As the threats and number of cyber-attacks are rapidly increasing, CISOs need to comfortably adopt the traits of a transformational CISO to sustain themselves and their enterprise for an uncertain future.
Enterprise leaders have been under immense pressure to drive the digital transformation at an unprecedented pace. Though today’s enterprise leaders, especially the CIOs with different technological stack to meet the enterprise’s infrastructure needs, the pressure on CISO to keep them secure against cyber-attacks is only increasing.
Also, as most enterprises have become extremely sensitive about their budget, CISO is shorthanded and has to work with the limited resources at their disposal while juggling the constantly changing responsibilities and threats.
Clearly, today’s CISO must adopt the traits of transformational leaders, and effectively deal with current pressures while also improving and enhancing the enterprise’s security posture.
A transformational leader can completely change the cybersecurity responsibilities and function from a structured operation that has its root deeply buried in compliance, to an agile and flexible one that is all about reducing and understanding risks as soon as they surface.
What is it like to be a transformational CISO?
Enterprise security executives have witnessed their position evolve in the last decade, from a managerial stance that focuses on protecting the infrastructure, to a strategic one that is centered in enabling the business to streamline their operations across all departments.
As the enterprise’s landscape is changing, CISO must be able to design, deliver, and run a security strategy that supports both the enterprise’s needs and goals. At the same time, it should also be able to collaborate with their counterparts on bigger, challenging issues. More often have to work on initiatives that require the enterprise to reach another level.
Since transformational CISO are most comfortable and embrace chaos, they often have the ability to handle most changes. They can easily handle multiyear build-outs that make the transition from a set of strategic activities to the one where they have to help the organization focus on what it desires to accomplish.
Traits of a transformational CISO
Today’s enterprise landscape is only dynamic and unpredictable and often takes a toll on psychological health. Hence, CISOs need to be energized by such constant change and disruption and must be comfortable to handle chaos.
Adaptability is a trait that is engraved in a transformational CISO’s personality. By being persuasive and extroverted, they can easily build consensus. They are comfortable with the sales side and have an eye on the company’s growth path.
Since most enterprises haven’t witnessed a change at today’s scale, the transformational CISOs, who are proactive and visionary, can help to effectively create a roadmap of the security function and its role in the entire organization, not just for tomorrow but for months and years ahead.
It is no doubt that the enterprise ecosystem has been seeing a disruptive change. Digital transformation, though enabling businesses to sustain and potentially thrive, need the security posture needs to be intact. Hence, a transformational CISO who embraces change and is ready to take the strides when things aren’t going well, plays a key role to help enterprises succeed in the market.