When to Hire a CISO

An explanation of a CISO and the skills they should have

Organizations have been moving larger and larger quantities of corporate data to the cloud — because enterprises around the globe realize the benefits that the cloud has over traditional computing. However, the cloud presents different security challenges than that of conventional on-site and PC solutions. Security in the cloud should be addressed with the same diligence as on-premises software — and that's where a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) comes in.

You need to be proactive — which means you need to hire a CISO before your organization has grown to a level where your Chief Information Officer (CIO) cannot handle everything. The CIO is the most senior executive in an enterprise that works for traditional information technology and computer systems, supporting enterprise goals. They don't have the same level of understanding for cybersecurity as a CISO — therefore, there may be gaps in the cybersecurity plans and protocols.

What is a CISO?

A CISO is a senior-level executive within an organization responsible for establishing and maintaining the enterprise vision, strategy, and program to ensure information assets and technologies are adequately protected.

The CISO directs staff in identifying, developing, implementing, and maintaining processes across the enterprise to reduce information and information technology (IT) risks. They respond to incidents, establish appropriate standards and controls, manage security technologies, and direct the establishment and implementation of policies and procedures.

What skills should a CISO have?

A CISO has a tough job. Expectations are always high — while understanding what they actually do is typically very low. When facing a crisis, they have to inspire trust within their engineering team and the C-suite. Here are the top skills that CISO's need to have:

  • MBA with a specialization in information systems, finance, or accounting.
  • IT Experience
  • Risk assessment and management experience
  • Certifications such as CCISO (certified chief information security officer) by the EC-Council, CISSP (certified information systems security professional) by ISC², and the CISM (certified information security manager) by ISACA, to name just a few.
  • Business Experience
  • Financial Acuity
  • Communications Skills

Who handles security if you don’t have a CISO?

If you don't have a CISO, then you need to ensure that you outsource some of the components of your security to different companies. There are many tools out there — and if you have the right DevOps or engineers in place, they can deploy them for you.

Managed security service providers (MSSP) provide some level of management over almost any security service, such as firewall and VPNs, content filtering, DDoS protection, security monitoring, and vulnerability scanning — all of which can almost all take place in the cloud. MSSP’s are a great and cost-effective way of gaining access to specialized security tools and expertise.

How OpenVPN can help

Inside threats, security breaches, malware attacks, and numerous other security threats are preventable with a robust security infrastructure in place. With this in mind — the function of a CISO is to ensure an organization's network, data, and applications are secure. With corporate data increasingly moving to the cloud, you need to be proactive and ensure your organization is taking steps in the right direction — don’t fall into the trap of thinking your business is immune to cyber-attacks.

OpenVPN's Access Server offers the ability to remotely connect to your private network and allows authorized users to access the services and data that they need. Since the VPN connection has end-to-end encryption, your sensitive business data will be shielded from prying eyes.

From Google to Amazon, and from Tesla to Samsung, there's a long list of successful companies that trust Access Server to provide a reliable and secure connection to cloud-hosted data. And OpenVPN can help protect your organization as well, whether you are a small business or large enterprise — there is a plan that will work for you.

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