Elevating Information Security: Why Your Business Needs an "Information Security Committee"

Explore the vital role of an "Information Security Committee" in corporate governance through Roshan's blog post. Discover how this committee can enhance information security, protect sensitive data, and promote transparency within company boards.


Roshan Yacob George CISA CISSP CFE

11/11/20232 min read

oval brown wooden conference table and chairs inside conference room
oval brown wooden conference table and chairs inside conference room

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the need for robust information security has never been more critical. Yet, many organizations continue to treat information security as a peripheral function, akin to internal audit teams, often seen as fault-finders or finger-pointers. This blog post discusses the essential step of establishing an Information Security Committee within your organization, highlighting its importance and benefits.

The Auditing Paradox

Internal audit teams and information security functions often share a common fate - they're both tasked with safeguarding critical aspects of the business, but their roles are often misunderstood and underappreciated. While internal audit teams are responsible for overseeing financial matters, their independence is preserved through the existence of an Audit Committee composed of independent directors. This separation ensures that they can report objectively, regardless of their administrative placement within the organization.

In India, numerous companies have established internal audit teams as a response to regulatory requirements from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. However, a substantial number of these organizations have overlooked a crucial step – the creation of an Audit Committee with independent directors. An internal audit team without an Audit Committee falls short of effective corporate governance, which can have serious implications.

The Imperative of Information Security

In today's digital age, information security is more crucial than ever. Most businesses heavily rely on information technology, making their data and processes vulnerable to a wide range of cyber threats. The Information Security team plays a pivotal role in safeguarding this critical data and ensuring the smooth functioning of IT-driven operations.

One of the primary functions of the Information Security team is to introduce changes to existing processes to enhance security. However, for this team to be effective, they need the right support and recognition within the organization. Just like the Audit Committee provides independence and support to the internal audit function, it's time to consider a similar structure for information security.

The Case for an Information Security Committee

To give information security the prominence it deserves, businesses should consider establishing an Information Security Committee composed of independent directors. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) should ideally report directly to the Chairman of the Information Security Committee. This structural change acknowledges the significance of information security and its independence in ensuring the security of critical business assets.

Why It Matters

In a world where data breaches and cyber threats are ever-present, elevating the status of the Information Security function within your business is not merely a best practice but a necessity. By doing so, you not only enhance your company's resilience against cyber threats but also demonstrate your commitment to effective corporate governance and safeguarding the trust of your stakeholders.

In conclusion, an Information Security Committee is more than just a symbolic gesture; it's a tangible step toward fortifying your organization's defenses in an increasingly digital world. It's a strategic move that not only protects your business but also fosters a culture of vigilance and preparedness. So, it's time to ask: Is your organization ready to elevate its information security to the level it deserves?