The Importance of Finding the Right CISO

CISO blog

Everyone in your C-Suite is important. But your Chief Information Security Office (CISO) is in a unique position to protect your company from the kinds of common catastrophes that waste millions and ruin reputations overnight. That’s why it’s so important to find not just a qualified candidate, but the right candidate. These following qualities identify the best of the best.

Technical Skills

You will probably look first and foremost for a broad and deep technical skill set. That’s important, because information security is a field that’s highly complex, extremely technical, and constantly changing. An expert knowledge of security architecture is essential. Just keep in mind that you hire a CISO to be a manager and leader, not a technician. They should understand technical issues perfectly, but be able to delegate technical responsibilities to others.

Communication Skills

Information security is an issue that’s important to every department in your company and every member of your staff. Your CISO will need to be able to communicate clearly and convincingly with a wide variety of stakeholders. They will also need to be great listeners. The best security executives work hard to understand how security measures affect staff; then make smart changes that serve everyone’s interests.

Marketing Skills

No security strategy can succeed unless everyone buys in. Your CISO must be able to convey the importance of information security and frame it as something that is not an obstacle to existing workflows. This mission extends to clients, customers and shareholders as well. A CISO who is a good marketer can help to frame your company as trustworthy, realistic and proactive in the eyes of the public.

Legal Skills

Their is a strong link between information security and many aspects of the law. Your CISO should be able to collaborate with your legal department when points of friction appear. They should also keep abreast of changing legislation regarding information security and insulate the company from potential penalties. Expertise with insurance is also an asset.

Auditing Skills

Audits are what determine the success or failure of any security strategy. Understanding the needs of the auditors and of those collecting/compiling data is essential. The best CISOs know that the goal of the audit is not simply to pass, but to demonstrate sound security strategies and a verifiable record of stopping threats.

Finding a CISO with all of these qualities can be difficult. But considering how important that person is to your organization, you can’t compromise the recruiting process. Companies that have gambled on a CISO or failed to create the position in the first place have lost tens of millions of dollars, irreparably damaged their brand, and created long-lasting turmoil for customers and staff alike. That’s why in a position like this, only the best will do.

If you are struggling to find candidates with the skills you require and a track record you can trust, resist the urge to settle on just anyone. Expedite your executive search while optimizing the outcome by working with the team at Artemis Consultants.

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