With new technology, vulnerabilities, and threats, the role of CISO continues to expand. While the scope of a CISO’s responsibilities is broadening, the good news is that the position is becoming more strategic within enterprises, which is not surprising given the present state of affairs.
Information security has evolved from an essential capability to an unappealing expense. Without it, businesses are vulnerable to the escalating threats posed by hackers, hacktivists, and hacking groups, some of which are linked to organized crime.
In fact, cyber-terrorism and cyber warfare are now existential risks to all businesses, regardless of their size or industry. While cybersecurity will never be a core competency in most enterprises, businesses can drive a smart strategy by hiring the right CISO.
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Firewalls were the first line of defense in cybersecurity, followed by IDSes, honey pots, and other tools. The security fabric of a company should be planned in tandem with hacker strategies. A tactical approach to cybersecurity, on the other hand, has proven to be unwise.
Technology, processes, practices, and people should all be covered by a cybersecurity strategy. Of course, CISOs should place the cybersecurity strategy in the context of the organization’s goals as a business, the resources available to secure it, and the existing and desired future status of cybersecurity.
A CISO needs to be a strategist with a seat at the executive table and the interpersonal abilities to effectively collaborate with other departments. If this is the case, that person is more likely to become an enabler rather than an impediment to growth. In short, the CISO should assist the company in achieving its strategic objectives while minimizing potential risks.
The function of a CISO is also crucial for corporate resiliency. While a good CISO won’t be able to control what bad actors do, they can assist their company to prepare for the most common threats. When adversity hits, the incident response will follow a plan rather than devolve into anarchy.
Since the CIO’s domain has been the launch point for many sorts of attacks, the CISO and CIO should work closely together at all times. While other strategies, such as phishing and social engineering, can affect all sections of the business, the CISO and CIO can collaborate to build a more secure technological stack that is less likely to be penetrated. As some recent attacks have shown, unpatched and obsolete software can have disastrous consequences, which is why some vendors are promoting their consumers to “upgrade” to SaaS versions of their products.
In addition to CIOs, CISOs should collaborate closely with other members of the C-suite to ensure that the company as a whole and cybersecurity, in particular, remain resilient. The CISO, like other C-suite positions, is in charge of a certain budget.
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The CISO, like CIOs, has reached the point where they need to be a business leader. Most recently, this has included assisting with digital transformation for CIOs. Since every organization today is a software company, the CIO has been forced to take on a business leadership position that promotes the growth of a digital business.
Smart CISOs have changed the conversation by “managing by walking around” – enquiring about what different parts of the company are trying to accomplish and how they might help. Their purpose is to become a valued partner who assists other departments in achieving their objectives in a safe manner. Instead of saying “no,” they explore secure solutions that satisfy consumers’ needs while adhering to cybersecurity standards.
Finally, because effective cybersecurity necessitates vigilance on everyone’s part, CISOs can and should play a leadership role in creating a cyber-risk-aware culture that pervades the organization. As a result, CISOs should be in charge of cyber hygiene training for all employees.
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