A Leader's Guide to Cybersecurity: Why Boards Need to Lead--and How to Do It

A Leader's Guide to Cybersecurity: Why Boards Need to Lead--and How to Do It

by Thomas J. Parenty, Jack J. Domet
A Leader's Guide to Cybersecurity: Why Boards Need to Lead--and How to Do It

A Leader's Guide to Cybersecurity: Why Boards Need to Lead--and How to Do It

by Thomas J. Parenty, Jack J. Domet


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Cybersecurity threats are on the rise. As a leader, you need to be prepared to keep your organization safe.

Companies are investing an unprecedented amount of money to keep their data and assets safe, yet cyberattacks are on the rise--and the problem is worsening. No amount of technology, resources, or policies will reverse this trend. Only sound governance, originating with the board, can turn the tide.

Protection against cyberattacks can't be treated as a problem solely belonging to an IT or cybersecurity department. It needs to cast a wide and impenetrable net that covers everything an organization does--from its business operations, models, and strategies to its products and intellectual property. And boards are in the best position to oversee the needed changes to strategy and hold their companies accountable. Not surprisingly, many boards aren't prepared to assume this responsibility.

In A Leader's Guide to Cybersecurity, Thomas Parenty and Jack Domet, who have spent over three decades in the field, present a timely, clear-eyed, and actionable framework that will empower senior executives and board members to become stewards of their companies' cybersecurity activities. This includes:

  • Understanding cyber risks and how best to control them
  • Planning and preparing for a crisis--and leading in its aftermath
  • Making cybersecurity a companywide initiative and responsibility
  • Drawing attention to the nontechnical dynamics that influence the effectiveness of cybersecurity measures
  • Aligning the board, executive leadership, and cybersecurity teams on priorities

Filled with tools, best practices, and strategies, A Leader's Guide to Cybersecurity will help boards navigate this seemingly daunting but extremely necessary transition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633697997
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Thomas Parenty has more than three decades of international cybersecurity experience, starting with employment at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), where he worked on protecting the U.S. nuclear arsenal from foreign cyberattacks. Parenty has testified five times before the U.S. Congress on encryption, national security, law enforcement, and the global competitiveness of technology companies. In addition to cofounding Archefact Group, Parenty has contributed greatly to the public discourse on cybersecurity, helping to provide clarity and direction in this complex domain as a writer, lecturer, and speaker. He has been interviewed extensively on the cyber risks businesses face in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to the Economist and South China Morning Post. Harvard Business School Press published his earlier book, Digital Defense: What You Should Know About Protecting Your Company's Assets.

Jack Domet cofounded Archefact Group with the goal of fundamentally improving the way the world addresses cybersecurity and risk. In service of this mission, he helps boards and management teams understand and implement the necessary changes to their organizations, cultures, and capabilities in order to effectively oversee and manage the cyber risks their organizations face. Domet has led Archefact Group from its infancy to a multimillion-dollar global practice with offices in Hong Kong and San Francisco.

You can visit the authors at:

Table of Contents

Introduction: Digital Stewardship 1

Part 1 The Problems

1 Misleading Platitudes 15

2 Hidden Dynamics 31

3 Misguided Voices 47

Part 2 The Principles

4 If You Don't Understand It, They Didn't Explain It 61

5 It Is the Business at Risk 65

6 Make Cybersecurity Mainstream 69

7 Engage Motivation 73

Part 3 The Responsibilities

8 Manage Cyber Risks 81

9 Fortify the Company 117

10 Lead in Crisis 147

Part 4 The Aides

11 Aide-Mémoire: Manage Cyber Risks 173

12 Aide-Mémoire: Fortify the Company 179

13 Aide-Mémoire: Lead in Crisis 185

Conclusion 193

Notes 199

Index 211

Acknowledgments 219

About the Authors 221

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