Sunday, December 10, 2023

What Skills do CISOs really Need: Going beyond Technical Abilities

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role is not older than 25 years. In the last decade, the CISO hirings spiked due to changing cybersecurity dynamics. Organizations are now more concerned about their security than ever in history.

CISOs efficiently improve the security infrastructure of an organization while managing the risks but is CISO’s role all about technical skills, especially in current circumstances?

More than Technical Skills

CISO responsibilities are still unclear and misunderstood all across the different organizations. This role is just taking off, and there is no clear reporting structure deployed yet. Some CISOs report any security-related issues directly to the CEO, while others have access to the organization’s CIO.

Many executives and even CEOs confuse the CISO role by picturing its technical side, but it’s way beyond just technical capabilities. CISO needs multiple talents and a bunch of soft skills. They need to communicate with management teams and employees to guide them about different cyber threats. They also need skills for incident response, business resilience, and intuitive thinking.

CISO is a Leadership Roles

Technical skills are important for a CISO to communicate with the technical staff for improving the security of a company, but that’s just not enough. A CISO has to take charge, his technical skills help side-by-side, but he cannot sit on the company’s systems to perform certain tasks.

 Leadership is a type of soft skill that a CISO must develop if he wants to lead the security side of an organization. However, if he only possesses technical skills, then the role responsibilities are never going to be fulfilled.

What Skills do CISOs Need Today?

A bag of skills is required to become a leading CISO in any organization. Here is a glimpse of skills you need for this role:

●       A deep understanding of business operations is necessary.

●       Good communication skills are also required for communicating with C-suites.

●       A sound understanding of security operations that are not just limited to physical or virtual security.

●       Capabilities to make and change plans under various circumstances

●       Excellent management skills to manage multiple security corners.

●       A better understanding of Cybersecurity to manage threats, prevent breaches and start investigations.

●       Little IT security background to analyze information security program costs.

●       Disaster Recovery plan management under any security incident.

●       Knowledge regarding legal issues, governance, and compliance.

●       HR management skills for training employees

These are just a few skills that are reliable for a normal company but if a Chief Security Information officer is going to serve a large organization, then he has to fill his bag with even more soft and relevant skills to become irreplaceable. They need a perfect blend of all relevant technical and soft skills to make an organization grow while protecting it from all exposed angles.

Bottom Line

The role is demanding but it also has a huge upside as organizations are eager to hire such talented CISOs who have multiple expertise. Security is becoming a top priority for everyone and this role is going to thrive in the upcoming years and demand will continue to rise. 

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