The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a top-level executive whose role is to set up and sustain the organization’s strategy, mission, and system to guarantee that the business information security of an organization is adequately protected and enhanced. The role of a CISO is to supervise security technologies, respond adequately to incidents, design suitable standards and controls, and also manage the formulation and execution of policies and processes.
The role of a CISO is a much-coveted position since it blends both technical savviness and managerial proficiencies. Discovering an individual with all these skillsets is often difficult. You can improve your chances of being considered for a CISO position by becoming a certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO). You can also obtain a risk management training certification online to validate your skills or acquire all or most of the following skills.
- You need a sound foundation in computer networking concepts including VPN, DNS, DDoS and DoS, authentication, proxy, and other equivalent mitigation controls.
- You need deft negotiation skills and skills related to interpersonal qualities.
- A good CCISO has extensive knowledge about the architecture of innovativeness and security. They are also expected to understand the appropriate practices and approaches for IT strategy.
- A good CISO has a vast understanding of the business mission and thus, aligns it with the security goals of the organization.
- They must have proficiencies in Unix and Windows-like operating systems and programming languages such as PHP, Python, and Java.
- Experience with routing, TCP/IP, and switching.
- Possess effective leadership skills that influence rather than commands.
- Understands data protection or data information.
- They should be able to identify and build network security architecture.
- It is expected that a CCISO is aware of and understands governance risk and compliance such as GLBA, PCI DSS, NIST, HIPAA, SOX, and NIST.
- CISOs must be able to handle frameworks such as ITIL, ISO 27001, COBIT, and ISO 27002.
- They must be conversant with protocols that evaluate and execute intrusion prevention, firewalls, and intrusion detection.
- You need strong communication skills with the board and other C-level executives and build strong relationships with other departments within the organization.
- Vast ethical hacking skills, high-tech coding skills, and knowledge about threat modeling.
If you want to improve your cybersecurity knowledge and awareness, it is often advisable to invest in security officer training and other IT-based certifications that have the potential to improve your resume. A popular cybersecurity certification you must earn is EC-Council’s Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
Why do you need a CISO?
It is amazing the number of large organizations that are yet to hire a CISO. In reality, only a few businesses can do without an IT department, with business information security being a fundamental aspect of every business operation. Although, even a CCISO may not guarantee that cyberattacks would not hit your organization’s network or device. However, you incur fewer costs and minimize the damage when you have a specialist who can manage the incident.
For one, your cybersecurity and business information security and data security require a specialized professional with extensive knowledge and skillsets regarding the technical and administrative issues related to business. CISO’s handle your business information security, governance risk, and compliance, information technology controls, risk management, digital forensics, business continuity, and disaster recovery, IT infrastructure, eDiscovery, Information assurance, emergency response, and network or system privacy, among several others.
How to know when your company should hire a CISO?
So, how do you know that your organization requires the services of a CISO? If you fall under the following, then you need a CISO.
1. Records of Security Infringements
If your business information security has been compromised on one or more occasions than you need a CCISO. It might seem like a waste since your network and devices have already been compromised, but malicious hackers are greedy and often relentless. They will not stop at one attack. They often want to test how far your security programs can handle.
You have no way of knowing that your incident response plan and other security controls will effectively withstand a potential attack. Therefore, you need to hire a competent CISO to handle your business information security.
To learn more about how to handle a security breach, take a test now to assess your skill for the Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO) course.
2. Intricate Threat Environment
The size of your company will determine your cybersecurity needs. The cybersecurity needs of SMEs with dozens of employees will differ from those of a large organization with thousands of consumers and workers. Hiring a CISO is a crucial consideration. Your threat environment should be your foremost deliberation when contemplating whether to hire a CISO or not.
You don’t want to wait until your network or systems have been compromised before you have a backup plan. Your business complexity will determine how to prioritize your security. Understand that your business intricacy is not automatically the same as the scale of your business. The moment your organization is ready to affiliate the business information security with other top-level executives, then you need a CISO.
3. Governance risk and compliance
Organizations that render financial or health services are extremely regulated. Thus, companies that operate in these industries are frequently expected to have advanced business information security approaches than regular establishments. The legal, regulatory, reputational, and financial detriment of defiance or failure could outweigh the compensation and advantages you’d give a CISO.
4. A dearth of business information security experts
There’s a shortage of IT professionals in the cybersecurity industry. The demand for business information security professionals exceeds the available skillsets. This alone is an indication that your IT team may lack the required skills to handle such incidents. You may not need to hire a CISO if your organization already has an IT professional handling your business information security needs and also juggling the required leadership inputs such as a CSO, COO, CIO, or CTO.
Nevertheless, since it might be cumbersome to assign a suitable member to head your cybersecurity demands from your IT team, entitling or hiring a CISO might be essential. They would also need security officer training or obtain risk management certifications online to become a good CISO.
To learn more about available certification training, click here!
How many companies have a CISO?
The job demand of a CISO is certainly not a dormant position. The position expands and fluctuates at a similar tempo with the cybersecurity and business information security environment. Amazingly, the number of companies that currently have a CISO, is below 50%.
Previously, organizations hired other equivalent positions such as a chief information officer (CIO), chief security officer (CSO), chief technology officer (CTO), chief operating officer (COO), or a VP of security instead of a CISO. However, the job description of a CISO has expanded to include risks encountered through business information security, customer privacy, business processes, and digital forensics, among several others. Consequently, the current trend is to entrench the CISO function within the IT department.
If you are an aspiring CISO then this session is for you:
How can you become a CISO?
There isn’t a fixed way to become a CISO. However, you can adopt several options that would boost your knowledge and enhance your chance of landing a job as a CISO.
- A degree: You need a master’s degree or at least a bachelor’s degree to be able to qualify for a job as a CISO. The potential educational path includes information technology (IT), business, computer science, ICT, or other equivalent fields.
- Cybersecurity experience: The average requirement for a CISO is seven to ten years of working experience. Consider gaining experience in risk management and government, business information security, and programming. Or you can also use your experience of ethical hacking, security engineering, and security analysts.
- Security officer training and certifications: There isn’t a single certification per se for landing a job as a CISO. However, investing in IT-based training and certification programs enhance your IT knowledge and also demonstrates your dedication to the field. A popular and acceptable certification is the CCISO.
About EC-Council CCISO: Certified Chief Information Security Officer
The EC-Council CCISO program offers unified learning progression and certifies the CISO in the knowledge of, and experience in all five of the CCISO Information Security Management Domains. The five core domains you’ll be exposed to include, Governance and Risk Management, Information Security Controls, Compliance, and Audit Management, Security Program Management & Operations, Information Security Core Competencies, and Strategic Planning, Finance, Procurement, and Vendor Management. Visit our course page to learn more about the CCISO program. You can also fill our contact form, and we’ll get back to you!
- Creating Cybersecurity Leaders for 2020 and Beyond
- 6 Key Characteristics of a Successful CISO
- The Importance of “S” in “CISO”
- CISO MAG Study: 1 in 3 CISOs Feel the Biggest Challenge of Endpoint Solution is its Complexity