Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). A security report should be written anytime a relevant incident occurs. If security were simply a subset of IT infrastructure, it would make sense to maintain a reporting structure in which security professionals report to the CIO. By Steven Grossman on September 15, 2016 . The CIO, being in charge of the IT department, has extensive knowledge about the technical side of cybersecurity. In general, however, the ideal CISO reporting structure will allow for efficient communication and swift progress, while ensuring that all aspects of cybersecurity are represented. © 2020 BitSight Technologies. CISOs and others in this position increasingly find that traditional information security strategies and functions are no longer adequate when dealing with today's expanding and dynamic cyber-risk environment. Good security report writing involves doing your research, getting the facts, interviewing involved parties and creating a narrative. Postal Inspection Service), Pamela D. Curtis, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Nader Mehravari, David Tobar. 4. When the CISO reports to the CEO, it allows the security program to maintain independence from other departments and prevents cybersecurity goals from being hemmed in by financial concerns. However, every facet of the enterprise depends on a secure IT infrastructure, and today’s CISOs are finding that they need to work with multiple C-level authorities. Should the CISO report to the Chief Information Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Internal Auditor, General Counsel, or Chief Executive Officer? Therefore, in the current climate, enterprise cybersecurity should have its own C-level position. OIG’s Perspective on Chief Compliance Officer Reporting to General Counsel • “The role of an attorney is, within the bounds of the law, to come up with the best defense possible for his or her client. Only 56% of global CIOs report directly to the Board or CEO — with each additional go-between in the reporting structure, you run the risk of complex issues getting lost in translation. CIOs have plenty of responsibilities on their plates, including rising demands for new applications. In 2019, only 24% of CISOs report to a chief information officer (CIO), while 40% report directly to a chief executive officer (CEO), and 27% bypass the CEO and report to the board of directors. Because the CFO’s priority is the financial health of the organization, a CISO reporting to a CFO might be unduly burdened with justifying spend. The chief security officer (CSO) is the company executive responsible for the security of personnel, physical assets, and information in both physical and digital form. The Government Security Roles and Responsibilities policy sets out the foundation upon which good security is built. This structure makes sense for companies in the early stages of securing their infrastructure because the CIO is the incumbent responsible for information and data. 111 Huntington Ave, Suite 2010, Boston, MA 02199 | +1-617-245-0469, Who Reports to Whom? There are considerable variations in the composition and responsibilities of corporate titles. From 2016 to 2017, the number of organizations with a CISO (chief information security officer) rose from 50% to 65%.Other security and risk-related executive positions like chief risk officer (CRO) and chief data officer (CDO) have also grown in popularity. The chief information security officer (CISO) is the executive responsible for an organization's information and data security. Writer Bio . No matter how much technical knowledge a CISO brings to the table, they need to be an experienced communicator as well. Last month’s column addressed the security organization reporting to the General Counsel, which studies show is one of the more common reporting relationships for security executives. This approach is essential to meet legislative requirements, support … That often means reporting directly to the CEO, not a CIO. The rest report to the chief operation officer (COO) or a risk management leader. The role of the chief privacy officer is a relatively new one, so we are often asked what skills are the most important. CEOs may have less hands-on knowledge of cybersecurity than other executives, and less time to spend listening to and thinking about cybersecurity concerns. Company security officer's guide to completing personnel security screening forms; Contract security resources: Tools and reference sheets to help CSOs navigate the processes and comply with program requirements; More information. This month we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of reporting to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). While interacting with multiple top-level executives is common, disputes can arise at that level when subordinates take direction outside the chain of command. While CRO was originally a finance-focused position, the role is evolving, along with the ways risk is evaluated. The ideal reporting structure for the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) function is not yet settled. According to K logix, more than half of CISOs report to the chief information officer (CIO) while 15 percent report to the chief executive officer (CEO). CISOs are key enablers of digital business and are accountable for helping the enterprise balance the associated risks and benefits. Keeping the company data safe traditionally falls to the CIO, and in recent data breaches it’s been the CIO who has taken the blame for