Cybersecurity Accountability Requires Enterprise-Wide Involvement

3 minute read

February 2021

Cybersecurity is every employee’s responsibility. To ensure success, organizations today need to weave cybersecurity accountability into the fabric of the company, involving everyone in building and maintaining its security posture. Establishing a security-forward culture improves a company’s safety, speeds cybersecurity program maturity and makes the CISO’s job easier. Fostering a risk-aware workforce requires CISOs and their teams to institute enterprise-wide ownership and accountability for their cybersecurity program. 

The Path to Accountability in a Cybersecurity Program  

To increase employee engagement and drive stronger cybersecurity accountability across an enterprise, CISOs must:  

  1. Get buy-in and engagement from executive team members
  2.  Assign security responsibilities and ownership 
  3.  Hold employees accountable 
  4. Communicate regularly 

Get Executive Team Buy-in for the Cybersecurity Program 

When organizational leaders embrace a program, policy, initiative, or even a social event, participation and meaningful engagement increase. It’s human nature, really  people want to be near the boss, demonstrate they’re team players and show their commitment to a shared cause. Take advantage of this by recruiting executives and company leaders (as many as you can) to embrace your cybersecurity program, align to initiatives and work towards goals.  

By providing timely dashboards and informative reports to executives, they can see in real-time precisely how the company’s cybersecurity posture is improvingthe program’s strengths and vulnerabilities, and the status of projects and initiatives important to the company.  

Assign Cybersecurity Program Responsibilities for Greater Accountability 

It’s in an organization’s best interest to assign ownership to specific people for cybersecurity requirements across the organization. With ownership comes responsibility and accountability.  

Cybersecurity program automation tools make it easy for a CISO to assign projects and monitor cybersecurity responsibilities and tasks – including controls reviews, threat analyses, risk assessments, policy reviews, asset assessments, training and awareness initiatives and projects 

With Cybersecurity Program Management platform, executives and project owners gain real-time insight into where cybersecurity assignments are in the process. Automated triggers keep assignments moving forward, and employees responsible for tasks always know what’s expected of them and when deliverables are due. 

Hold Employees Accountable for Cybersecurity 

Once ownership and responsibilities have been assigned and documented, it’s easy to hold people accountable. Looking at a dashboard will instantly reveal the status of an assignment.  

With this instant access and insight into all aspects of a company’s cybersecurity, CISO’s are empowered to act promptly, question project owners and those responsible for tasks, and take action as needed to get assignments back on track.  

Communicate Regularly about the Cybersecurity Program 

Strategic CISOs implement structured communications campaigns to drive culture change. Through regular communications about the cybersecurity program, executives can be showcased as cybersecurity champions, project owners can be featured for their successes and cultural pressure can be applied to increase a sense of responsibility.  

Your Cybersecurity Program Management Platform Helps Drive Accountability  

Without real-time insight into the state of your organization’s cybersecurity it’s exponentially more difficult to drive a security-forward culture, as securing executive buy-in, assigning ownership, and holding people accountable are nearly impossible tasks. 

With a cybersecurity program management platform, the CISO and executive team have a real-time view into cybersecurity across an enterprise. CISOs can instantly see the status of projects, know who is working on what, identify what’s on schedule and what’s in danger of falling behind.  

Project accountability is simple to manage too. Cyber projects are assigned to ownersand those owners assign specific tasks to specific people in the system. As projects progress, automated triggers with deadlines are initiated  across the organization every employee with project responsibilities knows what’s expected of them  and they know their managers and executives know too. All of this helps drive engagement, accountability and successful project completions. 

For the CISO, the cybersecurity platform serves as a looking glass into every aspect of the cybersecurity program. By providing detailed insight into a company’s cybersecurity state-of-the-state, the CISO has real-time news to share with the company and can communicate regular updates on overall status and projects, spotlight employees who have done exceptional work and issue warnings about vulnerabilities. 

If your organization is trying to drive a cybersecurity-aware culture and increase accountability, connect with us for a cybersecurity program management platform demonstration. 

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ProcessUnity is a leading provider of cloud-based applications for risk and compliance management. The company’s software as a service (SaaS) platform gives organizations the control to assess, measure, and mitigate risk and to ensure the optimal performance of key business processes. ProcessUnity’s flagship solution, ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management, protects companies and their brands by reducing risks from third-party vendors and suppliers. ProcessUnity helps customers effectively and efficiently assess and monitor both new and existing vendors – from initial due diligence and onboarding through termination. Headquartered outside of Boston, Massachusetts, ProcessUnity is used by the world’s leading financial service firms and commercial enterprises. For more information, visit