Lab Report

The Board's View of the CISO

Published on 07 July 2023

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Board Governance in the Age of Cyber Threat

Knowing how boards are organized and who holds leadership positions will help CISOs tailor communication strategies and forge alliances with influential directors. Whether presenting to the full board or specific committees, understanding governance basics is essential for CISOs to effectively engage the boardroom.

Why It Matters

As cyber threats proliferate, companies face growing pressure to manage digital risks. This has thrust the relationship between the Board of Directors and the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) into the spotlight. Boards are assuming greater oversight of cybersecurity, looking to CISOs for strategic guidance. Successfully partnering with the board hinges on a nuanced understanding of how to communicate with directors. CISOs must tailor their messaging to resonate with different board stakeholders. Educating directors on cyber risks, benchmarking security practices, and having transparent conversations are key to earning trust. With proactive relationship building, CISOs can elevate their role amidst the mounting challenges of cyber-risk governance.

About the Session

In addition to our CISO and Deputy CISO members, joining our roundtable discussion were two experienced board members who delivered valuable insights into board operation, the board’s view of the CISO, and how CISOs can engage effectively.

  • Virginia (Gina) Wilson: Gina Wilson retired from her role as senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of TIAA in 2019 and currently serves as an independent director of two NYSE-listed companies, Charles River Laboratories and Carrier Global. Prior to joining TIAA, Gina was CFO of Wyndham Worldwide when it spun out of Avis Budget Group (fka Cendant Corporation), where she had been Chief Accounting Officer. Her prior roles included senior finance positions at MetLife and Transamerica’s Life Insurance operations.
  • George Llado: George Llado is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Alexion Pharmaceuticals and current independent director for Charles River Laboratories and TraceLink, and The National Center for Women & Information Technology. A biopharma industry veteran with over 35 years of business, information technology and cyber-security experience, George previously served as Vice President and business line CIO for Merck and Co., and held various roles at Citibank, N.A.
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