4 Major Signs Your Organization Needs a CISO

There has been a rise in cyber crime over the last few years, which has made organizations around the world treat information security as a leading concern. Criminals don’t discriminate based on company size, type or industry they are a part of, every business is a target for cyber criminals. Therefore organizations have started to prioritize implementing a cybersecurity strategy, which commonly includes security personnel training, risk management certifications, improved technology, policies, and other awareness activities, to safeguard sensitive information and assets from malicious actors. And to help implement their cybersecurity strategy and oversee the rest of their information security efforts, organizations have started hiring Chief Information Security Officers or CISOs in short. 

What do CISO’s do? 

Chief Information Security Officers are guardians of an organization’s information and data security, they are responsible for the entirety of an organization’s information security profile, looking to defend it against any potential threats.

What makes a great CISO? 

The CISO role requires a multitude of technical and soft skills, such as the ability to make quick decisions, to lead, to communicate effectively and build relationships. Additionally, CISOs must adapt in order to maintain pace with the cyber threat landscape and new technologies, constantly learning on the job and picking up new skills. In this ever-shifting cyber world, great CISO’s require innovation and imagination in creating and delivering cyber security strategies for their organisations.

Why do you need a CISO?

Business information security is a fundamental aspect of every business operation, if your organization were to hire a CISO, it doesn’t mean that it is now immune to cyberattacks. A CISO can help reduce the likelihood of getting attacked and if an attack were to occur your organization would be in a better position to respond and recover.

How do you know if your organization requires a Chief Information Security Officer?

Below are four key signs that your organization requires a CISO: 

A History Of Security Infringements 

If your organization has been attacked on repeat occasions in the past, it is a no brainer that it’s information security needs to be uplifted. Attackers, if they have been successful in compromising your organization’s systems and networks, may mark your organization as an easy target for future attacks. Therefore even if you may think there is no point investing in cybersecurity given your networks and devices have already been compromised,  it is essential that a strong cybersecurity program is implemented to prevent succumbing to attacks in the future. Hiring a CISO can be an effective way of upgrading your cybersecurity posture to identify and eliminate any future threats. 

Governance, Risk & Compliance 

Organizations in certain industries handle and on some occasions store extensive amounts of sensitive information, for example in the healthcare and finance industry. This causes them to be heavily regulated, therefore they require an extensive and comprehensive cybersecurity solution compared to regular businesses. If an incident were to occur within these organizations, they could be open to legal repercussions apart from the other financial and reputational impacts of a cyber attack or data breach. Hence, the cost of a data breach or cyberattack severely outweighs the cost of hiring a CISO, who can improve an organization's cybersecurity posture tenfold. 

Complex Threat Environment 

Cybersecurity needs are congruent with the size of your organization, for example, small to medium businesses with minimal employees will have differing needs when it comes to their cybersecurity when compared to larger organizations with thousands of employees and customers. Understanding your organization's threat environment should be the first thing you do before you decide to hire a chief information security officer. Depending on the intricacy of your threat environment, your organization can prioritize it’s security. 

Your current IT capabilities 

Another sign that your organization may require the skills of a CISO, is it’s current IT capability. For example, if your organization is lacking IT professionals who can effectively deal with security incidents if they were to occur, then your organization may require the skills of a CISO. Even if your organization has IT professionals with the technical skills required to deal with cyber attacks or data breaches, they may be lacking the soft skills like business acumen or leadership to enhance your organization’s current cybersecurity posture. A CISO has the soft skills and technical knowledge required to significantly enhance your organization’s cybersecurity capabilities.

Now while you might find that your business needs a CISO, it is not always feasible to have an in-house CISO. Maybe it's because of the size of your business or budget constraints, but having a full-time CISO might not make sense in the immediate context of your business. And in such cases, a virtual CISO or an outsourced CISO can be a viable solution. 

StickmanCyber's CISO on-Demand offers you a dedicated, outsourced Chief Information Security Officer to strategise, manage and optimise your cybersecurity practice. 


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