The Importance of a CISO

Chief Information Security Officers Are Critical Assets for Enterprises

Learn about the importance of the rising role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

The Chief Information Security Officer is a position that has become essential for all data-reliant enterprises. This role has become one of the fastest growing C-suite positions and is the byproduct of an age that has been disrupted and infected by a cybercrime pathogen, which shows no signs abating. Enterprise and government network landscapes are in a constant state of conflict, fighting against a shape-shifting threat that is continually evolving.The Importance of a Chief Information Security Officer CISO

In today’s enterprise network arena, data is perpetually under siege from a barrage of phishing campaigns, malware, keystroke surveillance, zero day exploits, insider attacks and denial-of-service assaults. As such, enterprises need to designate a general to orchestrate a capable defensive and risk-management strategy.

Enter the CISO – the apex technologist, who possesses a rare combination of InfoSec analyst expertise and upper-management social engineering skills. The CISO is that rare breed, which can independently design and implement cloud security, while also being able to manage the complex personalities of information security staff.  With regards to the latter, the CISO must be the ultimate trust nucleus of the organization that can identify threats within its own IT ranks.

But CISOs primary contribution to an organization is their ability to take findings from data security analyses and turn them into business leadership initiatives. The CISO bridges the cap between IT personnel and key executives and stakeholders. These IT commanders have a keen understanding of not only the most vital information security issues, but the most crucial business functions as well. The operational efficiencies of a business benefit from the CISOs ability to unite the information security staff and mold them into a collaborative unit that fluidly identifies and responds to threats.

Another asset that the CISO brings to the table is their ability to grasp the interdependence between cyber and physical security. So while a firm’s information security staff might be comprised of savants whom are only proficient in the virtual world, CISOs align their functions with the goals of the enterprise. Part of this alignment involves a keen sense for provisioning and de-provisioning. CISOs oversee the levels of access and permissions that IT personnel have within the organization, badges included.

Organizations cannot afford to neglect the CISO role any longer. Additionally, they must design this role as a department that functions outside of IT and responds directly to upper management. By creating CISO positions, enterprises send a strong message to their stakeholders, prospective investors and the competition that cybersecurity strategy is among their core values. As such, the inclusion of a CISO becomes a sure path to securing investor confidence, mitigating repetitional risk and enhancing revenue growth.

Check out our chart highlighting the rising CISO salaries.