The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is responsible for the organization’s cybersecurity policies and initiatives.
With cyber threats has grown manifold over the last few quarters, it falls on the CISO to double up as a security head as well as a great trainer and policymaker for the company. With this kind of significant responsibility, CISOs today need to be a little extra of everything – more intuitive, more agile, and faster with actionable and decisions. Here are a few factors that help CISOs to be more effective in their day-to-day activities across the organizations.
The Ability to Clearly Communicate Business Risks and Hence Priorities
CISOs, cyber teams, and their partners will not be able to mitigate or remediate every risk that the company faces. Focus is essential, and it should always be on the threats and exposures that are most likely to affect the business’s most important goals.
CISOs must be able to explain to executives and board members how cyber threats could explode into huge business risks. They need to have the ability to share the risks on the ground, in order to get buy-in from leadership and outline strategic priorities around cyber resilience as they communicate threats.
Communication with external auditors regarding the risk to data and intellectual property is often part of the work. First and foremost, businesses must be capable of risk management because they have a fiduciary duty to protect the company as a defender.
Control the human error factor
CISOs need to have the ability to keep systems safe while still making them simple to use for business professionals. As security professionals, especially in the CISO role, they must always keep in mind that everything they do is to protect the company, but not at the expense of people’s ability to work. The CISO should “democratize security” by giving people in areas like finance and HR with intuitive tools they need to work safely. At the same time, the human error factor- essentially the biggest security risk company faces- need to be aptly dealt with and communicated to every user.
Organizations must be extra cautious when allocating funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, so a CISO must be able to convince the financial planners of the company- the CFO. The decision-makers for budget allocations need to understand the huge business risk lack of proper security tools creates- and it’s the CISOs job to articulate that risk. In some cases, it is also helpful for a CISO to have a better understanding of the financials involved- an n ability that technologists traditionally do not possess. It might then be a good idea to acquire some formal financial planning training, to be able to articulate business risks better.
Understand Process Management
A CISO must also be familiar with process management, which includes things like eliminating or adding personnel to reduce security risks. If this is not done in a correct manner, companies risk debilitating business liabilities. Businesses must ensure that the process is not only tested and refined but that it is also reviewed on a regular basis because things might have changed.
It is crucial that dissatisfied employees do not become a security risk for the organization, so a big part of the CISO’s ability is also to guard against that risk.