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How a CISO can Deliver Business Value

It’s been said that data is the new oil as the most valuable business asset. If this is true, that would elevate a CISOs role to the organization to the keepers of the family jewels. Until now, a CISO. has been primarily focused on preventing and mitigating data breaches. In today’s rapidly changing climate, a CISO’s focus is quickly moving to balancing and managing risk across the entire business, with risk relating to an organization’s data, where it is located, what it contains, and under what regulations it falls.

This risk is usually split among:

Three Vectors that Support CISOs Attaining Business Value

The key is to understand the connection between balancing risk and delivering business value. To make this shift, CISOs need to have an innate understanding of how their role affects business value in three key areas that they can translate directly into growth for the company.

1. Understanding the true cost of a data breach in managing risk

Risk could be direct or indirect financial loss, brand damage due to compromised customer accounts, supply chain issues, challenges that arise as a result of regulatory compliance or from other directions. On top of business risk, it’s the CISOs responsibility to understand the risk to the customer, including exposure of personal data, leakage of health information, and identity fraud. Lastly, and probably the most critical, the risk of high customer attrition due to their lack of confidence in their personal data’s security. No one expects a CISO to always balance all these risks, but for sure they can widen their range of concerns.

2. Staying on top of the cost of controls

The more cloud-based technologies that an organization adopts, the higher the increase to an organization’s security risk, yet the trend towards SaaS software is increasing rapidly. CISOs need effective and automated tools to protect the sharing of data within this software.    They need a solution that works across the business that gives visibility to manage data, understand the data’s content and its level of sensitivity, see who has access to the data, and mitigate the risk of data sprawl. One solution that covers the lot is a quick win that can provide huge business value without adding multiple technologies and therefore unnecessary cost.

3. Reducing the impact on business velocity

The final way to show business value is to be as invisible as possible. It might sound counter-intuitive, but in an organization where security is seen as a hurdle, users are less likely to adopt measures suggested by the CISO, and might even skip steps, using the need to ensure continuity and customer service as an excuse. This could end up being the biggest risk of all.

Proving that your security solutions do a great job is only half of the battle. Efficiency and effectiveness need to be two sides of the same coin.  Security needs to be continuous, automated as much as possible, and act behind the scenes to become a normal part of business as usual, rather than perceived as slowing down operations for the sake of data protection.

CISOs changing role affects business value in three key areas can translate directly into growth for the company or can lead to stagnation.

Bringing it all together

Many CISOs will approach their executive team or board with the theoretical risk that they have mitigated. For example, how much they have saved the company by avoiding a data breach or ransomware attack. However, you’re only as good as your next big challenge, and while you could be a hero today, your ‘zero’ moment of discovering compromised data in your customer accounts could be right around the corner.

Want to learn more about the quickest way to prove business value as a CISO for both preventing data compromise and having automated tools in place to remediate the solution if a breach did occur? Get in touch