According to Ernst & Young LLP’s Center for Board Matters, which focuses on company governance and board-related issues, cybersecurity is top of the list for the expanding agendas of board members in the new year.
As The Wall Street Journal reported late last week, shareholders are expected to broaden their attention to combating cyberthreats, as well as retaining top talent within their firms.
“There is a realization that boards need to evolve as businesses evolve,” Ann Yerger, executive director of the center, told WSJ.
As boards continue to face escalating difficulties, such as maintaining and attracting talent and preventing cyberattacks, shareholders are taking a closer look at their actions and expecting these issues to be addressed.
When it comes to cybersecurity in particular, Yerger said that boards are responsible for ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is established to prevent the onset of cyberthreats. Companies must also be prepared to effectively mitigate malicious activities if, in fact, they do take place.
“There’s no denying that cyber is now a top risk under consideration by companies,” Yerger said.
In the coming year, the report also suggests that finding the best employees with the right skills will be an ongoing priority.
“So much of business success today hinges on talent,” Yerger stated, adding that the bonus and equity programs established by boards are key to bringing the right individuals into the company or offering the types of incentives that will convince top employees to stay.