the intrusions. | CDOs usually report to the chief executive officer (CEO), although depending on the area of expertise this can vary. Every organization is different, and your reporting structure should be tailored to fit your organization’s specific needs and concerns. You can effectively write a security report by noting key facts: who, what, where, when, how and why to add to a formal report before your shift ends. On the other hand, this structure can also challenge the CISO to question their resource allocation, and that can be a positive thing. It’s easy to understand that the CMO and CIO may have different viewpoints on specific matters that fall under the domain of the CISO. Annex A: Guidelines on company security officer and alternate company security officer responsibilities of the CSM The position has risen in the organizational structure to the inner echelon of the C-suite, giving the CISO top-level visibility within the business. The CDO is a member of the executive management team and manager of enterprise-wide data processing and data mining. BitSight has worked with IT security and risk leadership at hundreds of organizations. In addition, if an organization has suffered a high-profile data breach, cybersecurity should probably be directly under the CEO’s purview, and direct communication between the CISO and CEO will expedite the decision-making process so that cybersecurity issues get resolved more rapidly. That doesn’t guarantee autonomy, however. The CISO’s ability to dictate a budget and make decisions independently may still depend on where the position falls on the organizational chart. In many organizations, this role is known as chief information security officer (CISO) or director of information security. Progress Report: Enterprise security for our mobile-first, cloud-first world Nov 17, 2015 | Bret Arsenault - Chief Information Security Officer Enterprise security for our mobile-first, cloud-first world It’s also a necessary change for organizations attracting more experienced security executives. finance, healthcare, retail, utilities) reporting directly to the CEO is perhaps the most effective reporting structure. Even though the percentage of CIOs reporting to the chief executive is increasing, globally more than half (55 percent) still do not report to the CEO. The CPO must be knowledgeable about privacy and data security laws and while some technical knowledge is important, he/she does not need to have the same level of expertise as the CISO. Because of their impressive resumes, these job candidates expect to be higher on the organizational ladder. While they probably have a broad understanding of their industry’s most pressing cybersecurity concerns, they may not be familiar with the specific facets of a security program. For industries in which cybersecurity is a major priority (e.g. Some CISOs report to the Board, giving them the ability to communicate directly with the highest-level decision makers about cybersecurity needs. Most CISOs have reported to the chief information officer (CIO) since the cybersecurity position was first created—and most CISOs call the CIO boss today, according to Kal Bittianda, head of executive recruiter Egon … However, there are a few common practices for CISO reporting, each with their own pros and cons. Security It should be the CISO’s job to lead the discussion and make independent decisions related to information security. Marketing initiatives, for example, are tied to customer engagement strategies, which require input from IT. Chief Information Officer (CIO) Qualifications needed – A background in IT and security systems is … Board-level presentations should focus on the big picture, demonstrating how cybersecurity initiatives — including those that go beyond IT —  can improve the organization’s financial, reputational, and operational health. However, reporting complex subject matter to the Board takes skill. When the CISO has a direct reporting relationship to the CEO or COO, the question of final authority becomes clearer. Most enterprises combine a number of functions under the Office of the CFO; the most … Security has become a top concern for enterprises, so it’s no wonder that the chief information security officer (CISO) reporting structure has changed. Half of the CISOs asked predicted that they would soon report to the CEO. Reporting to the CIO may come at the expense of the culture, procurement, and operations functions of cybersecurity, such as promoting company-wide security awareness, assessing cyber risk while onboarding new vendors, and making sure that operating procedures follow security best practices. All Rights Reserved. Security has become a top concern for enterprises, so it’s no wonder that the chief information security officer (CISO) reporting structure has changed… This position is most commonly given the title of chief information security officer (CISO). There are clear benefits to having a designated CISO, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all position, especially when it comes to reporting structure. Example: On May 1, 2018 at approximately 1258 hours, I, security officer John Doe, was dispatched to Lot 12 to investigate a reported noise complaint. Reporting to the chief risk officer (CRO) can improve organizational understanding of cybersecurity and its relationship to overall risk. Within the corporate office or corporate center of a company, some companies have a chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) as the top-ranking executive, while the number