PricewaterhouseCoopers Uganda – PwC, a global leader in delivering quality Assurance, Tax, and Advisory services, has hosted a Non-Executive Director (NED) Forum that discussed managing cyber risk in commercial entities.
In a keynote titled, ‘Oversight role of the Board & Non-Executive Directions for Cyber Risk Management, delivered by Peter Kahiigi, Chief Technology Officer
– Centenary Technology Services, the Board Directors were advised on new age cyber risk threats and how to manage them.
As he gave his opening remarks, Uthman Mayanja, Country Senior Partner – PwC Uganda, shared that ‘for most directors, the lines are blurred – a lot of expectation is placed on a director, sometimes without the tools to operate and succeed.’
‘We like automation and the convenience that comes from it. We don’t bother to understand how automation happens and its inherent risk. Risk comprehension is important in the rush to adopt,’ he added.
‘When we sought out Peter, to make the key note, PwC wanted a Ugandan context of Cyber risk Management – the businesses affected by cyber risk in Uganda, operate in Uganda. It was therefore a natural choice, given Peter’s global ICT experience’ Uthman concluded.
Peter, in his address, said that ‘Today, it is easier to steal electronically than it is to break into a bank, as an example, owing to the convenience that comes with digital technologies. Cyber risk management is no longer a practice to be relegated to the back of the room.’
‘As a director, you need to link cybersecurity strategy to business strategy.
Move away from checklists and quantify IT and cyber risk,’ Peter added.
The role of a Non-Executive Director (NED) is increasingly challenging with economic and geopolitical pressures, ESG concerns, supply chain issues, shareholder activism, demands for talent, loss of trust, technological advances, and growing regulatory requirements all adding to the NED burden.
At the same time, companies are having to look beyond traditional markets for growth which means that strategy is being set, and decisions being taken by the Board, in areas with which they may be less familiar.
The PwC NED programme aims to support NEDs via a series of briefings, workshops, and other one-off events to help address the need to keep up to date with Board issues and to assist directors to respond to the challenges they face. It combines the provision of expert knowledge with the invaluable sharing of experiences and ideas with peers.
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