Selling it to the C-Suite: 4 Tips on Presenting Your Data Security Plan to Company Leaders and Your Board of Directors



Don’t allow upper management off the hook when it comes to participating in the formation of your company’s data security plan.

While data and IT security has largely been something that was left out of meetings with upper management and board members in the past, those days are over. The uptick in data breaches means it’s critical that data security is at the forefront of high-level meetings within the organization, and that management within the company, as well as on the board, understands the implications of lackluster security.

With the latest count of 708 data breaches recorded this year, coupled with almost 29 million exposed data records, according to ITRC, it’s easy to see that companies should be prepared for a breach at any time.

One of the challenges of communicating a data security plan to company leaders and your board of directors is getting them to understand the severity of the situation. We’re hoping that the following tips will help you to truly convince high-level managers within your company that taking a data security plan seriously is the only way to survive in today’s constantly-evolving technological ecosystem.

Metrics, metrics, metrics

The best way to catch the attention of high level executives and board members is to provide concrete numbers. Furnish data that backs up the rampant problem of data breaches across the country to help show management that any company that chooses to sit on the sidelines will be left extremely vulnerable, and potentially liable for future data threats.

With over 6,500 data threats having been reported since 2005, and more than 700 already occurring this year, it’s hard to argue that data security shouldn’t be at the top of the list in terms of issues that should command regular exposure during major board meetings.

Stress the high costs of a data breach

Similar to metrics related to the actual number of data breaches, it’s also important to convey the sheer cost that is incurred by most companies that are exposed. With the average cost of a data breach hitting $4 million, board members need to understand the implications of a serious incident.

Encourage upper management to participate in training

One key part of a successful data security plan is proper training. This instruction is not only for lower-level employees, but also upper management, so that these individuals can realize potential threats and fully understand the very real dangers that can exist from both internal and external sources.

Be a bit of a broken record

Companies and individuals alike can tend to be lulled into false comfort when things are running smoothly. The problem with this approach is that when a disaster begins to happen, organizations are not prepared. For this reason, it’s critical that data security has a seat at the ‘table’ in both good times and bad. Encourage management to discuss data security at each major meeting to ensure that it is never overlooked.

Need help prepping for a high level meeting regarding data security?

If you’ve been tasked with educating upper management about data security as it relates to your company, you could likely benefit from talking with one of our security experts. We’re veterans in the industry and would be glad to assist you in designing and implementing a data security plan that works across all levels of your organization. Give us a call today at 800-860-2040 or get in touch through our online contact form to connect with one of our security advisors.

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