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Painting the Picture – Visualising Cyber Risks for Executive Decision Making

In a recent blog we explored how CISO’s can effectively communicate cyber risks to senior executives, focusing on the communication strategies that should be deployed in order to get buy-in at a senior level.

One element discussed was using dashboards as a powerful communication tool to really amplify the cyber risk status of any organisation, so we wanted to explore this deeper and understand how CISO’s can really use Executive Dashboards as a way of helping inform Board members of their cyber security posture.

6 Reasons why Exec Dashboards are a Valuable Tool for CISO’s

  1. A great way of visualising risk with real time insights: Complex data can be visualised in a far simpler format with dashboards that will demonstrate the risk metrics, threat intelligence and cyber security metrics in simpler format than over complicated diagrams and language. CISO’s are then able to communicate clearly in a way that Boards will understand. Platforms like our Continuous Controls Monitoring provide real-time insights into an organisation’s cyber security posture. This enables board members to stay informed about emerging threats, security incidents and ongoing risk mitigation efforts without relying on periodic reports or updates. That also means the Dashboard is continuously up to date.
  2. The focus can be more on key metrics, identifying and analysing key trends: Dashboards can help CISO’s highlight the key security metrics and performance indicators that the Board will be focused on. This could include cyber security metrics effectiveness, risk exposure levels, compliance status and number of security incidents. Platforms such as ours are also able to extrapolate the trends over any specified period of time, which not only highlights key areas of concern but can serve as an invaluable tool for the CISO in demonstrating that their cyber security strategy is working, as well as monitoring how threats are evolving and how the actions taken are mitigating that risk.
  3. Customised view for your business: Visualised dashboards mean CISO’s can create the representation they want – our clients work with us to visualise the exec dashboard that they need to demonstrate so they are able to select the metrics to display and incorporate the benchmarks they need to present.
  4. Supporting scenario planning: Using dashboards you can help CISO’s facilitate planning and the “what-if’s” scenarios, being able to predict the potential impact of cyber threats. This helps board members understand the potential consequences of various cyber security incidents and the importance of proactive risk management.
  5. Accentuating a CISO’s accountability & propelling trust & transparency: Sharing top line overviews of the organisation’s cyber security posture, CISO’s are demonstrating their accountability to the organisation’s cyber security posture and risk management. Board members are able to see progression set against set goals and objectives, meaning that Boards will feel confident in the CISO’s accountability and offer support when needed. Exec dashboards enable timely, accurate and relevant information which fosters trust and transparency in an organisation’s cyber security posture. Transparent communication creates and inspires an environment of collaboration and accountability between a CISO and their Board.
  6. Dashboards support decision making: Creating exec dashboards will not only support a CISO in articulating the need for certain technology to support operational and cyber resilience but will support Board decision making as they’ll be able to assess risk levels and evaluate the effectiveness of proposed initiatives or investments. They are also a great communication tool – dashboards serve as a communication tool for CISOs to provide regular updates to the board on cyber security matters. Instead of relying solely on written reports or verbal presentations, dashboards offer an interactive platform for sharing information, answering questions and fostering dialogue between the CISO and board members.

Overall, executive dashboards serve as powerful tools for CISOs to communicate cyber risks effectively to boards, facilitate informed decision-making and drive continuous improvement in an organisation’s cyber security posture.

If you’d like to find out more about our executive dashboards on our continuous controls monitoring platform, click here.

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Effectively Conveying Cyber Risks to Senior Board Executives

The number one risk to any business is ineffective cyber security because of the catastrophic implications on their reputational and financial status. However, it has become apparent that being able to effectively communicate that risk to Boards and senior executives within an organisation is becoming increasingly difficult,  leaving cyber security

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