A data breach involving sensitive board information results in costly litigation and can ruin an organization’s reputation. Cybercrimes have always been a threat to organizations but have increased in the past two years due to many companies turning to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Board members need to be vigilant about cybersecurity to protect the organization’s finances, liability, reputation and future growth. Here’s how boards can reduce the risk of cyberattacks:

  1. Manage board materials digitally. Instead of relying on printed versions of board books, disclosures and other important materials, boards should have a secure, digital solution accessible from a single portal. This portal should include encryption, two-factor authentication and biometric scanning devices, such as voice, fingerprint, facial or iris recognition.
  2. Set appropriate permissions. Make sure each board member only has access to what they need—no more and no less.
  3. Protect meeting minutes. Ensure that meeting notes are prepared quickly and destroy any notes used to compile them. Make minutes available to board members in a read-only format and consider limiting how long a member can access them digitally.
  4. Provide company email addresses. Personal email accounts lack adequate security for sensitive information. Provide board members with a company email address and require it for all board-relation communications.
  5. Use secure devices. Insist that board business be conducted only on safe, trusted devices. Consider wiping all locally stored information from devices that have not connected to the internet within an established period, such as 90 days.

There are numerous resources to refer to regarding Cyber protection such as:

Know your cyber risks

Identity and access management in a remote working world

Antivirus & Security Technology

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