Cyber Risk Management Chronicles: "Role of Senior Management"

January 28, 2023

All organizations are at different stages of cybersecurity risk management program development. These stages range from one end of the spectrum, where cybersecurity is not a consideration at all, to the opposite end where the organization has a holistic and proactive cybersecurity approach.

Given that cybersecurity is an ongoing strategy and not a technology (nor a destination), there are several fundamental risk management components that every program, regardless of current stage, should embrace.

Role of Senior Management: While it is the responsibility of the board to provide leadership and guidance for the enterprise-wide cybersecurity program, it will not succeed unless senior management takes a proactive stance in creating, maintaining, and governing the program. Without such support the implementation of even a well-envisioned program will fail.

We live in the age of eternal breach – cyber and data privacy risks permeate our lives.

Dr. Jack Dever and James Dever, Lockhaven Solutions

It is most often the senior management of an organization that has a comprehensive and clear understanding of how their organization functions, to include the intricacies of culture and history, both positive and negative. This gives them unique insight, especially in a federated environment, into matters that are critical to a program’s success.

Senior Management have knowledge of the relevant stakeholders; critical data and systems; understanding of conflicting points of view relative to security issues; and an understanding of how to best operationalize a program in their unique environment.

Therefore, senior management are crucial in the build of an effective program that strikes the appropriate balance between risk and other potential competing interests. This cooperation requires effort on all sides, including trust and close coordination between senior management, centralized “corporate” functions, and information security professionals.