Oliver Schmidt, chief audit executive at QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:QTS), joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWise 2017: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting & Finance Conference in La Quinta, California.
Schmidt participated in a REITWise panel on risk management issues.
Schmidt explained that when it comes to risk management, the audit executive plays an advisory, communication and assessor role.
Schmidt also stressed the importance of engaging with the management board to ensure alignment around what are perceived to be the key enterprise risks. The management board can provide guidance on those issues, and sometimes it will need to step in and make course corrections, Schmidt said.
As far as cybersecurity risks, Schmidt encouraged REIT executives to come up with common sense, layman’s terms to better understand technology. He also noted that executives can take advantage of many existing security frameworks that foster a good baseline for a company’s cybersecurity program.