BRENTWOOD, TENN., March 26, 2019 – Bank leaders are more worried than ever about cybersecurity: Eighty-three percent of chief risk officers, chief executives, independent directors and other senior executives of U.S. banks responding to Bank Director’s 2019 Risk Survey, sponsored by Moss Adams, say their concerns about cybersecurity have increased over the past year.
Executives and directors have listed cybersecurity as their top risk concern in five prior iterations of Bank Director’s annual survey, which reveals the views of 180 bank leaders, representing banks ranging from $250 million to $50 billion in assets, about today’s risk landscape, including cybersecurity oversight, risk governance, the impact of regulatory relief on risk practices, the potential effect of rising interest rates and the use of technology to enhance compliance.
Finding that these leaders are more—rather than less—worried about cybersecurity could be indicative of the industry’s struggles to wrap their hands around the issue.
The majority of bank boards tend to oversee cybersecurity within a committee rather than as a full board, but exactly which committee is focused on the task is a mixed bag. Twenty-seven percent of respondents say their board addresses cybersecurity within the risk committee, 25 percent within the technology committee and 19 percent within the audit committee.
Board-level cybersecurity committees remain rare: Just 8 percent report their board has one. And roughly one-third indicate one director is a cybersecurity expert, suggesting a skill gap some boards may seek to address.
The survey also finds that more banks are hiring chief information security officers. Thirty percent indicate the CISO focuses exclusively on cybersecurity—a practice more common at banks above $10 billion in assets. Almost half say their bank’s CISO holds additional responsibilities within the organization.
The 2019 Risk Survey was conducted in January 2019. Additional findings include:
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