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IT Security: Leadership Guide — Directors' Oversight of Cyberthreat Protection

IT Security: Leadership Guide — Directors' Oversight of Cyberthreat Protection

This IDC study explores the role of the board of directors in defending the enterprise against cyberthreats. It guides board members and the senior executives who advise them about the legal and fiduciary risks inherent in a cyberattack. Top corporate executives need to understand cyber not only as an IT matter but first and foremost as an enterprisewide risk management issue. The most significant security compromises so far are not related to "hacking," but were caused by spearfishing and espionage. Corporate vulnerability is caused by rapid product entries into the market and the enlarged shift of the firm's value-add from the global supply chain. As firms extend the participation of partners, suppliers, and distributors, the exposure to losses of confidential information grows. Some of the greatest vulnerabilities can be found in the increase in mergers and acquisitions, which are often done without adequate safeguards on information involved in cross-border transactions.

"Perhaps the greatest security risks can be found in using data from external networks and particularly from 'clouds' that are neither owned nor managed by the enterprise," says Paul Strassmann, adjunct analyst with IDC's Research Network. "It is the connections to authorized, but insufficiently verified, sources that open "back doors" for entry into well-protected, but inadequately defended, barriers against external sources."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

IDC Opinion
In This Study
IT Executive Program Research Agenda
Situation Overview
An Urgent Need for Security Oversight
A Lack of Security Expertise
Future Outlook
Essential Guidance
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Related Research
Table: IT Executive Program Research Agenda Themes

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