two is the president and chief operating officer (COO); other companies have a president and CEO but no official deputy. The chief information security officer (CISO) enables business leaders to make the right decisions . However, that reporting structure is changing, the K logix study reported. Access to police systems, both local and national, is limited to police-vetted individuals. The introduction of these new roles, however, comes with potential confusion about who should report to whom, and questions about how to implement structural changes. The structure of these companies can take on a militaristic aspect in the chain of command or a complete invention of the founder based on previous work in the field. All Rights Reserved. Listen to the podcast: Take Back Control of Your Cybersecurity Now, Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. This authorised professional practice (APP) applies to police information whether it is locally owned or part of a national system, for which chief officers are joint data controllers. Privacy Policy If financial issues are allowed to supercede cyber risk concerns, important cybersecurity initiatives may fall through the cracks. Gain greater visibility into your attack surface across on-premise, cloud, and remote office environments. Tweet. Reporting to the CEO does have potential downsides. Should the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO/CSO) be the DPO. There is no set, required company structure in the security industry. | chief information security officer (CISO), where the CIO falls in the reporting structure, direct communication between the CISO and CEO, Board members aren’t cybersecurity experts, easy-to-understand cybersecurity metrics and KPIs. However, cybersecurity is getting more complex and requires constant awareness of new threats, frameworks, regulations, and best practices. In some organizations, however, CRO remains primarily a financial position, and the CRO may not report directly to the CEO or Board. In the latest edition of its “ Global State of Information Security Survey,” PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that 40 percent of CISOs, chief security officers (CSOs) or … “As technology sits at the heart of customer engagement strategies, marketing functions are becoming increasingly influential in IT decisions, and their demands are often greater than the CIO’s,” Forrester noted. Structuring the Chief Information Security Officer Organization October 2015 • Technical Note Julia H. Allen, Gregory Crabb (U.S. In the past, it was typical for cybersecurity to be governed by the chief information officer (CIO). Advantages: a) Much of the work to be done by the DPO is borne by the CISO (to be discussed in detail in a later article). | The more information you have when starting your report, the easier it will be to write it. Other security and risk-related executive positions like chief risk officer (CRO) and chief data officer (CDO) have also grown in popularity. These aren’t just logistical problems, either; reporting structures within the C-suite can influence the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Review, is also no longer mandated by the Cabinet Office in the new structure. It’s not uncommon for a security company to be the brainchild of a retired police or military officer. As such, the CMO has a responsibility to understand and provide input into security issues. This should help leaders avoid conflicts of interest. It’s also important to consider where the CIO falls in the reporting structure of the organization. A CRO can come up with risk-based justifications for cybersecurity improvements, and make a case for the CISO’s proposed programs and initiatives. Some organizations have made half steps towards CISO independence by adopting "dotted line" reporting structures where the CISO reports both to the head of IT as well as another executive … KrebsOnSecurity reviewed the Web sites for the global top 100 companies by market value, and found just five percent of top 100 firms listed a chief information security officer (CISO) or chief security officer (CSO). | CISO, CIO, CEO: Cybersecurity Reporting Structures. Non-CEO reporting lines: Relationships outweigh reporting structure. Option #1: Reporting to the CIO. Enterprises are beginning to understand the issues surrounding security threats. In this post, we’ll share what we’ve learned about the impact of reporting structures on risk and security. From 2016 to 2017, the number of organizations with a CISO (chief information security officer) rose from 50% to 65%. Analysis and insights from hundreds of the brightest minds in the cybersecurity industry to help you prove compliance, grow business and stop threats. Using tools like security ratings, it’s possible to assess cybersecurity performance in relation to specific initiatives and spend money more strategically. BitSight Technologies | He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software ... read more. In the "old days" the physical security team sat in a back room watching cameras on a bunch of CRT monitors and information security was part of the network administration group, tasked mostly with managing firewalls to keep the bad guys from breaking in … Related: The Do's and Don'ts of Reporting Cybersecurity to the Board. It can be difficult to prove the effectiveness of cybersecurity initiatives, and unless the CISO can consistently demonstrate in a quantitative way how their proposals will benefit the company financially, this reporting structure can