How to become a CISO

The role of chief information security officer has been around for a couple of decades, but many large companies still don’t have a dedicated CISO. Now, however, fallout from prominent security breaches and the increasing visibility of information security in general might change that.

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How do executives deliver information security to their organizations? How did they develop the unique combination of technical understanding and leadership competency to lead cybersecurity departments? By chronicling the career journey of several cybersecurity executives, you will learn how they became executives and their approach to deliver security.

Twenty years ago, few organizations had a dedicated executive focused on cybersecurity matters. Today, many companies and government organizations have dedicated cybersecurity organizations and executive leaders. A few data points will serve to illustrate the prominence of the CISO role.

  • 1,600+: The number of CISOs in the United States who list CISO as their job title on LinkedIn. Geographically, CISOs are concentrated in major urban centres: there are 200 in the Washington, D.C. metro area, for example, and more than 150 in the New York City area.
  • Organizations with CISOs experience lower losses. Companies with a CISO experience a loss of $8 per record lost in a data breach. In contrast, organizations without CISOs have losses $24 higher per record lost in a data breach, according to the 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

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