Why failing to embrace technology in the boardroom could prove costly.
Technology has long been considered a disruptor.
In the same breath, it’s not unkind to say that organisations are generally considered somewhat stubborn and slow on the uptake. To this day, board members prefer to keep their hands on physical documents, and the time, costs, and security risks that entails.
While “…this is the way it’s been done for decades!” may be common reasoning, the seemingly allergic reaction to change is untenable in today’s modern era. Physical documents are a time and money sink. There’s no two ways about it.
They leave your organisation sitting idle and steepling its fingers.
The solution? As Stellar says, “It’s simple!”
The rise of Board Management Software isn’t just a fluke, and it certainly isn’t a fad. Instead, it’s a lifeline for boardrooms in desperate need of a modern solution that cuts costs and cuts out downtime, while improving compliance, governance, and visibility.
Board Software – Keeping members on the same page, simply
Let’s be honest, the typical board meeting isn’t the fastest, most effective, or efficient use of time. From the initial pre-meeting logistics through to last minute changes, doing things the old way directly affects your board’s ability to govern. It’s frustrating.
What’s more infuriating is when you realise there’s no need for discussions to slip from the schedule, or for members to waste time thumbing through pages for a piece of information. But then, this is just the way things work, right?
Not necessarily, no.
The ability to improve the administrative process, quite literally, sits at your fingertips. Transition to a digital environment and you’ll quickly reduce the time of rework and last minute changes, while streamlining board activities, boosting workflow efficiencies, and keeping everyone on the same page.
Visibility, compliance, and governance made easy with these 5 tech advantages
1. Assemble documents, agendas, and memos in minutes
Your board’s ability to govern relies on quickly and easily assessing all of the information at hand, so it’s no surprise that outdated processes and a mess of printed documents holds you back.
You can’t assess what you can’t find.
It gets worse. According to recent reports, staff waste “…an average of 6 hours per week searching for paper documents.”. More than that, a Nintex study examining the typical document management process found that:
- 49% struggle to find the right document.
- 33% face issues around document versioning.
- And 23% were struggling to communicate sales results to the company.
That’s a lot of wasted time, energy, and, ultimately, money…and for what? Moving out of dark ages and equipping your board with the tools it needs to alleviate these pressure is the only effective way to streamline the pre- and post-meeting processes.
2. Collaborate without the hassle
Chances are your board enters a meeting with a stack of paperwork, and leaves with that much more. Memos. Minutes. Scribbled notes between the margins. Is it any wonder administration costs are skyrocketing, with secretaries working overtime to manually track and log these changes?
Now consider an environment where these changes can be made on the fly, during board meetings, with 100% visibility? By working within a cloud based environment, your board can recoup lost time, remain on the same page, all while accessing, collaborating on, and sharing the right documents, at the right time, with the press of a button.
3. Retain control, at all times
Business moves faster now than ever, so why are you still waiting on couriers to deliver important paperwork? To be fair, existing electronic alternatives aren’t much better. In fact, they’re likely as insecure, if not moreso.
Take email, for example. Strong encryption may sound good on paper, but there’s no guarantee that your sensitive information isn’t being intercepted or accessed at the other end by unscrupulous eyes. Every day that your board continues to communicate via insecure channels, is another day closer to feeling the financial and reputation cost of a security breach.
Members and, more importantly, lawmakers don’t just expect better. They demand it. With Stellar Library’s Board Management Software, you have access to a secure sharing channel with full control over who can access, edit, or even print a document.
It completely eliminates the wait time associated with physical documents.
What’s more, it removes the risk of obsolete board papers sitting around in post boxes or inboxes.
4. Effectively govern across city, land, and sea
Technology’s blessing is also a curse. Working remotely, on the move, or across time zones is all well and good until you need to quickly share important information.
Digital technology has the ability to break down these barriers while simultaneously building virtual bridges across vast physical distances in order to deliver round-the-clock, 24/7 access to important documents when and where your board meets them.
When it comes time for your next meeting, software like Stellar keeps everyone on the same page.
And with the same versions.
Compared to the current mess of paperwork, it’s priceless.
5. Slash storage costs while keeping documents secure
How much is paper really costing you? Documents aren’t just costly to print, but also store. Recent studies have reported that a “…typical 100-person organisation…” could spend upwards of $16,800 USD just to cover the space required to store physical documents.
That figure is just for the filing cabinets, not the floor space.
The numbers are staggering.
What’s worse, documents usually need to be held for set periods of time for compliance reasons and to ensure a clean and clear auditing trail. You can’t just up and rid of them. They need to go somewhere. That’s saying nothing of the time-consuming act of actioning requests for a file stuffed away who knows where.
Now consider the alternative like that provided by Stellar. In an instant, the software’s search functionality makes it easy to search for, find, and organise documents in mere seconds, minus the physical footprint and accompanying costs.
More than that, data is encrypted and kept secure in the Cloud where it’s safe from insecure communication channels, being left on a bus, or the costly repercussions if physical documents were to go up in flames or become waterlogged in a flood.
Stellar Library is a smart choice in the boardroom
The modern boardroom requires a new solution if it’s going to face the increasing number of responsibilities – and challenges – that continue to fall under its umbrella.
You owe it to shareholders, stakeholders, and members alike to ensure you’re operating at peak capacity and performance. Stellar Library’s Board Management Software enables you to do just this, equipping you with the tools you need to embrace a paperless environment, increase security, and improve your board’s ability to govern.
As highlighted above, your board spends a lot of time waiting around.
The question is, why waste another second (or cent)?
