CISO must haves

CISO Must Haves: Key Qualities And Skillset

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You’re probably wondering where to find a list of CISO must haves for you to improve or hire someone in your company. So, we have compiled a list of critical CISO must haves one must know.

Evolution Of A CISO’s Role

Throughout the years, the chief information security officer (CISO) is perceived as the executive responsible for an organization’s information and data security.

But as years ascend, the CISO’s role has evolved and presents great challenges for those that serve in the position.
There was a time when the information security leader was a purely technical role.

Focused on firewall configurations and password policies.
While these aspects of information security remain important.


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The role has matured to encompass business leadership responsibilities.
Nonetheless, the CISO of today is known as a crucial member of the executive team.

And no longer just confined to the technical side of securing information.
Speaking of its role, there are new must haves every CISO must attain to be successful, in any industry and organization, today and in the years to come.

CISO Must Haves

Presentation and Communication Skills

All the time, CISOs must be aware of who their audience is and capable of adjusting how they communicate accordingly.
When working with executive leadership, for example, CISOs must know how to discuss information security in business terms. It also applies to a newbie in a way that makes sense to the individual’s designated role and responsibilities.

Political Skills

The CISO should know the needs and concerns of the executive team as they relate to the mission of the organization. And then present the information security program as a countermeasure to respond to these needs.

Knowledge and Understanding about the Business’ Mission

The CISO must work with mission leaders. This ensures that the new security projects have the required mission value.
Also, this will ultimately contribute to improved organizational resiliency and productivity. Also, the CISO should communicate with mission leaders. To champion and drive new security projects and support ongoing security activities.

The Supervisory Skills

For any robust information security program, a team of effective information security professionals is necessary. It’s not just one person. Rather, it’s a group that bodes teamwork.
Mentoring, and mentoring well, is critical in the cybersecurity field. Working with your team of hard-working members that fit together leads to a much more engaged team, and as a result, a more effective information security program.

Incident Management Skills

It is critical to establish an incident response program that can detect intrusions on the network. And working immediately to clean and recover from those intrusions is another thing.

Compliance with Standards And Knowledge of Regulation

He must have authority in the regulation, standards, and compliance requirements applicable to the organization. In this manner, the CISO can tailor his research and efforts to meet the specific needs of the organization.
Other notable skills not included in the list are:

  • Policy Development and Administration
  • Planning and Strategic Management Skills
  • Risk Assessment and Management, and
  • Collaboration and Conflict Management Skills.

These skills are also key components to be better and effective as a CISO.

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