The time for a Business-Savvy CISO is here

Business-Savvy CISO

The job responsibilities of the CISO have undergone a dramatic change in the wake of the coronavirus. It’s no longer about just security, enterprises today seek business-savvy CISOs that not only can keep their security resilient, but also have an eye and understanding of the enterprises’ business operations.

The term business-savvy identifies a leader who has a comprehensive approach to business strategies. It also takes into account the employee’s knowledge about an enterprise’s mission and vision, the industry and the ability to be in charge of the enterprise’s business deliverables. In short, as the business landscape is dynamically changing, enterprises are looking for CISOs who not only can consult on the enterprise’s cybersecurity, but also understand and provide insights that take into account all business aspects.

According to the Pandemic Business Impact Survey, the CEOs’ top priorities for IT leaders include the ability to:

  • Successfully implement digital business initiatives
  • Improve and Enhance remote work experiences and
  • Boost the enterprise’s resiliency by upgrading its IT and data security infrastructure

To sustain the business and find ways to increase growth and revenue, enterprises have taken initiatives to increase collaboration between all the departments. This increases interoperability aimed at providing a holistic view to CISO, so that they have an insight on all aspects of business operations. It helps them to understand the enterprise goals and risks and enables them to create security strategies around these factors.

Required Qualities

One of the reasons why there’s an increasing demand for business-savvy CISO is to support the higher management in getting a clear picture regarding its cyber vulnerabilities and a view on the technological capabilities to handle it. Having a member who can provide information and communicate the threats to business with stakeholders, can immensely improve and safeguard business performance.

Read More: Accenture Study – Nearly 20% of Global Companies are Cyber Resilient Leaders

When it comes to the personal trait of business-savvy CISO, self-awareness takes the top spot. Clearly, the CISO should have high emotional intelligence and the ability to interpret and adjust their message to a wide range of audiences. A self-aware CISO can develop strategies that align with other C-suite executives, have in-depth discussions about the enterprise’s technology, and inspire employees to recognize and avoid risky behaviors.

Another essential skill of a business-savvy CISO is storytelling. Enterprises are always on a lookout for CISO who can share real-life risk scenarios, from experiences and anecdotes- which he or she can spin into a case story.  Also, CISOs who can tell compelling business stories about their journey so far; how they approached a problem at hand, which strategies they implemented, and how it enhanced their previous employers to substantially increase their growth, helps give clarity to an employer.

Read More: Cybersecurity – Enterprises Are Still Struggling to Prioritize Security Vulnerabilities

It helps the enterprise to learn about CISO’s thought process on how to meet these challenges, in order to identify a potential candidate best.

In today’s cut-throat job market, enterprises are picky about hiring leaders, at a huge cost, and are looking for excellent abilities to fight their enterprise problems.  Today, with business not so great, that investment needs to be completely justified- and there’s a very narrow window of opportunity for a CISO to land the job. Apart from the technological knowledge and skills, knowing the business side of an enterprise and being able to communicate the critical information and how they can be an asset to the team by telling a great story, are the essential traits for CISOs to make them indispensible to their employers.