Data security has emerged as one of the most critical problems of the decade. Moreover, the pandemic has driven up data safety concerns. Hence most organizations are evaluating their security posture and implementing measures to protect data better. As a result, data security provides a fantastic opportunity for security officers to demonstrate their strong leadership skills.
With every passing day, data security and privacy become bigger problems for organizations. Consider the following current issues:
Traditionally, the CISO role would significantly focus on network security and active threat protection. However, with the current data landscape, the role of the CISO is evolving quickly beyond the realms of network security and into the much broader and more complex realm of data security.
CISOs are expected to be overall custodians of the organization’s data security posture, establishing adequate governance and security practices. Managing the data security posture requires CISOs to create a framework for balancing business operations vs. data risks. As the responsibility is to create a comprehensive data security framework, the job of the CISO necessitates a nuanced understanding of the needs of the business and all appropriate regulations.
Moving forward, C-suite will be expected to have adequate knowledge of data protection risks to make strategic investment decisions. Moreover, in most organizations, CISOs already have a seat at board meetings. Thus, CISOs will be seen as the subject expert on data security and technical aspects of data privacy in leadership meetings. Their input on data protection will be sought in many strategic discussions. Driving strategic conversations and getting attention from top executives would help advance CISOs’ careers. Many established CISOs may also see a change in their reporting structure, and top management roles open up for them.
In many instances, CISOs get additional responsibilities without appropriate budget allocation. However, businesses consider data protection risks a priority, and they assign budgets accordingly. Therefore, CISOs could also get resources for additional data security responsibilities, setting security officers up for success.
Data security is a complex problem, and not all organizations are mature enough to understand the complexity involved in data protection. CISOs have the hard job of driving awareness and change. Here are some basic steps to push the data security agenda:
The role of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) has evolved over the years, and data security could be the next launch point in their careers. However, protecting data is a complex problem, and it has the capacity to make or break the careers of many CISOs. In addition, tools and approaches that worked in previous decades and even recent years are no longer effective, forcing security leaders to adopt new strategies.
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