Why isn’t more being done to protect critical information assets? Senior executives understand that the global economy is still not sufficiently protected against cyberattacks, despite years of effort and annual spending of tens of billions of dollars. They understand that risk alone undermines trust and confidence in the digital economy, reducing its potential value by as much as $3 trillion by 2020. They understand most institutions have technology- and compliance-centric cybersecurity models that don’t scale, limit innovation, and provide insufficient protection. And they understand that institutions need to develop much more insight into the risks they face, implement differential protection for their most important assets, build security into broader IT environments, leverage analytics to assess emerging threats, improve incident response, and enlist frontline users as stewards of important information.

The importance of cybersecurity is no secret to anyone who’s opened a newspaper or attended a board meeting. So, senior executives may ask, what’s the holdup? The answer is simple: understanding the issue is quite different from effectively addressing it. A number of structural and organizational issues complicate the process of implementing business-driven, risk-management-oriented cybersecurity operating models, and only sustained support from senior management can ensure progress and ultimately mitigate the risk of cyberattacks.

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