The ever-evolving role of the CISO: Cybersecurity leadership skills needed in the future of work
Over the past few years, cybersecurity leaders have seen their roles evolve and expand in scope. With the continued growth of cyber threats, CISOs are now being asked to do more than ever before to protect their organizations.
In addition to traditional security responsibilities, CISOs are now being asked to take on a more strategic role in their organizations and to help shape business strategy. CISOs are looked more and more upon to be strategic business partners, not just technologists.
It’s clear that the role of the CISO will only become more complex and demanding. As organizations continue to face an ever-growing number of sophisticated cyber threats, CISOs will need to be able to wear many hats and have a deep understanding of both technology and business. Research has shown that the role of the CISO is evolving from a technical leader to a business leader contributing to the strategic direction of an organization.
Here are some of the skills that CISOs will need to succeed in the future:
Understand how to align cybersecurity strategy with business objectives
As digital transformation initiatives continue to pick up steam across all industries, it’s becoming increasingly important for CISOs to have a strong understanding of their organization’s business objectives. They need to be able to clearly articulate how their cybersecurity strategy aligns with and supports those objectives. Furthermore, they need to be able to work with other business leaders to ensure that cybersecurity is taken into account in all aspects of the digital transformation process.
Strong leadership and communication skills
With the CISO role becoming much more strategic and thus more visible, strong leadership and communication skills are a must. CISOs need to be able to effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical audiences, including Boards of Directors and Executive Leadership teams. They need to be able to clearly articulate cybersecurity risks and explain how those risks can impact the business in order to gain support for security initiatives. In addition, they need to be able to build and lead high-performing teams of cybersecurity professionals.
Vendor management skills
CISOs need to have strong vendor management skills. They need to be able to effectively manage relationships with vendors, including negotiating contracts and ensuring that vendors meet their obligations. As supply chain cybersecurity grows as a top security concern, CISOs need to be able to conduct vendor risk assessments and work with vendors to identify, assess, and respond to cybersecurity risks through the supply chain.
Cybersecurity Talent Management
While CISOs need to have strong technical skills to solve complex security problems, in order for them to become a more strategic business leader, they must get out of the day-to-day technical weeds. One major reason CISOs are stuck in the weeds is due to the lack of qualified cybersecurity talent.
For this reason, cybersecurity talent management must be a top skill for the CISO of tomorrow. The ability to develop a cybersecurity talent pipeline for your organization is a must. This includes identifying the skills and experience needed for various positions, recruiting top talent, and providing training and development opportunities to help your cybersecurity team grow in their roles.
The role of the CISO is changing, and organizations are looking for leaders who can help them navigate the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity. To be successful in this role, CISOs need to have a mix of technical and non-technical skills. They need to be able to not only understand the latest cybersecurity technologies but also have the skills to align cybersecurity strategy with business objectives. They also need to be able to build and lead high-performing teams and have a strong understanding of business. As the role of the CISO continues to evolve, it’s important for organizations to understand the skills and experience that their CISO needs to have in order to be successful.
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