What is a CISO?
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The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is the primary responsible for a company’s cyber security initiatives. CISOs are technologists who can also participate in high-level business strategies. CISOs ensure that IT systems meet regulatory and security requirements. A C(I)SO is the highest ranking Cyber executive in an organization. The role of CISO requires a combination technical and soft skills such as leadership, business acumen, communication, and relationship building.
WHAT IS A CISO?
Before we get into the details of cyber chiefs’ career paths it is important to understand the nature and scope of the role. Here are 6 facts about the CISO role:
Cybersecurity Leadership Demystified: CISO
How to Become a CISO
There is no path to CISO. This is true, but it is important to hire the right people. Although CISO was once a core cybersecurity role, it is now a more important job that requires business leadership and risk management.
A CISO must be able help executives at the C-suite understand risk and how it affects them. Enterprise CISOs must have the ability to explain security to non-techies, establish and maintain critical relationships, and communicate at both the operational and senior levels. Soft skills are essential for evangelizing security initiatives, celebrating successes, and expressing them as business outcomes.
Soft skills are essential for evangelizing the agenda, celebrating wins, and communicating those results as business outcomes. Those CISOs with these skills can’sell security to their peers and other business executives. Who can become a CISO?
Who should not be a CISO?
As a trusted security advisor, I have had the pleasure of meeting many CISOs who didn’t know much about cybersecurity. Unfortunately, those CISOs were the ones who needed the most help. CISO’s should not just be hired based upon their experience within the company or as program delivery managers. CISO’s can be more than just a delivery manager, politician, or someone who knows how to network well to get the “hot seat” that pays well. I’m sure they will find ex-CEOs who blame interns for weak passwords in the organizations they lead. ( Read the news article here : 2021/02/26/politics/solarwinds123-password-intern/index.html )
Many CISO’s were dependent on our “advisory”. They were great leaders, but didn’t know what was happening in cyberspace.
CISOs should be aware of the areas that are most important to them.
Responsibilities of the CISO
Some of the daily tasks of CISO’s include:
Security OperationsReal-time analysis and triage of immediate threats.
Cyber-risk and Cyber Intelligence Keeping the board informed about emerging security threats and helping them to understand potential security issues that could arise from acquisitions and other large business moves
Data Loss Prevention and Fraud PreventionMaking certain that internal staff don’t misuse or steal data
Security ArchitecturePlanning, buying, and rolling out security hardware and software, and making sure IT and network infrastructure is designed with best security practices in mind.
Management of Identity and Access
Program Management Stay ahead of security requirements by implementing programs and projects that mitigate risks, such as regular system patches.
Investigations and ForensicsDetermining the cause of a breach, dealing if they are internal, and planning to prevent another one.
Governance – Ensure that all the above-mentioned initiatives run smoothly and receive the funding they require. Corporate leadership must also be aware of their importance.
CISO Responsibilities – CISO : Cybersecurity Leadership Decoded by Erdal Ozkaya
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