Just as cybercriminals see an opportunity to break into systems, CISOs have the opportunity to play a larger role at the executive level. Due to the arrival of covid, cyber-attacks have increased, especially those of ransomware type, this is because companies are rushed by the pandemic to digitally transform organizations forgetting a very important factor, which is the “CYBERSECURITY“.
But you may be wondering… What are CISOs?
Chief Information Security Officer or Chief Information Security Officer, are part of the well-known C-Level of large and medium-sized organizations. They are responsible for overseeing the strategic, operational and budgetary aspects of data management and protection. They also manage teams of IT analysts, information security specialists and comparable professionals to identify, neutralize and eliminate threats.
Responsibilities of a CISO
The responsibilities of a CISO may extend to the following functional domains of the organization:
End-to-end security operations:
A CISO must contribute to the design and approval of a comprehensive security strategy. The strategy will take into account the end-to-end lifecycle of information security operations, which include:
- IT Threat Landscape Assessment
- Design policies and controls to reduce risk
- Leading audit and compliance initiatives
The CISO must ensure that his or her organization adapts to evolving compliance regulations. This is especially crucial for global organizations that must comply with a variety of different regulations, and non-compliance can come at a significant cost; one example is GDPR.
Human resource management:
Responsibilities begin with establishing the proper criteria and mechanism for hiring employees with knowledge and awareness of the security risks they face in their daily work routine. These include, among others:
- Verification checks for job applicants
- Safety education and training program
- Identity and access management policies
The CISO is responsible for evaluating business opportunities against security risks that can potentially compromise long-term financial rewards. The CISO defines an optimal trade-off between the opportunities and risks associated with information security projects that would protect the long-term growth of the organization.
Teams and their managers routinely use documentation to follow security best practices and organizational policies to respond to security-sensitive business situations. Therefore, the CISO must ensure that the documentation is up to date according to current organizational policy.
Disaster recovery and business continuity:
The CISO is responsible for resilience in the face of cyber-attacks. According to a recent IBM research study, the average time to detect a breach ranges from 150 to 287 days, depending on the industry vertical. Cyber resilience is not only about preventing and defending against information security attacks, but also about recovering quickly from security breaches.
The cyber resilience is the ability of a company to adapt and continue with its functions and work in situations of risk. How to act and how to manage the situation efficiently affecting as little as possible the overall performance of the company.
What attributes does a CISO need?
- Executive presence: The CISO must have the executive presence to effectively represent the organization’s position with respect to information security and the ability to influence executives. They must be able to identify and assess threats and then translate the risks into language that executives can understand.
- Business knowledge: The CISO needs to understand the business operations and the critical data the organization is trying to protect. You need to view business operations from a risk versus security perspective and implement controls to minimize risk and business disruptions.
- Security knowledge: A CISO must be able to understand complex security configurations and reports from a technical perspective, and then be able to translate the relevant technical details into language that other executives can understand.
Does every organization need a CISO?
It would be good for every company to have a CISO, the role played by the CISO is very fundamental to the functioning of an organization, regardless of industry and size. However, a small/medium business may not be able to justify a dedicated CISO. In those cases, it might make sense for the CIO to assume the responsibilities of a CISO and leverage outside consultants to provide guidance and expertise.
What is the future of the CISO?
One thing is certain: the critical role of data security is unlikely to diminish any time soon. Nearly all CISOs (94%) believe that how organizations manage and use customer data will be as important as the quality of products and services when it comes to attracting customers in the future.
Maintaining high levels of data security means that CISOs will spend much more time interacting with the rest of the business. Consultant KPMG says the CISO of the future will be an outward-looking role, making decisions that not only relate to technical controls and security processes, but also consider ethics, independence, consumer confidence and even national resilience and economic security.
Do you have any advice about CISOs? If so, feel free to let us know below in the comments.