‘Countering cyber risk presents a significant strategic challenge to leaders across industries and sectors but one that they must surmount in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the vast technological advances in networked technology that are currently in their early stages. Over the past decade, we have significantly expanded our understanding of how to build secure and resilient digital networks and connected devices. However, board-level capabilities for strategic thinking and governance in this area have failed to keep pace with both the technological risks and the solutions that new innovations provide. Boards have a vital governance function, determining overall company behaviour and setting a company’s risk appetite. For boards, action means effectively exercising oversight by asking managers the right questions to ensure that the boards’ strategic objectives are met. This function is no different in the area of cyber resilience. By offering the following principles and tools, the Forum hopes to facilitate useful dialogue between boards and the managers they entrust with the operation of the companies to which they owe their fiduciary obligations.’
Assume you have been employed as a corporate governance consultant by a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and ranked within the ASX 200. The Chairman of the company has decided to address the issue of cyber security at the company board level. As an initial step in the process of improving the cyber resilience of the company the Chairman has employed you to prepare a report that critically analyses how the company can best integrate its cyber security and resilience protocols to ensure continued corporate survival and improved business performance.
The Chairman has requested that you submit a report providing examples of best practice and a clear set of recommendations on how the company should initiate a cyber resilience policy at the corporate board level.
Your report will be tabled at the next board meeting for board members to review and evaluate your recommendations.
Board of Directors
From: Jane White, Corporate Governance Consultant
Date: 22 January 2019
Subject: Cybersecurity policy of the company
In the world full of technology, every organization is diverting it is focused on the use of technology. The reason behind the same is the infinite advantages that technology adds to the overall value of the company. The use of the internet and other technological innovations makes the working of the companies easy and smooth (Kumar, 2017). These techniques are more often cost-effective and allow an organization to make an uninterrupted inflow and outflow of the organizational information. Now, these days, for a business it is very easy and comfortable to access the market. Almost every area of functioning such as sale, purchase, accounting, logistics management demand specific attention of the management and in such a situation it is the technology only which reduces the burden of the management. Nevertheless, another side of the coin is also necessary to review. These technologies prove a danger for the business sometimes when someone not uses the same effectively. Along with the advantages of the use of such technologies and networks, certain liability also comes across. In such a situation, it becomes the responsibility of the managers to use such advancements in a logical way keeping the confidentiality and integrity (Snedaker, 2007). The report presented hereby is focused on the significance of the security feature with respect to the use of the network, internet, and other technologies in the organization. Further, in conjunction to this, the best practices and methods of data and cybersecurity will also be featured in the subjective report and at last the set of recommendations will be provided to the board of directors of the company in order to develop cybersecurity in the organization.
Cybersecurity can be understood as the protection of data, networks and computer system from digital attacks (Cisco.com, 2018). In order to avoid the unauthorized access of terrorist, cybercriminals, or any other outsider, cybersecurity protects the data and digital equipment. The concept of cybersecurity is not just significant and crucial from the perspectives of individuals but the same is crucial for business entities as well. Many harms are identified that can be there at a place in the absence of proper cybersecurity. These harms and dangers include financial frauds, production of child pornography, manipulation of data, taking over the control of the system and so on (De Bruijn and Janssen, 2017).
In today’s time, organizations are used to manage almost every task with the help of machines and technology such as the internet, networks, and computers. Failure in any one or more than one can lead to great issues. All the business data can be stolen by just one click and businesses can lose their significant trade secrets (Bordony, 2018). Such issues not only make the financial loss to the firms but also lead the issue of loss of goodwill. The public often feels fear to trust an organization that has ever faced the issue of cybersecurity failure. They do not feel their data secured with such entities. Many of the cases have happened there where terrorist hacked the websites, data-based of the businesses with the purpose to use the same in criminal activities, and hence one may think how dangerous the issue is and how significant is to find a solution.
Cyber Resilience can be understood as the capability to prepare for, answer to, and recover from cyber-attacks (Kott and Linkov, 2018). It is helpful for an organization as this protects the same from cyber-attacks and ensures the capability of an entity to fight against such attacks. The concept is new and has emerged during the past decades, as the traditional measure of cybersecurity does not seem to be enough (Linkov and Kott, 2019). There are many methods by using which an organization can increase its cyber resilience which is further stated in this report.
In relation to cybersecurity, management has immense responsibility. An organization has data related to all the stakeholders and in such a situation; it becomes the responsibility of the management to keep the data secure (Morgan, 2018). The trust issues related to cyber security exist at many levels and to removes all the issues, it is necessary to make a focus in this area. This issues does not only exist within the origination but the outsider stakeholder also feels themselves as a part of cyber security gap. The issue can better understand by following diagram:-
Cyber-attacks are the lead issues that the management of the organizations of almost every industry is facing these days. This is the reason that the management is required to develop the policies of these subjects in advance. Only preparation of the cybersecurity and resilience protocols/policies are not enough but the management must ensure their enforcement and effectiveness. It is the management of the company, which is responsible for good corporate governance. Data privacy and security is another aspect of corporate governance as it develops the trust of the public in an organization. Reviewing and considering the impacts of data breach incidents, this would not be wrongful to state that cybersecurity is the prime responsibility of the management (Shrobe, Shrier and Pentland, 2018).
