5 key qualities of successful CISOs, and how to develop them

CISOs today need significantly different skillsets to cybersecurity leaders of the past as they become more critical to business success.

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The role of the CISO is relatively immature in comparison to other, longer standing C-level business positions such as CEO, COO, or CFO, but it has evolved significantly in just the last few years alone. Today’s CISOs are required to be somewhat different from the traditional security leaders of the past, and that is reflective of two things: the vital and growing role data plays in the everyday running of a business and increased expectations of the security function to keep that data safe and operational.

“Previously, the CISO role was solely technology focused, and that technological aspect will remain foundational,” Tami Hudson, CISO at Randstad North America, tells CSO. “However, in our increasingly digitized and data-driven environment, the CISO role has provided a unique opportunity at the intersection of technology and business to build pervasive cyber resilience that impacts every part of the business, from the boardroom to the mailroom. When everything is digital, everything is at risk.”

Today, business success is directly intertwined with the success of information security. Therefore, the modern CISO needs a unique set of qualities to align effective data security strategy, process, and practice with various business needs and requirements.

Here are five of the most important qualities of today's CISOs, along with advice on how to garner and maintain such skills, according to various professionals working across the global information security sector.

A modern CISO speaks the language of the business

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