When to Hire a CISO

A chief information security officer (CISO) is essential to the overall safety and security of an organization. This person is the executive “responsible for an organization’s information and data security.” When cybersecurity is one’s stock and trade it is crucial that the information at stake is secure; an organization cannot be taken seriously without professionals safe-guarding their data. “If you are a small to medium-sized company without security leadership you’re most definitely in need of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).” This will help to insure that your company is as safe as possible and not completely vulnerable to threats.

When Should You Hire a CISO?

Usually, a Director of Security is hired at the very beginning stages within a business and, hopefully, will transition into the role of Chief Information Security Officer as the organization progresses. How do you know if your business is ready for this kind of commitment to security? Well, hiring a CISO is something that should be done sooner rather than later (before a major security breach occurs). Security preparation is essential when it comes to running a successful business and is something that should be addressed at the very beginning, before it becomes compromised.

According to Forbes.com, there are some very helpful clues to take note of in case one is wondering whether they should hire a CISO:

  • Are you ready to give cybersecurity “a seat at the table?” Do you need a seasoned executive and not someone currently in training to handle your cybersecurity needs?
  • Are you in need of an experienced professional to examine your company’s coding, firewall rules, etc.?
  • Are you seeking real organizational change? Sometimes big fundamental modifications need to be made for the sake of security (on micro and macro levels).

If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions and you make the decision to hire a CISO, make sure to ask these questions as soon as possible.

What Exactly Does a CISO Do?

So, what exactly does a Chief Information Security Officer do? Well, they set the vision of cybersecurity for a company. “The primary distinction between a director and CISO is that directors are frequently more hands-on in driving the day-to-day programs and activities, whereas CISOs are typically the interface for security with department heads, executives and the board.” According to CSO Online, the duties of a CISO are many and are all equally important. This means that a CISO deals with all security operations, cyber intelligence, data loss, fraud prevention, and program management, etc.

The title of “CISO” is often used interchangeably with CSO and VP of security, which indicates a more expansive role within an institution than in the past. Basically, a CISO does just about everything when it comes to security: they determine what happens within a breach and how to fix it, how to receive funding, how to mitigate risks by implementing proper security programs, “ensure that only authorized people have access to restricted data and systems,” and stay on top of security practices while overseeing IT personnel, etc.

If you’re in the market for hiring a CSO, look no further than the Cyber Talent Network. Create a free profile today.

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