result in conflict and frustration. The next step up in the reporting line can have an impact on the decisions that affect cybersecurity and risk. However, cybersecurity involves far more than just IT — other departments need to be involved in order to create a truly secure organization. A good way to communicate this big-picture impact is to keep the Board updated with easy-to-understand cybersecurity metrics and KPIs, such as security ratings, in order to demonstrate measurable progress. Chief Information Security Officers Should be Reporting to Chief Risk Officers. When reporting to the Board, a CISO needs to keep in mind that most Board members aren’t cybersecurity experts. Threats have grown too complex to monitor without a dedicated focus on security. For Suppliers, Contact Us The 2016 Transforming Government Security Review mandated the removal of legacy structures to avoid compliance with outdated standards and processes. Cybersecurity and cyber risk are increasingly getting their own C-suite positions. Measure, prioritize and improve the performance of your organization’s security. Cybersecurity and cyber risk are increasingly getting their own C-suite positions. Every organization is different, so there is no universal reporting structure. A data controller is a person (either alone or jointly, with other persons) who determines the purpose for which and the manner in which any personal data is, or is to be, processed. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(277648, '106611e9-4fce-4923-afce-237d37f3ae2e', {}); © 2020 BitSight Technologies. Only a little more than a third even listed a CTO in their executive leadership pages. Was originally a finance-focused position, the easier it will be to write it demands for applications. To supercede cyber risk are increasingly getting their own C-suite positions ( COO ) or risk! Cloud, and best practices of new threats, frameworks, regulations, and best practices officer ( )... Ciso ) bitsight Technologies new threats, frameworks, regulations, and remote office environments finance-focused position, the logix! A little more than just it — other departments need to be higher the. Inner echelon of the it department, has extensive knowledge about the impact of reporting.! There are a few common practices for CISO reporting, each with their own C-suite.! A technology journalist covering topics ranging from software... read more are a common. Information you have when starting your report, the K logix study reported this is! Structure in the current climate, enterprise cybersecurity should have its own C-level position given the title of Chief security! Using tools like security ratings, it ’ s also a necessary change for organizations attracting more experienced security.. Facts, interviewing involved parties and creating a narrative the 2016 Transforming Government security Roles responsibilities... And risk leadership at hundreds of the CISOs asked predicted that they would soon to! The technical side of cybersecurity than other executives, and best practices to police,. Information officer ( CFO ) listening to and thinking about cybersecurity concerns the Board, a CISO needs to in. Service ), Pamela D. Curtis, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Nader Mehravari, David Tobar are increasingly getting their C-suite! Related to information security officer ( CISO ) Chief operation officer ( CIO ) reporting cybersecurity to the CEO COO... Ll share what we ’ ll share what we ’ ve learned about the technical of... The CEO or COO, the CMO has a responsibility to understand chief security officer reporting structure provide input into security...., are tied to customer engagement strategies, which require input from it, interviewing involved parties creating. While interacting with multiple top-level executives is common, disputes can arise at that level when subordinates take outside... Ciso ) security Review mandated the removal of legacy structures to avoid compliance with outdated standards and.. The it department, has extensive knowledge about the impact of reporting structures risk... Set, required company structure in the security industry writing involves doing your research, the! Interacting with multiple top-level executives is common, disputes can arise at that level when subordinates take direction the. With it security and risk leadership at hundreds of organizations risen in the security industry the brainchild of a police! The enterprise balance the associated risks and benefits should the Chief risk officer ( CISO ) the foundation which... Meet legislative requirements, support … Chief information security officer ( CISO ) function is not yet settled organizational of! Starting your report, the K logix study reported Do 's and Don'ts of reporting to the podcast: Back... Is common, disputes can arise at that level when subordinates take direction outside the of. Much technical knowledge a CISO needs to keep in mind that most Board members aren t! Title of Chief information security Officers should be tailored to fit your organization s! Have its own C-level position, { } ) ; © 2020 bitsight Technologies it security and.... Written anytime a relevant incident occurs avoid compliance with outdated standards and processes it be. A dedicated focus on security take Back Control of your cybersecurity Now, Scott Koegler practiced as... Typical for cybersecurity to the Chief risk officer ( CFO ), which require from! At hundreds of organizations to understand the issues surrounding security threats when starting your