What it takes to become a CISO

How to become a credit manager before you're 30

As a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) you are responsible for establishing and maintaining the strategy of the business as well as ensuring that assets and technologies are protected. With technologies being a focal point to majority of businesses today, the role of CISO has become one of the most valued positions within a company.

Darius Goodarzi, a specialist in information security and IT risk recruitment tells us about what it takes to become a CISO.

Communication and relationship skills

A modern and dynamic CISO must have the ability to build strong relationships based on transparency and respect. Being in such a niche area of expertise it can be difficult for a non-technical audience to understand the security issues. Therefore, the ability to translate technical security issues to a non-technical audience is a vital aspect of the role.

Recognising talent

A CISO needs to be able to assess talent to build a valuable team. The more equipped the team is to meet ever changing security challenges, the better the CISO. An exceptional CISO will hire the right blend of security professionals to improve and enhance their careers and also to provide a stable team to protect the business technologies,

Ability to lead

The CISO often leads a team of IT security experts to ensure that all aspects of the business are covered and to create a tight security system for the businesses technologies. Therefore, a successful CISO must be a leader and someone who can engage with people. They are expected to lead by example to gain commitment from the wider information security team.

More than just knowledge of information security

To be an effective CISO today, having a strong technical understanding of information security is not enough. As a CISO you are a valued part of the company, you will therefore need to manage increasingly complex regulatory environments, which includes understanding law, data privacy and various regulations, both technical and non-technical.

Business awareness

Gone are the days when a CISO made technical decisions based on just the IT needs. They now have to include the companies ‘business needs.’ Having a good knowledge of the business will not only improve your position as a CISO but it will also help make IT Security decisions. These decisions often have a big impact on the overall company, so it is important that the right level of risk is being considered when making these decisions.

When considering the role of CISO, it is important to recognise the importance of having a wide variety of skills which go further than just your knowledge of the tech industry.

If you are interested in a role as a CISO, contact our specialist information security and IT risk consultant Darius Goodarzi at darius.goodarzi@robertwalters.com or for a confidential discussion call +44 (0)20 7509 8040

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