In an era of escalating cyber threats, organizations are recognizing the critical importance of cybersecurity expertise at the highest levels of decision-making.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is poised to implement new requirements aimed at bolstering cybersecurity governance. These requirements are expected to necessitate a level of cybersecurity expertise within corporate boards to ensure effective risk management and protect shareholder value.

In this post, we explore the three anticipated SEC requirements for cybersecurity expertise at the board level and the potential implications for organizations.

Cybersecurity expertise as a board-Level competency

To strengthen cybersecurity governance, the SEC is likely to require organizations to publicly share the level of board-member cybersecurity expertise. This requirement aims to ensure that boards possess the knowledge and understanding necessary to oversee cybersecurity risks, guide strategic decision-making, and promote proactive measures to protect sensitive data. By having board members with demonstrable cybersecurity acumen, organizations can better assess and respond to emerging threats, navigate regulatory frameworks, and establish robust incident response plans.

Cyber risk oversight and reporting

The second expected requirement from the SEC pertains to cyber risk oversight and reporting. Boards will likely be mandated to take an active role in monitoring and assessing cyber risks and ensuring effective risk mitigation strategies are in place. This includes periodic reviews of cybersecurity policies, procedures, and controls, as well as the evaluation of potential vulnerabilities and the effectiveness of security measures.

Furthermore, boards will be expected to provide clear and transparent reporting on the organization’s cybersecurity posture to stakeholders, including investors, to foster trust and accountability.

Independence and accountability

Lastly, the SEC is expected to emphasize the need for independence and accountability within the cybersecurity governance framework. Organizations may be required to establish dedicated cybersecurity committees or assign specific board members responsible for overseeing cybersecurity matters.

These individuals should have the necessary autonomy and authority to challenge existing practices, assess cybersecurity risks objectively, and hold management accountable for addressing vulnerabilities. The SEC may encourage organizations to consider cybersecurity expertise while forming board committees, ensuring that relevant perspectives are represented in crucial decision-making processes.

Our Take

The SEC rules mandating cybersecurity expertise at the board level are undeniably beneficial as they address a critical gap in corporate governance and cybersecurity risk management. By requiring boards to have members with specialized knowledge in cybersecurity, organizations can significantly enhance their ability to identify and respond to cyber threats proactively. This expertise ensures that cybersecurity is treated as a strategic priority, fostering a culture of vigilance and preparedness throughout the organization.

Visit our Resources Center to learn how Immersive Labs can help your organization proactively embrace such requirements and integrate cybersecurity expertise into their boards.

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August 30, 2023


Victoria Campbell

Content Writer