With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, it is imperative for Boards of Directors to be better prepared with the necessary expertise and capabilities to effectively handle cybersecurity incidents. A recent study conducted by WSJ Pro Research underscores the need for Boards to build confidence against cyber risk by hiring directors with greater experience in this vital space and continuously exercising their existing Board members against real cyber threats.

Only 2.3% of directors have this

WSJ Pro found that, while the number of directors with cybersecurity experience has increased since last year, the overall percentage of directors with cybersecurity expertise remains strikingly low at just 2.3% of directors on S&P 500 boards. This indicates that a significant gap exists in terms of cybersecurity knowledge and skills within boardrooms and putting companies at risk. It also reveals a major confidence deficit among these executives.

“Whatever a board’s composition, most directors aren’t very confident in their board’s ability to handle a cybersecurity incident,” notes Rob Sloan, research director at WSJ Pro.

How to upskill Boards against the latest threats

To address this skills gap, one effective approach is for Boards to actively seek and appoint directors with greater cyber expertise. By bringing in individuals with a deep understanding of cybersecurity, Boards can benefit from their insights, guidance, and ability to make informed decisions regarding cyber risk management. These directors can provide valuable input on cybersecurity strategies, help assess the effectiveness of existing security measures, and ensure that the Board is well-prepared to respond to and mitigate cyber threats.

However, simply hiring directors with cybersecurity experience is not enough. Boards must also continuously exercise and build their capabilities against real cyber threats through live-fire drills. This involves conducting regular simulations and exercises to test the Board’s response to various cyber incidents and measure their responses. By engaging in these exercises, boards can identify any weaknesses or gaps in their cybersecurity preparedness and take proactive measures to address them. This not only enhances the Board’s ability to handle cyber incidents, but also builds confidence among stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, and regulators.

Proving cyber capabilities with Immersive Labs

One effective solution that can support Boards in exercising their capabilities against real cyber threats is the Immersive Labs Platform , which provides an array of interactive and hands-on cybersecurity labs and exercises, including crisis simulations. Boards can utilize the platform and its content – updated at the speed of cyber – to enhance their understanding of cyber risks, develop practical skills in incident response, and test their decision-making abilities in a realistic and controlled environment.

By leveraging the Immersive Labs Platform, Boards can ensure their directors are continuously upskilled and prepared to handle cybersecurity incidents. The platform offers a comprehensive and dynamic learning experience, allowing directors to stay updated on the latest cyber threats, learn from real-world scenarios, and practice their response strategies. This not only enhances the Board’s overall cybersecurity expertise, but also demonstrates their commitment to proactive risk management.

Building confidence against cyber risk requires boards to both appoint directors with cyber expertise and continuously exercise their capabilities against real cyber threats. The WSJ Pro team’s findings highlight the need for Boards to prioritize proving cybersecurity knowledge and skills within their ranks. By hiring directors with cybersecurity experience and utilizing platforms like Immersive Labs, Boards can enhance their ability to handle cyber incidents, mitigate risks, and instill confidence among stakeholders. In today’s rapidly evolving cyber landscape, it is crucial for boards to proactively address cybersecurity challenges and ensure organizational resilience.

To get to speed on cyber threats, read our eBook: “Nine Questions Boards Must Ask to Achieve Cyber Resilience,” here.

Check Out Immersive Labs in the News.


October 12, 2023


Immersive Labs