June 16, 2021

Improving Data Protection Conversations in the Boardroom

At the board and C-suite level of an organization, there is a vital focus on security and data protection. Instances of data breaches have gained the attention of the media and boardrooms worldwide. With the penalties and liabilities associated with a data breach, boardrooms must consider the business impact of reliable data protection and cybersecurity plans. 

Industry Regulations and Cybersecurity Challenges

Depending on your industry and the regulations your organization is held responsible for, you may have a particular focus on specific data compliance regulations like GDPR and HIPPA, for example. These regulations cover the expectations and requirements your organization must meet to be compliant. Organizations are under notable pressure to prioritize data privacy and compliance.


Failure to prioritize issues such as cybersecurity and data protection can result in harm to an organization’s reputation as well as legal repercussions. Boards must understand their companies’ data privacy risks, the effectiveness of their data privacy strategies, and whether their existing policies and anticipated future policies are in sync with emerging global privacy regulations. 

Boards are ultimately accountable for an organization’s health and direction and may be held partially responsible in the event of a breach or penalty. Regardless of which regulations concern you the most, there are a few essential tips to prepare yourself and your board to have productive conversations about data protection.  

Insider Tips for Improving Board Conversations

Privacy leaders should regularly meet with their boards to discuss their privacy strategies and push for investments in data protection. Keeping the board informed about the necessity of data protection can be challenging, especially with how quickly regulations can change. When privacy makes it onto the agenda, it is imperative to effectively communicate the need for a comprehensive, sustainable privacy program. The following tips and techniques will create a better space for productive conversations around data protection in the boardroom

Do your prep work:

Go into each board meeting armed with data. Your  board presentation should be data-driven and straightforward, demonstrating the risks and the key performance indicators used to measure and address them. Work with your team to anticipate and prepare for tough questions to offer articulate, insightful responses. Avoid jargon and legalese that can distance the board members from the conversation. Know what items need to be discussed in the meeting, such as: 

  • Do we understand our business’s privacy obligations and risks?

  • Does our organization have a privacy compliance strategy and cybersecurity agreement

  • Do we have a clear view of what personal information the business collects, how it is being processed, and for what purpose?

  • Are we aware of the risks a breach could cause? And is there a risk management plan in place?efficient-board-software

Share pointed evidence and be realistic: 

Share metrics that make a point and talk in dollars if possible. Avoid drowning the board in a sea of unnecessary details, but be ready to provide the research and data if requested. Do not omit or avoid problem areas. The board should be aware of all significant risks and incidents occurring at the organization to allocate the appropriate resources. While you are being realistic, avoid trying to scare the board. The board understands that there is a growing volume of data breaches and privacy regulations. They want the facts and statistics to make an informed decision, not fear tactics to be pressured into one.

Capitalize on your opportunity: 

Use your time in front of the board to build trust and make sure they understand the strengths and potential benefits of a strong privacy program. Having an up-to-date, comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that is ready for any new regulations or standards can put your organization one step ahead and eliminate any concern that could directly impact sales and invest in the business’s future.   

Govenda: Technology Partner for a Secure Board board-of-directors-security

Partnering with a secure board portal can create a single, secure place for connection, collaboration, and governance to be the focus. With tools like secure messaging, discussions, annotations, and more all protected by rigorous security protocols, Govenda is prepared to support your organization on the journey to better data protection. Supplying the best board portal available empowers our clients to implement efficient governance practices. Let’s start the conversation and see if Govenda is right to be your governance technology partner. Schedule a demo today.  

Tag(s): Cybersecurity

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