As a part of corporate governance as well as corporate social responsibility, it is required to take certain steps in the field of cybersecurity by the management. As mentioned above that some methods to increase cyber resilience are there, the same are mentioned hereunder:-
The above-mentioned points are few of the methods that can improve the cyber resilience in an organization. Now moving the focus towards recommendations regarding the practices that should be used to initiate a cyber-resilience, this is to mention that the management of an organization is required to consider cyber-resilience as a management tool. At the board level management can perform the following functions to initiate a cyber-resilience effectively:-
This is to conclude that in the current century, cybersecurity becomes as much important as the same cannot be ignored. Not just the individuals but also the organizations and their whole systems are way much dependent on the technologies and therefore cybersecurity becoming significant day by day. The report hereby presented prescribed the background and requirements of cybersecurity in the organization. In addition to this, the same has also presented the meaning of cyber resilience and need of the same. The report identified the role and responsibility of the board in respect to the cybersecurity of the organization and the same have found related to the corporate governance., This is to state that many of the methods have been given in the subjective report using which the organization can protect the database and networks secure. In general, all the mentioned tools are useful but the most useful one is active defense. This defense identifies the cyber-attacks in advance and makes the cyber resilience officer enable to prevent the same. Further, as asked by the board of directors, the report majorly focused on the ways and techniques, which are useful, while integrating the cyber resilience protocols. All the steps given are important. The focus mainly made on the practices of the board of directors and management of the organization. It means all the given activities such as discussion, communication, resources allocation, and review need to be done at the board level. The most important point, which again needs to be a highlight, is the alignment of cybersecurity protocols and policies with the overall governance as this should be part of the company’s governance and should not overlap the same.
Asic.gov.au. (2018) Cyber resilience good practices. [online] Available from: https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/digital-transformation/cyber-resilience/cyber-resilience-good-practices/ [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
Bordony, S. (2018) The importance of maintaining cyber security in your business. [online] Available from: https://www.itproportal.com/features/the-importance-of-maintaining-cyber-security-in-your-business/ [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
Choi,J., Lung, H,. and Kaplan, J. (2017) A framework for improving cybersecurity discussions within organizations. [online] Available from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/a-framework-for-improving-cybersecurity-discussions-within-organizations [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
Cisco.com. (2018) What Is Cybersecurity? [online] Available from: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/what-is-cybersecurity.html [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
De Bruijn, H. and Janssen, M. (2017). Building Cybersecurity Awareness: The need for evidence-based framing strategies. Government Information Quarterly, 34(1), pp.1-7.
Dhingra, A., Gryseels, M., Kaplan, J., and Lung, H. (2018) Digital resilience: Seven practices in cybersecurity. [online] Available from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/digital-blog/digital-resilience-seven-practices-in-cybersecurity [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
Estuate.com. (2018) How to build Cyber Resilience in your enterprise?. https://www.estuate.com/company/blog/how-build-cyber-resilience-your-enterprise
Graham, J., Olson, R. and Howard, R. (2016) Cyber security essentials. New York: Auerbach Publications.
Kott, A., and Linkov, I. (2018) Cyber Resilience of Systems and Networks. Switzerland: Springer.
Kumar, V. (2017) Top 25 powerful advantages of internet for business. [online] Available from:https://www.klientsolutech.com/top-25-powerful-advantages-of-internet-for-business/ [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
Linkov, I. and Kott, A., 2019. Fundamental Concepts of Cyber Resilience: Introduction and Overview. In Cyber Resilience of Systems and Networks (pp. 1-25). Springer, Cham.
Morgan, J. (2018) Board and management responsibilities for information security. [online] Available from: https://www.cio.com/article/3252783/governance/board-and-management-responsibilities-for-information-security.html [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
Shoemaker, D., Kohnke, A., and Sigler, K.(2018) How to Build a Cyber-Resilient Organization. NW: CRC Press.
Shrobe, H., Shrier, D. L. and Pentland, A. eds., (2018) New Solutions for Cybersecurity. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Snedaker, S. (2007). Business continuity & disaster recovery for IT professionals. Burlington, MA: Syngress.
Veltsos, C. (2017) Cyber Resilience Tools and Principles for Boards of Directors. [online] Available from: https://securityintelligence.com/cyber-resilience-tools-and-principles-for-boards-of-directors/ [Accessed on 23/01/2019]
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