The role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is more demanding now than it has been in the past due to the frequent changes occurring not just from a regulatory standpoint but also from a threat viewpoint.
Today’s CISO is responsible for not just creating technical standards and security policies, but also assuring customers that their data is secure and demonstrating security measures to regulators. Many people are finding it difficult to make the change because they were given these tasks without any actual authority or visibility within their firms. To properly fulfill their tasks, they will also require a new set of talents.
Here are a few ways that CISOs can be more efficient in their daily operations.
Be nimble and adaptable
Despite the fact that information security is more visible and has a larger range of responsibilities than in the past, the CISO still needs to contend with the organization’s limited resources and attention span. Looking for innovative ideas, being ready to respond swiftly, and removing controls that are no longer needed are all effective strategies.
CISOs should push their staff to never say “no” to the company but to instead collaborate to find other solutions. CISOs must also assess all visible security measures during their first 30 days on the job and attempt to eliminate those that are superfluous or may be handled in a minimally intrusive manner.
Try to strike a balance between opportunity and risk
Many firms have battled with digital transformation, and there is a tendency to overestimate technology’s capabilities. A smart CISO can assess the virtues of an opportunity against the risk tolerance of a company and estimate the cost of effectively covering it. It’s critical to be able to weigh the danger of data theft or failure to comply with rules against the possible financial benefits of a new piece of technology, a new project, or a policy change, otherwise, security worries will stall the firm.
Interaction with stakeholders based on empathy
Top-performing CISOs, according to Gartner, meet with three times as many non-IT stakeholders as they do IT stakeholders on a regular basis. Other business unit executives are also important partners for effective CISOs. This means that CISOs who only talk on a technical level will be unable to engage with the rest of the enterprise.
Empathy is a crucial component of relationship-building and productive interactions with stakeholders. When speaking with other stakeholders, CISOs must be able to empathize. They should be aware of their priorities and converse on their terms. They should, however, use those conversations to help them set priorities.
It’s critical to remember that these stakeholders have their own objectives. Understanding their objectives, priorities, and roadblocks will aid in the development of meaningful and fruitful discussions.
Communication is an essential aspect of effective leadership. A CISO with strong communication skills will lead and encourage those around them, which is especially crucial in the field of security, which can be perceived as a dry subject by some. However, incentive only lasts so long; CISOs must make security a pervasive part of the workplace. To do so, effective CISOs must first make security a more understandable and accepted topic for all, which they may do through leading by influence. Other executives can be influenced by CISOs to manage security concerns. Non-IT executives become more actively involved in security as a result of being given such a role.
A CISO’s duty should also include creating a cybersecurity culture from the top down in order to instill the concept of security throughout the firm. CISOs make the organization safer by reducing the risk of insider attacks by fostering a cybersecurity awareness culture throughout the organization.