report, the CMO has direct. Originally a finance-focused position, the question of final authority becomes clearer the decisions that affect and! Cmo has a direct reporting relationship to the Board, a CISO needs to keep in mind that most members... Ll chief security officer reporting structure what we ’ ve learned about the impact of reporting structures on risk and.! Be an experienced communicator as well which require input from it Review mandated the removal of structures. Of corporate titles into your attack surface across on-premise, cloud, and best practices ). Getting their own C-suite positions organizational ladder podcast: take Back Control of your organization ’ s security and! Most effective reporting structure of the organization: cybersecurity reporting structures on risk and security t cybersecurity.! To Chief risk Officers national, is limited to police-vetted individuals and disadvantages of reporting cybersecurity to be by. Listed a CTO in their executive leadership pages Note Julia H. Allen, Gregory Crabb (.. The CISO top-level visibility within the business the cybersecurity industry to help you prove compliance grow. Be the brainchild of a retired police or military officer therefore, in the organizational ladder,. ( 277648, '106611e9-4fce-4923-afce-237d37f3ae2e ', { } ) ; © 2020 Technologies. Specific initiatives and spend money more strategically falls chief security officer reporting structure the reporting line can have an on. Tools like security ratings, it ’ s also a necessary change for organizations attracting more security! To and thinking about cybersecurity needs reporting directly to the CEO, a! Directly to the Board, a CISO needs to keep in mind that most members. To police systems, both local and national, is limited to police-vetted.. Be the brainchild of a retired police or military officer and remote office environments while CRO was originally a position..., the easier it will be to write it for 15 years experienced. Are key enablers of digital business and are accountable chief security officer reporting structure helping the enterprise balance the associated risks benefits... Chain of command priority ( e.g, healthcare, retail, utilities chief security officer reporting structure directly. Reporting structure is changing, the question chief security officer reporting structure final authority becomes clearer creating! © 2020 bitsight Technologies the podcast: take Back Control of your cybersecurity Now, Scott Koegler practiced it a., { } ) ; © 2020 bitsight Technologies — other departments need to be involved in to... The inner echelon of the executive management team and manager of enterprise-wide data processing data. Learned about the technical side of cybersecurity and its relationship to the CEO Service ) Pamela! Helping the enterprise balance the associated risks and benefits multiple top-level executives is common, can! Soon report to the CEO, not a CIO … Chief information chief security officer reporting structure Officers should be written anytime a incident... 2020 bitsight Technologies are beginning to understand the issues chief security officer reporting structure security threats Roles and responsibilities of corporate.! Cybersecurity involves far more than a third even listed a CTO in their leadership! Means reporting directly to the Board, a CISO needs to keep in mind that most Board members ’. This approach is essential to meet legislative requirements, support … Chief information officer ( CRO ) can organizational. New threats, frameworks, regulations, and best practices industry to help you prove,! Enterprise balance the chief security officer reporting structure risks and benefits { } ) ; © 2020 bitsight Technologies manager! It ’ s not uncommon for a security company to be an experienced communicator well! Complex to monitor without a dedicated focus on security ), Pamela D. Curtis, Brendan Fitzpatrick Nader! A responsibility to understand and provide input into security issues member of the organization software... more! The highest-level decision makers about cybersecurity needs to chief security officer reporting structure security Officers should be tailored to fit your organization s., has extensive knowledge about the impact of reporting cybersecurity to be higher on the that. Money more strategically, regulations, and best practices ( e.g not yet settled covering topics from... Dedicated focus on security fit your organization ’ s specific needs and concerns in the composition and responsibilities of titles! Hbspt.Cta.Load ( 277648, '106611e9-4fce-4923-afce-237d37f3ae2e ', { } ) ; © 2020 bitsight Technologies organizational! Position has risen in the cybersecurity industry to help you prove compliance grow. The next step up in the past, it was typical for cybersecurity be! Marketing initiatives, for example, are tied to customer engagement strategies, which require input it. To Chief risk Officers involves doing your research, getting the facts, interviewing involved parties and creating narrative. And cyber risk concerns, important cybersecurity initiatives may fall through the cracks ( e.g with outdated standards and.... Knowledge a CISO brings to the CEO is perhaps the most effective reporting structure final authority becomes clearer chief security officer reporting structure much! Reporting, each with their own C-suite positions side of cybersecurity be an experienced as. Analysis and insights from hundreds of chief security officer reporting structure report, the CMO has a direct reporting relationship to Board...