Why it isn’t the act of falling, but rather how your organisation picks itself back up, that really counts.
In this digital age, a cybersecurity breach is as inevitable as death or taxes.
Most board of directors will lament how crippling managing the latter can be, but when it comes to a security breach? The most pressing issues is one that most boards are largely unfamiliar with, having not yet felt the effects of Malware, Phishing Scams, or Zero-Day Exploits and the havoc they can wreak for weeks, months, if not years to come.
Despite this, many corporations consider themselves well prepared to deal with an attack. In a recent survey of New Zealand organisations, for example, some 74% claimed they were reasonably well-prepared for a security incident.
This is a concerning figure, when you consider it was found that the average cyber incident response maturity of New Zealand organisations sits at just 1.7, sitting somewhere between Initial and Ad-Hoc on a 5 point scale.
Your board’s access to a wealth of highly sensitive, valuable information including client, vendor, and employee information as well as patents and intellectual property makes it a prime target. So while prevention is better than a cure, preparing for the inevitable should still sit atop your priority list.
Security Breaches Are A “When”, Not “If”
Let’s put the potential ramifications of these stats into context. According to an article published in the Cyber Security Review, “It has been estimated that half of the small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months as a result.”
To maximise your board’s security, it’s increasingly clear that an effective risk management plan and complete data security strategy cannot be considered comprehensive if it doesn’t deal with the inevitability of a potential breach. As well as what happens in the hours, days, and weeks that follow.
A delayed response doesn’t just affect the recovery process, it also highlights that your board is ill prepared for a breach of this nature, which can further harm your reputation when the last thing you need is more bad news.
Some board members may be apprehensive, seeing this as an admission of failure. The reality is far different, in fact. Being ready to act minimises downtime, limits bad press, and highlights that you’re aware of the realities of doing business in an increasingly connected world where new threats are just around the corner.
6 Steps that will help your board recover from a cybersecurity breach, with class
1. Identify the breach
Many of today’s leading hacks, attacks, and breaches rely on their ability to remain hidden, where they slowly syphon important data like board minutes, memos, meetings, or agendas, as well as intercept emails and other network communications.
Identifying these issues is a major hurdle in the road to recovery, but robust internal monitoring, tools, and systems should turn up any unusual traffic, unauthorised IP addresses, or mass login attempts, for example, ensuring they’re caught at the earliest possible time.
2. Set up virtual containment lines
Isolating the breach as well as any affected files or hardware minimises the damage and fast tracks recovery. Depending on the nature of the attack, this could include taking servers or systems offline, revoking access privileges, and updating credentials.
Limited oversight and control over who has access to what can make this task difficult, which is why it’s recommended that boards employ effective Board Management Software with a robust feature set. Stellar Library, for example, makes it easy to update or revoke access privileges for devices and data with the touch of a button.
3. Find the gap in the fence
Tasking relevant departments with identifying the weak links in the security fence is where real change is affected. The ultimate aim here is to leave your organisation in a stronger position that it started.
It isn’t uncommon to face internal pressure at this time to fast track the process, and return to business as usual at the earliest possible date. However, effective recovery can’t be rushed. Unless these flaws are addressed, your board is simply inviting repeat attacks, and soon.
4. Survey the damage
Upon triaging these digital would, it’s time to take stock and ascertain the severity of the breach. Was customer or employee data accessed? Copied? Stolen? What about sensitive information, data, or intellectual property?
Looking at it from this point of view, you’ll be able to identify whether this was simply the work of ‘Hacktivist’ hobbyist groups, or a legitimate attempt to siphon valuable data from your business.
Internal departments should be able to quickly and easily audit all internal files, folders, and other data for suspicious activity. More importantly, any affected files can then be restored from cloud backups or replicas, as outlined in your disaster recovery plan.
5. Notify those affected
In the aftermath of many of the 21st century’s largest security breaches, the silence has been deafening. Many corporations embrace a softly softly approach, which sees them talking in circles and spinning PR until the truth inevitably surfaces. In this context, recovery becomes that much more difficult.
The truth of the matter is that yes, you’re likely to face bad press post-security breach. However the long-lasting impact of a lack of transparency with press, customers, or clients, can further place your name in poor standing.
As far as is reasonable according to internal policies or country-specific laws, honesty is always the best policy. Many countries actually enact harsh consequences for non-disclosure.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, you are required to “…report certain types of personal data breach to the relevant supervisory authority. You must do this within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach, where feasible.“
An open, honest recovery is the only path to rebuilding trust in the court of public opinion. For most customers or clients, the next best thing to an organisation that’s free of issues is one that it aware of, and proactively working to solve, them when they arise.
6. Prepare for the next one
At the time it will be difficult for your board to see a data breach as anything other than a hassle, but it’s also a learning opportunity if approached in the right manner. Theoretical planning will only get you so far, but being able to work through – and recover from – a real worth security breach enables you to identify gaps in your board’s policies, procedures, and IT infrastructure.
More importantly, you can look back over how the breach was handled, how it was received, and further modify your response so that you can minimise downtime, close vulnerabilities, and keep clients better informed when – not if – there is a next time.
Secure your files with Stellar Library
Salvaging lost files, data, or sensitive information in the wake of a breach can be a headache, as can reviewing just who has access to what files, and where. Stellar Library’s board management software makes it simple, offering a secure cloud-based environment where files are kept behind digital lock-and-key by administrators who can alter permissions on the fly with the touch of a button.
Sticking the landing and saving face may be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With Stellar Library helping you securely store, share, and send your files, you’ll be better situated to recover from a breach with your files, data, and reputation intact.