Why The CISO Is Crucial to Your Company’s Cyber security

The cost of a breach is at an all-time high of $4.35 million, according to IBM’s Data Breach report. It’s crucial that cyber security threats be treated as business risks that can significantly impact a company’s bottom line, rather than a siloed IT team issue. Cyber security is truly a team sport, which means everyone in an organisation is responsible for mitigating it.

A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a top-level executive whose role is to ensure an organisations business information security is adequately protected and enhanced. Do you think your organisation requires one?

What is the role of a CISO?

The CISO is a top-level executive whose role is to set up and sustain the organisation’s strategy, mission, and system to guarantee that the business information security of an organisation 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 manage the formulation and execution of policies and processes. There is a difference between a CISO and A Head of Infosec, where a Head of Role tends to remain a little bit more hands on and could be a better fit for SME’s whilst CISO’s tend to be engaging with the board and stakeholders. CISO’s can communicate effectively with the board, pushing awareness and gaining buy-in.

The role of a CISO is a desirable position since it blends both technical knowledge and managerial proficiencies. Discovering an individual with all these skillsets is often difficult. Discover the vital steps to hire niche talent to help find your next CISO.

Four key signs that your organisation requires a CISO?

The History of your Security Breaches

If your organisation has been attacked on repeat occasions in the past, it is a no brainer that it’s information security needs to be uplifted. If attackers have been successful in compromising your organisation’s systems and networks, may mark your organisation as an easy target for future attacks. Even if you may think there is no point investing in cyber security given your networks and devices have already been compromised, it is essential that a strong cyber security  program is implemented to prevent succumbing to attacks in the future. Hiring a CISO can be an effective way of upgrading your cyber security posture to identify and eliminate any future threats.

Governance, Risk & Compliance

Organisations in certain industries handle and store extensive amounts of sensitive information, for example in the financial industry. This causes them to be heavily regulated and require an extensive and comprehensive cyber security solution compared to regular businesses. If an incident were to occur within these organisations, they could be open to legal repercussions apart from the other financial and reputational impacts of a cyber-attack/data breach. Hence, the cost of a data breach could severely outweigh the cost of hiring a CISO, who can improve an organisation’s cyber security posture tenfold.

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Complex Threat Environment

Cyber security needs are comparable with the size of your organisation, for example, small to medium businesses with minimal employees will have different needs when it comes to their cyber security, compared to larger organisations with thousands of employees and customers. Understanding your organisation’s threat environment should be the first thing you do before you decide to hire a CISO. Depending on the intricacy of your threat environment, your organisation can prioritise its security.

Your current IT capabilities

Another sign that your organisation may require the skills of a CISO, is the current IT capability. For example, if your organisation is lacking IT professionals who can effectively deal with security incidents if they were to occur, then your organisation may require the skills of a CISO. Even if your organisation has IT professionals with the technical skills required to deal with cyber-attacks/data breaches, they may be lacking the soft skills like business acumen or leadership to enhance your organisation’s current cyber security posture. A CISO has the soft skills and technical knowledge required to significantly enhance your organisation’s cyber security capabilities.

While you might find that your business needs a CISO, it is not always feasible to have an in-house CISO. Maybe it’s because of the size of your business or budget constraints but having a full-time CISO might not make sense in the immediate context of your business. In such cases, part-time or a contracted CISO may be a viable solution. If you are looking for a CISO contact Via Resource to discuss your requirements.