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#ACS19: Make Cyber a Business Risk for Management Adoption

#ACS19: Make Cyber a Business Risk for Management Adoption

Don’t treat cyber-risk any differently to any other risk to your business, as engagement with senior management continues to be a challenge.

Speaking at the ATM & Cybersecurity 2019 conference in London, Nina Paine, global head of cyber partnerships and government strategy, Standard Chartered, discussed the need to keep senior management engaged when creating and maintaining a cybersecurity culture internally.

Paine said that with growing teams there is a “race to keep pace against cyber-criminals and cyber-threat actors” and this means that security teams “cannot do it alone and it is incredibly important that we share knowledge and insights and key learnings with partners across the world.”

Paine said that people ask if a cybersecurity culture can be driven from the “top down or bottom up” and she said that it is probably both as “the tone from the top and senior executive engagement is the key differentiator.” She also said that cyber-leaders are clear on the strategic implications that cyber-risks represent, and this may be about metrics that the business has put in place.

One tone to adopt for senior executives is to stress that “cybersecurity is tremendously important to our customers.” Therefore, cybersecurity has to be treated as a business risk, “as we know the consequences of not doing so are stark.”

Paine also said that cyber-risk should be “normalized as part of enterprise risk management as a whole.”

So how cybersecurity can be part of the wider business discussion? This needs to be done with a trickle down through the business, and not just by having a technical team in a separate room, Paine advised. She said that at Standard Chartered, cybersecurity is treated as a principal risk type, and this means it is subjected to enterprise-wide risk management rules.

She added: “Whether you have got that or not, you have got some principles to think about within each function around challenges and assurance that are absolutely vital to all firms.”

Paine recommended setting up a layered effort to enable better adoption of culture, and one thing firms have done is to set up a senior executives’ safe space “where there are not stupid questions and everybody is a human.” She said that this forum can allow increased understanding of risks, as we “cannot simply rely on small groups of technical experts to keep our organization safe.”

She acknowledged that employee awareness can “sound pink and fluffy,” but you can make it a hard skill set and discipline through automated platforms. She said that as Standard Chartered was automating its awareness, this will enable training and results and learning to be better collected, adding an element of gamification.

To conclude, she pointed out that “what gets measured gets done” and recommended introducing security measurement tools, as well as publishing test scores to divisional heads, as that can drive cultural change in a business.

“I’d like to reiterate that cybersecurity risk and its management is very much a shared responsibility, and everyone from the board to the front line has a critical role to play,” she said. “Whilst an organization’s risk culture does have formal risk policies in it, there is also a really important people side.”

Source: Information Security Magazine