A generation ago, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role rarely existed in enterprises and even if it did, it only existed in large to very large organizations. Even here CISOs were mostly system administrators dealing mainly with IT-related compliance and access controls.
What difference does a decade or two make? Today, Chief Information Security Officers play an increasingly important role in an organization’s strategy and wellbeing. It would not be a misnomer to say that without an efficient CISO, enterprises face daunting cyber risks. In this modern-day and age, the CISO’s role has become multifold and perhaps even as important as the Chief Information Officer (CIO).
It’s important for boards to understand the rising importance a CISO brings to the table and ensure they have the power and space to drive organizational change. It goes without saying that an empowered CISO is a huge asset for the organization because:
Better efficiency will lead to better revenue
A CISO may not be directly linked to revenue growth but that only tells half the story. By creating a strong security framework, the CISO will ensure the enterprise is much more efficient and much less prone to cyber risks. This indirectly leads to better processes enabling better revenue.
Winning the brand story
Whether in the B2B industry or the B2C, customers are getting increasingly sharper and valuing the importance of effective cybersecurity. It makes sense – if a customer is giving their data, which is PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in most cases, he/she wants to be assured that it is being protected. In the case of breaches, there is reputational damage for the enterprise as well with a result of brand degradation. An empowered CISO understands that and will ensure that the enterprise aces the brand story through efficient cybersecurity.
Manage risks efficiently
Every major organization needs to have a thorough understanding of the risks in which it operates. This is normally presented to the board as well at the end of every financial year. Increasingly, cyber risks are also becoming a part of this presentation with the proliferation of different threats like hacking, malware, ransomware, cryptojacking and so on. A CISO helps provide an understanding of the current risks which the company is operating in and how to manage them efficiently. This helps in the overall running of the organization.
Build greater compliance
Organizations of all shapes and sizes are increasingly facing greater pressures to comply with regulations and legislations. Non-compliance to these can invite greater scrutiny and even incur financial fines and burdens. An empowered CISO goes a long way to mitigate the risk of non-compliance by tracking regulations to comply with and ensuring compliance is done smoothly and accurately.
Keeping up with the latest trends
Cybersecurity is evolving at a breakneck pace – very few functions move as fast as cyber threats. The criminals are continuously evolving new vector s and new channels of attack. No enterprise can turn a blind eye to this continuous evolution – what works today may be outdated that very night. CISOs who are dynamic and efficient will understand this and continue to keep evolving their security framework, never resting easy and believing that the job is done. This has an overall effect on the entire organization adding dynamism which benefits the business.