Role of CISOs in Organizations

Role of CISOs in Organizations

The Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are one of those C- level categories in most organizations who have lately gained significant role in the growing era of Cyber Security attacks and threats. A recent report from Ponemon Institute states that “There is a shift toward security as a business priority”

The role and responsibilities of CISOs have grown over a period of time and recently it was stated that “Sixty-nine percent of respondents cited appointing an executive-level security leader with enterprise wide responsibility as the most important governance practice.” From implementing the right kind of security controls to designing the risk framework for an organization, the CISO has it all. But not all companies offer equal responsibilities to the CISO, it differs from organization to Organization.

Ideally, a CISO should be the main reporting officer for all security related events and projects. Many organizations have realized this very important fact but many other still need to get into agreement over this. So, where does the gap lies?

There are various reasons to this, some of them are given below:

  • The lack of understanding of how a CISO works in an organization.
  • How to differentiate the role and power of a CISO with other C-level executives in the organization.
  • Some companies don’t believe in the fact of hiring a CISO to an organization can contribute to security related value addition.
  • Many organizations still fail to realize how security is a business priority in today’s world.

The lack of knowledge and exposure into the world of Information Security is the baseline for all the companies who failed to realize the value of CISO. Their role is equally important than any other C-level executive in the company and should directly report to CEO of the organization regarding any security incident or event instead through a channel. A CISO’s behavior is often categorized by many C-level leaders as someone who rejects most of the business-critical decisions which are termed by them as unnecessary. Although now, their image has evolved over a period and many recognize them as an asset to the organization.

From the past couple of years when the Cybersecurity became the game changer and each organizational level business decision required minute analysis, a CISO’s critical thinking and decision-making capabilities are being appreciated every now and then. It is essential to recognize that there must be some alignment between IT Security and lines of business.

Ponemon Institute report beautifully said, “According to one CISO, the IT security function will transform from a cost center to a revenue center; hence the CISO will be more involved in brand and reputation protection”. IT security is not just one area, but a together different domain and many organizations have shifted their business from providing IT services to IT Security services.

Therefore, a CISO’s role is not just limited to designing, implementing and maintaining security measures and controls but providing quality and efficient security services to clients as well in the future. A successful CISO is a blend of strong security foundational skills and analytical abilities to make the most crucial decisions.


Need a CISO in your organization, contact LIFARS today