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In recent years, a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has become indispensable in any organization, regardless of size. As businesses rely more and more on technology, the role of these cybersecurity leaders is also evolving. There has been a huge change in perspective due to which these leaders are no longer just torchbearers of basic security management.
Archaic ideas that CISOs need to focus only on preventing breaches or that security programs are a roadblock to speed are being revisited. Security leaders are now being looked at as leaders of risk management. In the wake of catastrophic cyber attacks in the last few years, most businesses now consider the lack of a robust cybersecurity program a business risk rather than just a technical problem for IT to handle. It is now about formulating an information security strategy that helps organizations handle security breaches, protect their assets from cybercriminals, and ensure data security.
Broadly, there are three different types of CISOs:
- The Technical Information Security Officer (TISO) handles technical security issues and operations such as managing firewalls.
- The Business Information Security Officer (BISO) focuses on implementing strategies that help secure business data and assets.
- The Strategic Information Security Officer (SISO) helps implement security programs that meet high-level business requirements, and the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.
Critical Responsibilities of CISOs
Slowly, there is also a shift in the formal accountability of CISOs. They typically report to the CEO and are responsible for all ESG compliance efforts of the organization. As the role evolves, their additional responsibilities encompass technical, business, and strategic goals. To that end, Gartner predicts that 30% of large organizations will have publicly shared ESG goals focused on cybersecurity by 2026.
A CISO’s responsibilities include end-to-end security operations, real-time threat analysis, proactive solutions to prevent security risks, disaster recovery, and business continuity management. Security officers must also manage regulatory compliance, security training/ awareness programs for employees, risk management, and cyber intelligence.
According to Gartner, at least 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to cybersecurity risk built into their employment contracts by 2026. As a result, CISOs must also keep stakeholders informed of various security-related concerns, document various aspects of security management, and prevent data loss and fraud. Security and risk management leaders must also commit to reducing the social issues that can arise from cybersecurity incidents. They should create a robustly secure architecture, regulate IAM (Identity and Access Management), and implement comprehensive security program management.
Role in Regulatory Compliance
With time, regulatory requirements have evolved to ensure organizations do their part in protecting data. To ensure compliance, a CISO must be aware of various legal and regulatory mandates that are applicable to companies globally. Some examples of them are:
- HIPAA requires the implementation of processes to ensure that the organization is compliant with the regulations based on their industry
- Adherence to various privacy laws such as EU GDPR
- Regulations such as FISMA and ISO 27001 mandate that audits of policies, controls, and procedures are conducted to ensure they are up to date
- Intellectual Property Protection law mandates CISOs to protect all company documents, code, and hardware
A Risk-Aware Culture
Cybersecurity leaders must focus on creating a cyber risk-aware culture, which is not just basic security awareness. To create a cyber risk-aware culture, an effective cybersecurity program is the starting point. To achieve this culture, organizations must follow a two-pronged approach – a risk-based approach to cybersecurity and knowledge about behavior. Cybersecurity leaders must focus on ESG values to influence the organization’s security culture by deploying socio-behavioral principles to influence it.
Since remote working became the norm, there has been more scrutiny and pressure on security and IT departments of various organizations to ensure the safe use of digital technologies. The changing technological scenario directly impacts the requirements and expectations from CISOs. Next-gen CISOs should have in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of current and future technologies that enable them to direct the organization to move forward securely while staying competitive. They must have effective communication skills and leadership skills to help align security needs with business objectives. They should be critical strategists, C-suite leaders, and integral resources for businesses to meet their security and business goals.
GAVS for Cybersecurity
GAVS delivers end-to-end Cybersecurity Services, helping clients manage risk and build an effective cybersecurity program. GAVS caters to the full suite of organizational cybersecurity needs – assessment, operations, and/or strategy – and can help conquer the most critical cybersecurity issues. Our services are based on the premise ‘Threat is Everywhere’. We challenge that by powering up the ‘Prepare -> Protect and Prevent -> Respond and Remediate’ security layers with our highly competent cybersecurity team and leading-edge tools, technologies, global alliances, and processes driven by AI and automation. To learn more, please visit https://www.gavstech.com/service/security-services/.