Why 2021 is the Year of the Transformational CISO

Why 2021 is the Year of the Transformational CISO-01

The year 2020 expedited digital transformation remarkably. With the COVID-19 outbreak, companies of all sizes rapidly shifted to digital platforms to be in the race and scale up to the next level. However, this unforeseeable situation put IT teams under tremendous pressure. Despite the hassle of the new remote working environment, they delivered the impossible.

With more and more businesses going digital, the role of CISOs now has become more challenging than ever. Therefore, CEOs are expected to provide CISOs with all the required resources and finances. CISOs are considered to be the greatest assets in the digital age, and increasingly critical to the organization, since they carry the accountability for the data security of the whole company. The relationship between the CEO and CISO is a two-way street like every other relationship, placing CISOs as a game-changer at the C-level.

Let’s take a look at a few ways how CISOs can position themselves and their teams as transformational leaders across their organizations.

Security Strategy is Necessity to Find Risk Blind Spots

It is critical to understand how to identify risk blind spots while developing an effective security strategy. For all CISOs, identifying these areas of weakness should be the topmost priority. Amid the pandemic, many businesses were majorly hit because of the failure of identifying risk blind spots hovering around their business. Some companies miserably failed due to the security gaps after going digital overnight and apparently had no solutions to close them. Therefore, CISOs must have inside-out and outside-in perspectives about everything to deliver high-end solutions to their companies in the midst of the crisis.

Also Read: Effective Security Strategies for CISOs to Consider

Set a Benchmark to Compare Security Stack

It is possible to identify risk blind spots only if CISOs have a point of reference for comparison. Almost every security leader leverages a common security framework such as NIST 800-53 or ISO in order to set a benchmark against their peers and industry standards. CISOs are advised to assess their stack for two main reasons – for the gaps in coverage representing blind spots and for overlaps in coverage representing areas for cost optimization. The primary step to secure stacks is to understand how it measures up to security standards.

Technical Proficiency and Business Expertise

CISOs need to perform two distinct roles: technical and business. They should be proficient in communication and must have in-depth knowledge about the highly technical jargon used within the industry. Besides, they should be able to translate that jargon into something their CEOs and other stakeholders understand and care about. Moreover, CISOs are responsible for bridging the gap between two different teams speaking two different languages.

Also Read: How a CISO’s Executive Role Has Evolved Overtime 

To do that, CISOs can depend on business metrics and compliance metrics. Compliance metrics, including stack and standard comparisons, are needed to demonstrate the security of the stack. Besides, these technical metrics roll up and illustrate the impact on overall business metrics like customer experience and corporate social responsibility which accelerate the overall business growth.

Indeed, 2021 is the year of the transformational CISO. With proper technology and processes in place, CISOs are capable of finding, funding, and fixing security gaps from 2020.

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