Cyber security and keeping infrastructure safe from attackers is a growing problem today. In the past few years alone, we’ve seen breaches affecting the consumer, professional, and even infrastructure. Remember when Target and Equifax were breached a few years ago, resulting in several class action lawsuits to mitigate the damage from the breach? What about when T-Mobile was breached last year, resulting in their customer’s personal information finding its way to the dark web? How about that pipeline that was shut down last year due to a ransomware attack? All of these things can have devastating results and adversely impact people. And many of these could have been prevented if better security systems were in place. A chief information security officer, or ciso, ensures safe cybersecurity information. They oversee the protocols and procedures that bolster security while ensuring their teams are educated. In this article, we’ll briefly introduce cybersecurity and the role the CISO plays in making it happen.
Cybersecurity At A Glance
Cybersecurity is a fairly simple concept. It’s merely the protection of computer networks, systems, and data at your company from cyber-attacks. These can be viruses, malware, ransomware, or other breaches. Cyber security involves protecting businesses from damage, protecting consumers, and mitigating potential threats. Globally, cybersecurity is a thriving enterprise in high demand. There’s now an increasing demand for cyber security services and people knowledgeable about handling or ameliorating threats.
Understanding Cyber Security Threats
Today’s businesses are more dependent than ever on technology. With that technology comes the threat of somebody breaching, attacking, or infiltrating the system and causing untold damage. Whether it’s sensitive data from a retailer, customer names or location info, or banking details, hackers can gain access to sensitive data by infiltrating a company with poor cybersecurity practices. In 2017, there were 779 data breaches in the US alone. In the following years, things have only gotten worse. To handle cybersecurity threats on a grand scale, some companies hire a dedicated C-suite role known as a Chief Information Security Officer.
What is a CISO?
A CISO is the leader of a cybersecurity team. The CISO is responsible for protecting the company from cyber-attacks. The job requires a great deal of knowledge about IT security, including protecting data and systems from hackers, viruses, and other malicious software. The ciso defends the company’s data and system from hackers by managing the team effectively, staying on top of current cybersecurity threats, and educating employees about how to prevent or mitigate them. They keep an eye on the industry trends, stay ahead of potential threats, manage IT security teams, and help minimize risk. Risk management and visibility are integral parts of the CISO’s job. Without a dedicated and eligible individual in the role, a company’s cyber security measures would suffer the most and likely be prone to more risk.
CISO vs IT
On the surface, CISO might sound like a managerial IT guy. But their role is much more expensive. What’s the difference between a CISO and an IT person? In a nutshell, the difference is that an IT professional is responsible for ensuring that all the technology in your company works as intended. They are often called “systems analysts” or “systems administrators,” and their job is to keep things running smoothly. A chief information security officer (CISO) has a different role. Instead of personally handling IT concerns, they focus on protecting data and ensuring cybersecurity measures are working properly for the business. To that end, a CISO implements new security measures, researches new technologies, trains employees on best practices, and monitors network activity. It’s a comprehensive and complex role that requires the ciso to have a vast knowledge of industry trends, utilizes important CISO resources online, and
Do All Companies Have/Need a CISO?
The role of the CISO is a relatively new one. As cyber security has become a hot-button issue for most businesses, the need for a dedicated professional in the role has only risen. That’s why many larger companies have a ciso. Companies of 10 employees or fewer might not be large enough to have one as a dedicated role. Instead, IT professionals already working for the company might take on their responsibilities. Without a dedicated ciso, it’s still up to the company to determine cybersecurity measures, assess risk, and understand vulnerabilities. There are several ways to determine if your company needs a CISO. If you’ve been subject to several breaches or compliance issues, it might be worth hiring a dedicated person for the role. If you feel your company is at risk and needs additional reinforcement, it’s also a good idea to bring one on your team. In some cases, your company might not need one, so ultimately, it’s going to be up to you to determine that by assessing your needs and weighing your risks appropriately.