Risk Insider: Emily Cummins

Building Cyber Resilience

By: | November 5, 2014

Emily Cummins is director of tax and risk management for the National Rifle Association, the global leader in firearms safety, education, and training. She is a past chair of the RIMS technology council and continues to promote RIMS as the most valuable society for risk professionals. She can be reached at [email protected]

The National Rifle Association of America — primarily an education, safety, and training organization — faces many of the same enterprise risks you face. You may find our association relatable in spite of other principled differences.

Risk managers recognize that the expense of risk financing adds to, not replaces, continuous investment in the defense in depth of a mature cybersecurity program. The NRA is in the estimated 30 percent of U.S. organizations already purchasing cyber insurance.

Factors contributing to growth in the cyber insurance marketplace include cyber loss headlines, improving education and awareness, and requirement by a third party such as a vendor contract. The new Advisen/PartnerRe cyber insurance market trends survey also points out that first party data breach response, such as notification and forensics, continues to be the most important coverage driver for cyber buyers.

Training individuals to see themselves as data guardians includes a dialogue that helps them make sense of our complicated and overexposed world.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) identifies four pillars of effective cyber risk cultures to build resilience in private and public sector partners: engaged executive leadership, targeted cyber risk management education and awareness, cost-effective technology investments tailored to organizational needs, and relevant risk information-sharing.

On October 28, 2014, DHS cybersecurity strategist and counsel Tom Finan explained the resilience mission to Advisen’s cyber risk insights conference in New York. The shared vision is for a safe, secure, resilient infrastructure where the American way of life can thrive.

The clarity of this statement has value for risk managers. We collectively struggle to translate the insurance industry’s data security and privacy liability lingo and the security sector’s language into a simple, accessible perspective for individuals, namely the internal and external stakeholders we must train.

Present on cyber risk and reinforce regularly to “bring it home” within your own organization. At its best, training individuals to see themselves as data guardians includes a dialogue that helps them make sense of our complicated and overexposed world. In addition, coaching and encouragement build end users’ confidence in being able to follow the spirit and letter of security policy guidelines.

While this Risk & Insurance® series intends to demonstrate how much our association has in common with other enterprises, there is a reason a mission-based organization inevitably stands out from the crowd. Our workforce is voluntarily united by a compelling central purpose and conviction.

Based on my professional observations in-house, the best character traits recognized by human resources serve to promote enterprise risk management as well. Protecting personally identifiable information and corporate intelligence is essential to our mission as a membership association and civil rights advocate.

Read all of Emily Cummins’ Risk Insider contributions

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