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DDN Calls On U.S. Public Companies To Add A Cyber Expert To Their Board: Teams Up With Hitch Partners To Make It Happen

Cyber Success Starts With The Board

DDN and Hitch Partners join forces to strengthen the boardroom as a critical cybersecurity control by adding directors with cyber expertise to the boardroom.

There are no work arounds. Cybersecurity success starts in the boardroom with director cyber expertise.”
— Bob Zukis, DDN CEO
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA, U.S.A, March 20, 2024 / -- Digital Directors Network (DDN), the leader in advancing the practice and profession of digital and cybersecurity governance calls on all U.S. public companies to add a director who is a cyber expert to their corporate boards. DDN has teamed up with leading cybersecurity executive search firm Hitch Partners to close this significant boardroom skills gap and strengthen the boardroom as a critical cybersecurity control.

"Cybersecurity success and strength starts in the boardroom," said DDN's CEO Bob Zukis. "Every corporate board needs at least one director with deep applied expertise in cybersecurity in order for the boardroom to meet its responsibilities on these challenging issues. Every CEO and investor should be demanding this of the boardroom. Too much economic growth and output is dependent upon complex digital business systems for corporate boards not to be leading and to not be a strong part of the overall cybersecurity system," he added.

The call by DDN to eliminate America's boardroom cybersecurity expertise and leadership gap follows recent high profile cybersecurity incidents at UnitedHealth Group, MGM, Clorox, Microsoft, Caesars, Loan Depot and several other well known American companies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission views cyber expertise as applied experience and validated knowledge in cybersecurity including for example in the areas of security policy and governance, risk management, security assessments, controls evaluation, architecture, operations, incident handling.

"Cyber expertise is much different than cyber experience," added Zukis. "We went through this with the financial expertise and experience debates during the Sarbanes-Oxley days over twenty years ago. Expertise is about putting cyber depth and breadth on the board with executives who have been there and done it in an applied setting. It is not a Director with an accounting background taking a short course on cybersecurity, although that's something we certainly encourage as all directors should strive to develop a base understanding of cybersecurity."

DDN was started in 2017 to develop and advance the practice and profession of digital and cybersecurity governance. As the world's experts on these issues, DDN's +1,500 members are working with their own boards and they are also joining corporate boards as digital and cyber experts. DDN is the pioneer in this space and has developed a curated membership base of leading digital and cybersecurity executives and directors. Teaming up with leading information security executive search firm Hitch Partners will help boards more effectively find and add high-performing corporate directors with cyber expertise to their boardrooms.

Michael Piacente, Hitch Partners Managing Partner commented "We were with DDN at the beginning in San Francisco at their first masterclass. Adding directors who are true cyber experts to the boardroom is already a leading practice that some well known corporate boards have adopted. But we want all of them to adopt this leading practice. We are excited to double down with DDN to accelerate this leading practice as the premier executive search firm with the depth and experience on both sides of the boardroom table on this issue. DDN's members and their work in developing and certifiying CISOs with their Boardroom Certified Qualified Technology Expert (QTE) masterclass creates a high quality source of CISO director candidates who can transition to the boardroom effectively," he added.

"Boardrooms in America are at the fore of many trends in business, and achieving digital resiliency is one of the big ones. We can lead by example to show how expertise in the boardroom is a key part of hardening the private sector against non-stop threats to how digital systems create and sustain business value. Solving this challenge is more than a tone at the top issue, it includes having the right capability and expertise as part of the oversight and governance framework," said Joanna Burkey, former HP CISO, Director at Beyond (NYSE: BYND) and DDN Boardroom Certified Qualified Technology Expert (QTE).

Strengthening the boardroom as a control in the cybersecurity system will strengthen each company's entire cybersecurity system. And closing the boardroom cyber expertise gap across all of America's public companies will strengthen America's cyber resiliency.

DDN is holding its annual executive learning conference at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business on May 15-16, 2024. Directors, CIOs, and CISOs who want to develop their knowledge of these issues can enroll now in DOMINO 24 - Solving the Digital and Cybersecurity Governance Puzzle.

Contact DDN or Hitch Partners to add a leading cyber expert to your board.

About Digital Directors Network

DDN is the world's leading boardroom network exclusively focused on improving digital and cyber risk governance. We bring together and work with digital and cyber leaders, directors, corporate boards, and leading IT and cybersecurity companies to transform the role of the corporate boardroom in shaping and securing the digital future.

About Hitch Partners

Hitch Partners is a retained executive search firm that specializes in all things Information Security, with additional expertise in Business Technology, Cloud Infrastructure Engineering & Product Management. We provide leadership search and advisory services and information regarding intellectual trends in the Information Security domain.

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