one’s network. Instances like not knowing how many devices are on the network, or not understanding the community of people that are engaging across the network, contribute to a lack of visibility. If a firm is only prepared for the vulnerabilities that they are aware of, and if there are aspects of the network that they do not have visibility of, then there is an extreme potential for a breach or attack.

So what should boards of directors, executives, and information security leaders do about the Accountability Gap?

Change the culture from within

  • Make cybersecurity a priority
  • Implement an enterprise risk program
  • Create a culture of vigilance within the entire organization

Increase cyber literacy and competency at the board level

  • The board should consider its skills and experience as a whole to ensure it can consider cybersecurity risks effectively
  • Make sure that the information on reports about cybersecurity is understandable to all
  • The board of directors should maintain a good education about vulnerability and risks and that the board information is appropriate, clear, comprehensive, and up to date

Improve visibility into company networks

  • Move away from the older architectures of scanning large network ranges and moving into something that allows more instant access to information about company devices.

To learn more about the Accountability Gap, listen to the webinar on-demand, or check out the report, available for full download here: The Accountability Gap: Cybersecurity & Building a Culture of Responsibility.



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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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