How to Improve Working Relationships between the CISO and the C-Suite

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How to Improve Working Relationships between the CISO and the C-Suite

In 2020, when the workforce transitioned from the in-office to a remote working set-up, cybersecurity became everyone’s concern. The chief information security officer (CISO) became the center of attention as it is their responsibility to keep enterprises operational and secure. In many organizations, this means balancing a full digital transformation with efficient remote cybersecurity.

The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a relatively new addition to the C-Suite. It’s also one that’s still figuring out where it fits amid the more established leadership roles. The CISO’s presence at the executive table will be required if firms continue to deploy a remote or hybrid workforce. However, the working relationship between the CISO and other members of the C-suite should change in order to enable them to protect against cyber-attacks.

CISO and CEO need to speak the same language

The CISO is a critical organization defender who bears the full weight of the organization’s data security. Best defense practices are critical to the smooth running of a company. The only way the CISO can do their job is with the CEO’s full support. As a result, CEOs cannot afford to disregard their digital defenses any more. It is the CEO’s responsibility to ensure that the CISO and security team have the funding and resources including the right technology and manpower to address today’s challenges. It is also the CEO’s responsibility to ensure that the CISO has the authority to make necessary decisions.

Also Read: Three Critical Factors for Keeping Enterprises Safe from Cyber Threats

The majority of CISOs serve as a link between the business and technical side. As a result, they should be able to communicate in both their languages. All communications with the Business head need to be in a business language, and minimum technical jargon. Effective messaging is crucial in this situation, and it should go in both directions.

Collaboration with the CFO

While the CEO can approve budgets for each department, it is the CFO who decides how that money is distributed. It can be more difficult to persuade the CFO of the necessity for security-related resources than it is to persuade the CEO.

Since CFOs want hard data, one strategy is to design a security plan that examines a previous time (say 12-18 months). The CISO can show the threats that were guarded against, how they were defended against, and where attackers were aiming in that strategy. The CISO and CFO can construct a plan for the coming fiscal year using this information. Regular assessments can ensure that there are no unpleasant shocks when the next budget proposal arrives.

Also Read: Addressing the Cybersecurity Threat to Industrial Control Systems

The CIO and the CISO

In 2020 and 2021, the relationship between the CIO and the CISO will be more important than ever. The CIO is majorly responsible for ensuring that the workforce got the digital tools they required for their remote offices, while the CISO is responsible for ensuring that those technologies remain secure.

During remote work, several businesses and agencies adopted a zero-trust strategy. For zero trust to be successful, the CIO and the CISO should work together to set up the proper access and authorization for each ID within the network. Furthermore, both need to have a thorough understanding of each device and platform that needs access.

Remote work, in some form or another, is here to stay. The CISO’s tight collaboration with C-suite partners is the only way to keep organizations running properly.

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