What is a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)?

A CISO is an IT executive with expertise in information security (sometimes called computer security or cybersecurity). An organization’s CISO understands the enterprise’s business vision, mission and strategy and translates those goals into a program which ensures and assures the enterprise’s information and operational technology is safe and secure from human, non-human, and environmental threats by protecting confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems.

A CISO is a thought leader, visionary, and planner. As cybersecurity subject matter experts they can envision the information security program’s future and how it enables and adds value to the business. They plan projects that advance the business’ goals.

A CISO is a communicator who can effectively articulate risk of action or inaction when developing IT solutions. They use risk management techniques to evaluate information security risks and develop recommendations for remediation and mitigation. They are able to communicate highly complex technical topics to all levels of the organization. They do not use fear, uncertainty, or doubt to motivate action. Instead they present thoughtful reasoned and rational data to inform decision making.

A CISO is a trusted partner. They are not self-serving or biased. They understand that the enterprise’s information security program that they lead exists for one purpose: to benefit and further the mission and business of the organization. Afterall if there were no business to conduct, there would be no need for an information security program.

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