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How to become a CISO

Discussion in 'Network World' started by RSS, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. RSS

    RSS New Member Member

    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.
    • $189,323: The median annual salary for Chief Information Security Officer (CISOs) in the United States according to Salary.com data reported as of December 2015.
    Building knowledge and getting hired

    Success as a CISO requires technical expertise, robust communication skills and a strong network. There are many roads to the CISO role because the role is relatively new and security challenges evolve rapidly. Bernie Cowens, CISO at the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, started his security career in the U.S. Army where he focused on protecting physical assets and military intelligence. Troy Thompson, CISO at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, came up through the ranks supporting complex, high security research projects. Jeff Wright, CISO at Allstate, developed his expertise in network security. In every case, building a foundation of technical excellence was the essential first step to becoming a CISO.

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