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CISO: Responsibilities and Requirements


The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is the person in charge of information and data security within an organization.

Although the position has been more loosely defined along those lines in the past, the term gets frequently used synonymously with CSO and Security VP these days, suggesting a more expansive role in the organization.

Responsibilities of CISO

What responsibility does a CISO have? Perhaps the best way to grasp the work at CISO is to know what everyday tasks come under its framework. Although no two jobs are precisely the same, an expert highlighted the areas of CISO responsibility. The expert identifies these duties into the following segments:

  • Security operations. An overview of imminent risks in real-time, and urgent care whenever anything goes wrong.
  • Cyber risk and cyber intelligence. Keep up with security threats and help the board recognize potential security issues that may arise from purchases or other major business movements.
  • Prevention of data loss and fraud. Ensuring that internal staff does not exploit or steal data.
  • Application architecture. Preparing, buying, and installing networking equipment and applications, and ensuring that IT and network resources get built with best practices for protection in mind.
  •  Identity and access monitoring. Making sure that only allowed personnel have access to confidential data and systems.
  • Program monitoring. Keeping security needs ahead by enforcing risk-mitigating projects and programs — regular security patches, for example.
  • Investigations and forensics. Identify what went wrong in an infringement, engage with those accountable if they are internal, and try to avoid repeating the same issue.
  • Leadership. ensuring that all the above projects run smoothly and receive the funding they require — and that corporate management understands how important they are.

Requirements of CISO

What needs to get considered for the role? A CISO requires a decent technical basis. Experts said that usually an applicant is required to have a computer science or related field bachelor’s degree and 7-12 years of professional experience (along with at least five in a managerial position); professional master’s degrees with a security emphasis are also substantially in demand.

There seems to be a lengthy list of required technical skills, understanding security-centric tech such as

  1. DNS
  2. Routing
  3. Authentication
  4. VPN
  5. Proxy services
  6. DDOS mitigation technologies
  7. Coding practices
  8. Ethical hacking
  9. Threat modeling
  10. Firewall intrusion detection/prevention protocols
  11. PCI
  12. HIPAA
  13. NIST
  14. GLBA
  15. SOX compliance assessments.


As a person ascending the ladder in anticipation of a leap to CISO, burning your resume with certifications doesn’t hurt.

Such skills refresh the mind, evoke creative thinking, improve reputation, and are a necessary part of any sound internal training program, as Information Security puts it. Though there’s a rather bewildering range to choose from. An expert suggested a pick of the top three: