Businesses have seen an increase in cyber threats, varying from annoyance to outright disaster, as the digital world has grown. Consequently, enterprises have seen the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) come into the limelight, as these threats evolve and permute.
COVID-19 had a significant impact on the field of cybersecurity, heightening the threat to businesses that are progressively moving assets online and outside the protection of a firewall. In this new reality, where cyber-attacks are frequent and security barriers are permeable, keeping businesses safe requires more than just protection.
Threat actors have had a field day with the pandemic since businesses have had to hastily set up remote working infrastructure to serve their dispersed workforces. This has provided sufficient time for new vulnerabilities to be uncovered, while hackers have also taken advantage of the public’s fear about COVID-19, making them vulnerable to social engineering attacks.
The complex role of the CISO
Securing data from cyber-attacks — a long-time goal of CISOs is crucial in a world where data is a primary value-creation asset for organizations. Cyber risk has risen to the top of the senior leadership team’s and board meetings’ agendas. At the same time, most company leaders do not consider the CISO to be a member of the C-suite. Instead, many people regard the position as a technology function that is unrelated to the company’s overall strategy.
Another intricacy for CISOs is the existence of related but distinct jobs. Many firms have a chief digital officer in charge of leading the digital transformation, as well as a chief data officer in charge of using the data generated by digitalization to acquire more insights and offer more value. These responsibilities frequently collide, resulting in complexity and conflict, as well as mutual reliance. As companies accelerate their transformations, all things “digital” and “data” migrate from their traditional home in IT to becoming recognized as the organization’s key value-creation asset. At the same time, these digital and data responsibilities are shifting to serve the organization’s strategic business goals. It’s all too easy for CISOs to fall back into their conventional duty as corporate data protectors in the face of such complexity.
Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in the present world
The rising presence of a remote workforce is one way that the CISO function has transformed. The complexity of security management has increased as the network perimeter has grown. The usage of personal computing devices that are introduced into the business network adds to the complexity.
Cloud computing has brought about yet another change to the CISO profession. Not only have the employees been relocated, but the whole data center has been relocated as well. In some ways, this has simplified the CISO’s job by alleviating some of the strain of managing an on-premise data center. However, the added responsibility of securing data outside of the company boundaries offsets this simplicity, posing new hurdles and making the CISO role even more challenging. One of the most significant obstacles is that cloud computing produces infrastructure fluidity that can quickly outstrip strategic planning.
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