Becoming chief information security office (CISO) is not a walk in the park. It is a dream of everyone in the field of cybersecurity. There are skills one has to have to be able to make that dream come true. CISO is a C- level executive who makes sure that the information and data of the entire organization it is secure and it is in line with the organization’s goals. Being at the top of cybersecurity calls for one to have skills that will enable him or her to execute responsibilities. We are in a changing world and every day, things transform, same as CISO job.
Think like an entrepreneur
Understanding how business works and learning to think as a businessperson is important for CISO. One of the responsibilities for CISO is making sure the company achieves its goals; therefore, as CISO is providing security for an organization, there is a need of making sure that everything is inline towards achieving business goals. Most people make this mistake of ignoring the business part when this is the only reason why CISO exists in the first place.
CISO should not just take care of security and think everything is okay, but moving the business to the ultimate goal in a secure way. Think about customers, business opportunities, and challenges that are ahead of the organization. CISO should be able to make the company unique, by keeping in mind the business weaknesses. Every security decision made should be in line with the business strategies too.
Risk management skills to help in offering guidance in decision-making
Risk management skills help the business make a strategic decision towards their goals. The ability to offer assistance in such decision-making is a responsibility that CISO needs to execute, risk management skills play a big role in this. Boards and executive teams rely on the guidance of CISO in making the right and informed decision to make them valuable in the market without putting them at risk of cyberattack. This is the area that most companies are becoming vulnerable and prey to hackers as organizations continue to move to the cloud. With the guidance of a CISO who is well knowledgeable about risk management, the business will effectively leverage advanced technology.
CISO needs to be a strategist for business, by aligning security with business strategy so that it can bring value to the organization. The advisory role of CISO is crucial in decision making to help business stakeholders and executive team in understanding cybersecurity risks so that decisions are made by first considering all those factors.
Continuous learning and earning certifications to offer Guardian responsibilities
Any technology that needs to be put in place, CISO should be the person offering guidance in smooth deployment and transitioning to the latest technology. He or she needs to manage and keep security technology and standards. He is responsible for ensuring all programs are in good condition, by monitoring, adjusting, and controlling every technology. CISO has the responsibility of keeping the organization updated and continuous improvement on matters of security.
Experience and certifications in different areas are an added advantage for anyone interested in becoming CISO. It helps in growing technical skills to have a clear understanding of threat analysis, threat hunting, ethical hacking, system auditing, and many more skills.
Finally, effective communication is a key factor for CISO to execute responsibilities. Communication is a key skill for CISO to be able to advise and become a strategist for a business. Without good communications skills, CISO will not be able to coach the technical team or even participate in the organization’s decision-making. Communications help to lay information to the audience and help them understand ideas. There is a need to have a communication plan to help in delivering information to target people.