Experience in overseeing the growing threat of cybersecurity risk is among the key attributes boards will look for when appointing their next new corporate director, according to the 11th annual “What Directors Think” survey, a comprehensive report on boardroom trends.

The survey was released by NYSE Governance Services, a source on governance, risk, ethics and compliance practices, and Spencer Stuart, a senior executive search firm. It highlights the elusive nature of cyber risk, with 20 percent of directors lacking confidence in their board’s understanding of the many facets of cyber threats.

The nationwide survey of about 600 corporate directors found that a background in information technology was one of the top four attributes boards would look for when appointing their next new director, along with financial expertise, industry expertise and CEO experience.

Overall, boards indicated they were confident in their ability to monitor cyber risks. Still, about 40 percent acknowledged there was room to improve knowledge and understanding of risk oversight in general.

“Risk oversight has always been a key focus for boards, but with developments in technology and the rise of social media, many are reassessing their skill set or partnering with organizations that specialize in risk management,” Jean-Marc Levy, NYSE Euronext head of Global Issuer Services, said in a statement. “We’re currently working with a range of companies that want to better understand risk and put processes in place for managing it.”

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