June 10, 2023


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How to Succeed As a New Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

How to Succeed As a New Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

How to Succeed As a New Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)


As cyber threats increase in frequency and complexity, organizations recognize the importance of having a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to protect their sensitive data and infrastructure. To succeed as a new CISO, it’s essential to clearly understand the organization’s security landscape, establish strong relationships with key stakeholders, and develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that aligns with the organization’s business objectives. This guide will explore the key steps and strategies that new CISOs can take to build a successful cybersecurity program and effectively manage cyber risks.

Commit to Learning and Participation

As a CISO, you probably have an endless to do list of vital chores that can keep you preoccupied. FFor this reason, you may be cut off from your coworkers and superiors, limiting your exposure to strategic and operational information shared through informal channels such as one on ones, small group brainstorming sessions, and, yes, even boring meetings. Stay in touch with your mentor(s) as you make this shift. Having a clear idea of your challenges and working with a coach can help your CISO first 90 days and adjust more smoothly. Participate in the discussion to better understand the company’s goals, potential, and threats. 

Create Connections

Building productive relationships with employees and other divisions is crucial to your success as a chief information security officer. Coordinate early on with the major players by setting up a meeting schedule. Determine which divisions you will work with, such as legal, audit, risk, marketing, and sales. As a result, we will be better able to establish connections to facilitate the rollout of cybersecurity awareness campaigns and related policies. The CISO needs to work in tandem with other executives.

Analyze the Department

Examine how effective your present team is. Think about their experience, quirks, and how they’d fit in with the team dynamic. Examine the current staffing setup, discuss how positions’ responsibilities might be realigned or increased to meet your security objectives, and outline how this would benefit team members’ long term professional development.

Great leaders don’t just delegate responsibility; they also name their successors. Choose a reliable second in command within the first month. It’s not crucial to assign a specific individual to this role right once, but knowing whether or not the necessary skills are already present and need to be nurtured is critical. Who could step in to do your job if something went wrong? Consider who you already have on staff who may be groomed for the position or who you would need to hire from the outside.

Evaluate Your Tools

Your security approach will be as good as the tools you employ, which is why good tools are so crucial. Think about your organization’s security stack tools and why they were acquired. Determine how many resources each SOC team member needs to perform their duties, and be sure to document any complaints they may have properly. Consider how many of your security suite’s components are creaking in old age. Old tools often do more harm than good. Think about the business case for upgrading or replacing outdated software with cutting edge security features specifically designed to meet the demands of your company.

The duties and obligations of a CISO demand certain expertise, and the position itself demands much more. Meeting legal standards, assisting with company operations, and making business choices linked to IT security are just some of the activities and responsibilities a CISO may take on, depending on the industry or the organization’s size. Years of technical experience, team management skills, strong leadership abilities, and in-depth knowledge of industry related compliance standards and laws are just a few attributes needed to become a CISO and succeed.


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