Reporting the hack to the board of directors
As a CISO Craft a summary including the details of a breach and what you and General Dynamics are doing to identify, isolate, and remedy that hack. This is an executive summary, a brief summary of statements that are clearly and plainly written to show upper management the main points of a situation so that they need not read an entire report or brief on a matter. Imagine that you only have one hour to brief the entire organizational board (CEO, CSO, CFO, etc.) on the situation and they will need part of that hour to ask questions on what you present. This is a very brief, complete (including what you do and do not know) statement of the situation up to this point in time.
These are the elements to consider:
• You discover the organization had been hacked (and may still be under attack).
• You have no idea how long this has been going on, the level of damage, the persistence of the hack, and what (if anything) has been compromised.
• You have learned that some hackers may gain access to network resources and stay relatively inactive until there is something of value to steal or exploit. Other hackers seek to embarrass or steal quickly, hoping to have immediate benefit from the access gained. You do not know which type of situation you have, what type of hacker(s) you are dealing with, if it is a lone instance or if there are multiple exploits across your organization’s vast network.
• You found a way to answer at least some of these questions quickly. While you may not have all the answers, you have identified some characteristics of this hack and need a plan to move forward, which must include isolation of all access and compromised systems, identification of hacking methods used (i.e. what was successful and what was not), and if the hack is a compromise that must be reported per the governance required of General Dynamics.
• Share a basic plan for identifying the extent of the damage/access/breach. What was the goal? What can be done to immediately triage the General Dynamic’s network? What specific steps can be taken? Who should be notified? Do you alert your customers/patients/students/stakeholders?
The following resource may be helpful in determining what to include and what tone to use for the summary of the hack.
Markowitz, E. (2010). How to write an executive summary. Inc. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/guides/2010/09/how-to-write-an-executive-summary.html.
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