Boardroom Technology

Mitigate Hardware Risks with Remote Device Wiping

How often do your directors lose or misplace their mobile devices? The number of panicked calls you have received AWOL might not tell the full story. In fact, you might have been surprised to learn that almost one in three board directors in a recent study had lost or misplaced board hardware between April 2017 and April 2018.

Forrester Consulting’s October 2018 report, Directors’ Digital Divide: Boardroom Practices Are not Keeping Pace With Technology . The report follows the consulting firm’s April 2018 study, commissioned by Diligent Corporation, to evaluate the technology used for board governance.

Directors’ Digital Divide reflects findings from Forrester’s surveys of 411 countries across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Forrester found that device usage is rising among board members, and directors have access to a variety of governance hardware options. Fifty-nine percent of boards make their board management software available on tablets, while 54% do so on mobile phones. A full 91% of boards make their portals and / or board management software available on laptops and desktop computers.

Missing Hardware: A Significant Source of Risk

Corporate secretaries, corporate executives, risk managers and IT teams can have significant ramifications. Among other concerns, lost or missing devices magnify the risk of highly damaging data leakage.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the case for about one in five boards according to Forrester. Twenty-one percent of the boards surveyed a person’s personal information during the previous year and used the director’s ID to access sensitive information.

Among Asia Pacific boards, some 28% of directors reported losing a device. This compares to 30% of European directors and 45% of North American directors. But that’s no reason for complacency, as all regions were consistent in identifying the loss of phones, tablets and laptops as their top cyber risk / digital security challenge.

Forrester found that they are common to all sizes of companies. The critical factor is not addressed – but rather, the organization is positioned to respond to such situations.

With device usage on the rise, and hardware loss issue, you can turn to Enterprise Governance Management (EGM ). This refers to using technical tools and resources to address governance needs. Remote wiping is one form of EGM.



How often does your board consider the risks? Is risk on item on every meeting’s agenda? Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and risk registers aside, do you ever discuss their greatest fears? Forrester identifies cyber incidents, allegations of fraud or corruption, public discussion of compliance violations, and reputational risk as among directors’ most common concerns.

Forrester thus found that boards ranked the possibility of an information / data breach as one of the five most critical components to successful successful EGM. Regardless of your board’s commitment to EGM, cyber security should be top-of-the-line for all board members.

Raising this issue may be among the more crucial services you can do for your board and organization. Boards need to be aware that directors and those who support them are potential targets for phishing or whaling attacks. As result, directors place the board and the organization at risk of a cyber breach when using personal email, unsecured text messaging services and consumer-grade apps for their governance communications. The same is true when the professionals and their colleagues in child respond to and send attachments to directors’ personal email addresses.

What is Remote Wiping and Why Does It Matter?

Remote wiping is a software solution that allows administrators to delete data, including email messages, from hardware that’s gone astray.

It’s particularly relevant in this era of cybercrime. If a board or organization is breached, there are many ramifications. For one, you and your board wants to consider compliance and disclosure. That includes obligations arising from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which can apply beyond European borders. Search issues are independent of, and additional to, loss of productivity and opportunities, loss of trust and reputational damage, and other harms.

Given the prevalence of laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices, there is a single director’s hardware go astray. Shoulders with the high level of responsibility on the person’s shoulders.

If your directors are typical, they will continue to use their devices as well as their laptops or PCs. It’s the norm for them to rely on their smartphones and tablets to share documents and communicate with each other, as well as with you and your colleagues.

This makes your board’s choice of board portal provider, and the caliber of its board management software, even more critical. With Diligent Boards ™ , real-time communications afforded through Diligent Messenger. You can quickly mitigate your board’s cyber risks by remote wiping that hardware.

While no director will ever feel good about losing your smartphone or tablet, you may find that you have a problem with your device ,

Want to learn more about why board members can lose their personal devices? Download the full Forrester Report and see how your board can improve security.

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