Of all the things Raytheon CEO Tom Kennedy has to think about, it’s cyber risks that keep him up at night. “The endless stories of companies losing personal data, customer confidence, intellectual property, business continuity, market capitalization—not to mention facing hefty fines and settlements—read like a bad dream,” he wrote in a recent LinkedIn post. But they’re not, and boards across the nation are noticing.
“Boards are responsible for ensuring management is addressing risk at their companies – and risks related to cyber have now gone to the top of their agendas,” Kennedy wrote. Over the past few years, risks have changed: threats have evolved, more sensitive business data is digital and attack surfaces have multiplied. In Kennedy’s own words: “When everything is connected, everything is vulnerable.”
But there is good news: This growing business challenge is also an opportunity to strengthen board-management relationships.
“Cyber risks are a new area for most board members, and management can help the board understand the risks at their organizations, weigh investment options and establish cybersecurity goals, metrics and appropriate funding,” Kennedy wrote. “Better alignment can also help with merger-and-acquisition cyber diligence, board policies for cyber risk, cyber crisis preparedness, and guide cyber business strategy.”
The bottom line?
“The cyber threat is real, maturing and escalating every day,” Kennedy wrote. “Boards need to quickly educate themselves on the risks associated with their systems, their products and their industries. Senior management must make this a top priority to dramatically mitigate the risks and stem potentially ruinous losses, because it’s a threat that is here to stay.”
You can read Kennedy’s original post here.