The Cyber Savvy Boardroom: Essentials Explained

Cybersecurity has become a critical strategic issue that boards of directors must understand and oversee.

Cybersecurity literacy is critical for today’s boards

To fully leverage digital transformation and its potential for business growth, leaders in boardrooms must possess a practical, foundational understanding of cybersecurity. Such knowledge is crucial for all business owners, including small businesses that often lack the resources to implement robust security programs or withstand cyberattacks.

Providing board directors with the necessary cybersecurity knowledge will:

  1. Enhance businesses’ capacity to embark on successful digital journeys
  2. Create meaningful conversations about cybersecurity among board directors, CEOs, and technical staff members
  3. Provide a clear understanding of basic terms and concepts that otherwise are not well understood or have variable interpretations
  4. Outline a clear explanation of the cybersecurity landscape that effectively organizes the topic, provides a coherent structure, and lays the groundwork for future learning.

Prefer a hardcover?

No problem! Get a physical copy of the book on Amazon.

For Homaira and Shamla, this book is an act of giving back. Any proceeds received will be donated directly to charitable causes.

“Cybersecurity is definitely a hot topic for boards of directors everywhere. The Cyber Savvy Boardroom is a must-read about the risks and rewards of cybersecurity.”

—Ana Botín, Executive Chair, Santander Group

“This book should be read at least once by each Board of Directors to get a full view of cybersecurity and how organizations should be protected. On the basis of these focused explanations, all Board members can reach out to their CISO and expect to fully understand the risk in their business.”

—Bernard Gavgani, Group CIO, BNP Paribas

“Cybersecurity knowledge is now essential at the board level, especially for risk management. This book therefore is a must read. It translates a complicated topic with many nuances into easily understood concepts that help every board director feel better prepared.”

—John Thompson, Partner, Lightspeed Ventures, and former Chair, Microsoft

“Much has been written about cybersecurity. But this excellent, thoughtful and practical book puts the issues in proper perspective. A good read for any board member.”

—Seifi Ghasemi, CEO, Air Products

About the authors

Homaira Akbari

President and CEO of AKnowledge Partners, LLC

Dr. Homaira Akbari is President and CEO of AKnowledge Partners, LLC, a global strategy advisory firm providing services to private equity funds and corporations in digital transformation and technology sectors of Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Energy Transition, and FinTech. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN) and Landstar System (NASDAQ: LSTR).

Dr. Akbari has held senior management roles in Fortune 1000 companies including Microsoft, Thales, and Liberty Media subsidiary, Trueposition. Dr. Akbari has served as the President and CEO of SkyBitz, Inc., a leading IoT company providing asset tracking and security solutions. Under her leadership, the company had record performance. She successfully sold SkyBitz to Telular Corporation (NASDAQ: WRLS).

She holds a Ph.D. with honors in particle physics from Tufts University and an MBA with distinction from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. She is the author of more than 50 scientific articles in international journals, has two patents in IoT, and is a frequent speaker in industry conferences. She has published numerous governance and technology Opinion Editorials and Podcasts, and most recently co-authored the book: The Cyber Savvy Boardroom.

Throughout her life, Dr. Akbari has been active in and a contributor to many non-profit organizations. She is currently a member of Business Board of Advisors for Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, and a member of Executive Board of Trustees of, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to promote French culture, art and language.

Shamla Naidoo

Head of Cloud Strategy at Netskope, Inc.

Shamla Naidoo is a technology industry veteran with experience helping businesses across diverse sectors and cultures use technology more effectively. She has successfully embraced and led digital strategy in executive leadership roles such as Global CISO, CIO, VP, and Managing Partner, at companies like IBM, Anthem (Wellpoint), Marriott (Starwood), and Northern Trust.

Shamla has helped organizations in over 20 countries recognize the impact of digital transformation globally and advise their stakeholders on predicting and navigating the necessary changes in laws and regulations. In addition, she has worked with intelligence communities to use digital and cyber within their organizations to protect businesses and society from technology misuse.

Shamla remains actively engaged in the industry, with organizations like the Security Advisor Alliance, the Shared Security Assessments Group, Institute for Applied Network Security (IANS), Executive Women’s Forum (EWF), HMG Strategy Group, and the Round Table Network. In addition, she is an influential member of the legal community, creating and teaching courses on law, technology, and privacy for the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. She frequently speaks at the American Bar Association and formerly served as the Committee Chair on Legal Technology for the Illinois State Bar Association. As a practitioner, teacher and coach, she enjoys the opportunity to help seasoned professionals to take their careers to the next level.

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