Gartner Research

How to Build an Effective Cybersecurity and Technology Risk Presentation for Your Board of Directors

Published: 03 March 2016

ID: G00297468

Analyst(s): Paul Proctor , Rob McMillan , Jeffrey Wheatman


Risk and security leaders should provide board-relevant, business-aligned content, and abstract out the direct technology references. Minimize fear, uncertainty and doubt, while focusing on the readiness of the cybersecurity and technology risk program, and placing it in a relevant business context.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Communicate With Your Audience on Their Own Terms
    • Understand the Board's Role and Responsibilities
    • Socialize the Key Messages Before the Presentation
    • Road-Test Your Presentation
    • Use Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt Sparingly
    • Focus on Readiness
    • Use Process Maturity as a Proxy for Risk Posture
    • Abstract Out the Technology
    • Stress Risk Management and Balancing Protection With Business Outcomes
    • Highlight the Business Value of Security and Risk Investments
    • Educate the Board on How to Influence Effective Security
    • Always End With an "Ask"
  • Avoid the Seven Deadly Presentation Sins
    • Too Much Technology
    • Overly Complex Slides
    • Too Much FUD
    • Lack of Business Alignment
    • Misleading Data
    • Too Many People in the Process
    • Failure to Connect With Board-Relevant Decision Making
  • Be Prepared to Address Objections and Personalities
    • Consider the Perspective You Want to Give the Board
    • Gather Intelligence
    • Be Deliberate With Your Terminology
    • Be Ready to Address Objections
    • Overcome Apathy
  • Ask for an Outcome and Request the Next Date

Further Reading

Appendix 1: Gartner Global Security and Risk Management Survey

Gartner Recommended Reading

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