In the past, cybersecurity was primarily viewed as an IT issue. It was important, but it was also largely regarded as an isolated concern. These days, however, corporate leaders are increasingly coming to realize that cybersecurity needs to be seen as a basic business consideration. Any firm that cannot protect itself from hackers, as well as insider threats and inadvertent data exposure, cannot successfully compete in its sector.
A recent report from the New York Stock Exchange’s Governance Services and Veracode put this trend into perspective. As CSO Online noted, the report found that cybersecurity is a recurring focus at board of directors meetings.
Cybersecurity a recurring focus at board meetings
A corporate issue
The survey found that among participating board members, 35 percent said cybersecurity is discussed at every single board meeting, the news source reported. A further 46 percent said that this topic was brought up at the majority of meetings. Ten percent indicated they only discuss cybersecurity when an incident occurs in their industry.
“Most organizations were not equipped to defend themselves against cyber attacks.”
To a significant degree, the frequency of these discussions relate to the lack of confidence many boards have in their cybersecurity capabilities. Two-thirds of respondents said they felt their organizations were not equipped to defend themselves against cyber attacks, the source noted.
“It’s become a really serious issue,” said Chris Wysopal, CTO and co-founder at Veracode, CSO Online reported. “It’s not just an IT issue, or a policy issue, or a compliance issue. It’s becoming a corporate risk issue.”
The NYSE and Veracode study also noted that boards of directors see the CEO, not the CIO, as most responsible for ensuring a company’s cybersecurity, according to the source.
Unsurprisingly, this increasing focus on cybersecurity is likely to cause corporate IT security budgets to grow in the coming years, as Wysopal told CSO Online.
Putting some numbers to this theory, a recent Gartner report estimated that global IT security spending will total $76.9 billion this year. By comparison, firms spent $71.1 billion in this area in 2014.
This ties into another ongoing trend: the accelerating demand for cybersecurity professionals. As numerous executives have stated in the past few months, finding and retaining cybersecurity talent is a serious challenge for companies in every industry. While this state of affairs is bad news for boards of directors, it presents tremendous opportunities for cybersecurity pros themselves.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in IT security, visit Excelsior College to learn more about our degree programs.