If an organization embraces security, the CISO tends to be more visible and approachable across leadership and throughout the company. Conversely, if the security department is there just to check off a box for industry compliance, then the CISO is more likely to be a minor player and will lack visibility or authority.
What keeps CISOs up at night
In the end, it doesn’t matter what the C-suite thinks about security. If there’s any type of cyber incident, it is the CISO who shoulders that responsibility.
It’s no wonder that the majority of CISOs say they are suffering from job-related stress and burnout.
CISOs are up against talent shortage and staff retention concerns, the increasingly sophisticated threat landscape due to software supply chain attacks, and geopolitical tensions.
“What keeps me up at night is the risk of having a very sophisticated threat actor that could potentially dwell and lurk within a network without notice for a prolonged period, exfiltrating data from the company,” said Steven Sim, Global CISO for a logistics MNC, president of ISACA Singapore and chair of OT-ISAC Executive Committee.
Sophisticated threat actors also concern Kemal Piskin, CISO with LinQuest. As security departments rely on technologies like AI to help detect and prevent cyberattacks, cybercriminals are leveraging the same technologies to launch attacks.
Remote work has its problems too — a blessing and a curse for CISOs. Cybersecurity professionals want to work from home, according to a survey by (ISC)2, which could have a positive impact on the talent shortage. But CISOs like Piskin see non-cyber workers as a challenge.
Growing the CISO role
Many CISOs see their current role as a blend between technology and business. “I don’t spend most of my time worrying about security events, but rather how the business runs with security,” said Piskin.
Participating in conversations about business operations as part of the leadership team is how many CISOs want to see their role continue to evolve.
“I’d like to see security functions across organizations be defined and seen differently – both internally and externally,” said Jason Rader, VP and CISO at Insight Enterprises.
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