The Role of a Modern CISO – Steering Through Challenges

The Role of a Modern CISO - Steering Through Challenges-01

The cybersecurity landscape has been dramatically reshaped by the constantly evolving cyber-attacks and the demands of C-suite executives to strengthen the enterprise infrastructure. For modern CISOs, this has created new challenges that require them to adopt strong strategies to effectively navigate them.

The past couple of years have witnessed an explosion in cyber-attacks. As per a McAfee report from 2021 titled “Cybercrime in a Pandemic World: The Impact of COVID-19,” 81% of global organizations have experienced an increase in cyber-threats since the pandemic. 

While IT professionals are under tremendous stress to keep the infrastructure up and running, the lives of security professionals are no different, or worse when considering their counterparts. CISOs have been constantly scrutinized and many were let go by the organizations due to their inability to effectively handle ongoing crises. 

Even though modern CISOs have been given the seat at the table and the opportunity to influence the board, navigating the advancing threats while keeping up with the business requirements is not an easy feat to achieve. Therefore, it is essential that security professionals in the shoes of modern CISOs incorporate specific strategies that will enable them to steer in an increasingly uncertain enterprise world.

Make the business case for cybersecurity

While being a modern CISO can make it difficult for individuals to handle sophisticated attacks along with meeting stakeholders’ demands, it can also provide them with an opportunity to make a business case for cybersecurity. Additionally, it can also help to dictate where the investment is concentrated.

Also Read: Top Four Things the Modern CISO Wants Their Board to Understand

From safeguarding the touch points of human interactions to conducting adaptive and in-depth awareness training of cybersecurity, modern CISOs should communicate the importance of such defenses. Additionally, they should help their counterparts understand the negative consequences of not implementing these measures in the first place.

Being Adaptable

With the remote work model here to stay, along with growing interest in ‘work from anywhere’ mentality, as well as constantly evolving technologies, being adaptable to all these changes has never been more important for security professionals, especially modern CISOs.

To maintain their relationship with their board as well as their cybersecurity team, CISOs should strike a balance between constant innovation and advancement of their strategic initiatives while simultaneously strengthening their security maturity adaptable enough to stop as well as a pivot as required. 

Not getting influenced by noise

The surge in cyber-attacks in recent years has influenced CISOs to focus their efforts on being cyber resilient. However, most of them have taken this too far and are always in the mindset of ‘when, not if’ if a security incident occurs. 

While it can help CISOs prepare for security incidents, it can also keep them one step behind their adversaries if they spend most of their time responding to the chaos. Additionally, allowing events to impact them or being under constant pressure for fear of a breach, can lead to incorrect preventative measures and demoralize the team. 

Therefore, modern CISO should keep these factors in mind before developing or proceeding with the overall strategy. 

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