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Survey: Corporate boards don’t fully understand cybersecurity and digital transformation

Written on Feb 17, 2023

Corporate board directors are struggling to oversee the rapidly evolving threat of cyberattacks, according to a report from Diligent Institute, which specializes in corporate governance issues. They consider cyber and data security as their most challenging issue. 

The report, based on a survey of 300 directors, shows corporate boards are struggling to understand cybersecurity and digital transformation issues.  

Nearly half of board members are pursuing director education programs to prepare themselves for new breach disclosure rules the SEC is proposing, according to the report. 

The report underscores how the surge in sophisticated cyberthreats – including ransomware – in recent years has challenged traditional corporate governance. Cybersecurity and business interruption are now considered the top corporate risks, according to research from Allianz Group.  

Data security is a priority issue at the most senior levels of U.S. corporations. Business leaders are now facing requirements to rapidly share intelligence with industry partners while remaining upfront with customers and transparent with investors and government regulators.  

Less than 9% of an average board has technical expertise, research from Diligent Institute found. Even worse, half of the companies surveyed have no technical expertise on the board at all.