Why Does Your Business Need a CISO? What Do They Do?

Why Does Your Business Need A CISO

With a constantly evolving landscape of local, regional, national, international rules, standards, and regulations for information management and security, your company needs a leader who can go beyond being a security specialist. You need a leader to build frameworks in a way that the entire infrastructure of information management in your company allows secured data flow, storage, exchange, breach identification, incident management, and response. That’s your Chief Information Security Officer! You might still be wondering whether the duties and responsibilities of a CISO could be fulfilled by a set of other positions? This blog helps you assess when your company needs a CISO, and what they do, and how to go about CISO recruitment.


Companies worldwide are exposed to potential information breach attacks launched every 39 seconds based on the average number of reported attacks identified over a year – we come across this information in many media sources. There are several surveys indicating that 83% of IT leaders have increased spending on cybersecurity over the past 12 months.

The increasing security threats have also led to increasing regulation from the state, central, and international authorities. To address information security requirements in organizations, there are several specialists such as cybersecurity directors, information security directors, and chief risk analysts and officers, among others. These roles deal with the implementation of security systems, protocols, procedures, and real-time security incidents monitoring.

But what about these matters?

  • Improving and updating the information architecture framework
  • The strategic planning for creating secured information management systems
  • Finding out the right technology and practices for securing privacy, confidentiality, and security of data and information at every level of access and use?
  • Ensuring that information assets are created, stored, and managed in a way that ensures compliance with all applicable state and federal and international rules and regulations
  • Everything related to identifying, assessing, and improving security objectives and metrics

These are outside the field of expertise of all roles other than a Chief Information Security Officer.

So, there is no wonder that the demand for CISO recruitment is increasing exponentially.

When the CISO position was newly introduced in the 1990s and evolving in the 2000s, the responsibilities were mostly revolving around working alongside the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for establishing overall information security and cybersecurity strategy and taking actions to ensure that data assets are protected.

In the last decade, however, the position of a CISO has dramatically evolved, keeping pace with the changing landscape of digitalized operations and the increasing amount of digital information being shared, stored, accessed, used, modified, and reshared on a continual basis. There is a consequent increase in the demand for CISO recruiters or CISO executive search specialists.

Does your company need such super-specialists? In other words, does your business need a CISO? Here are some points to consider:

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When To Hire a CISO for Your Company

Chief Information Security Officer recruitment is a highly challenging process. It becomes necessary to conduct a thorough assessment of whether it is needed and why before you plan the recruitment.

The myths that a CISO is only needed for big companies and startups do not need such a role are confusing many business owners.

It is not about the size of the company. Even companies with 100 employees or somewhat less have CISOs playing a huge role in their success. It is about your operational models, the technologies used, and the fact that whether your production and sales processes are such that clients need to be convinced about optimized security infrastructure and secured information management.

For example, let us consider technology solutions startups, whether they are fintech or healthcare or retail-focused ones. They might have cloud-based operations. The information they manage might have high consequences for their clients and end customers, demanding high-security engineering and protocols for data protection and safety across operations processes. In such cases, the first thing an any good client would want to know is whether a Chief Information Security Officer recruitment has been done and how capable he or she is.

So, when to hire a CISO depends on factors related to your operations. Here are a few points to note.

Your Data and Information Infrastructure is Expanding Day-by-Day

You have decided to manage most operations on cloud systems. The ever-expanding data streams and storage requirements have become difficult to manage in an optimized, structured manner that ensures a high level of checks, access control, and data protection protocols.

Your business projections also involve working with clients who would need proof of how secure your information management and security engineering is. If such scenarios exist, you definitely need to consider hiring a CISO.

You Need to Manage a Huge Amount of Confidential Client and Customer Data on a Routine Basis

As data protection regulations continue to evolve, maintaining compliance with the numerous standards, rules and regulations demand a revamp of existing information security infrastructure, and CISO recruitment becomes essential.

Your data resources are increasing dramatically – spread in multi-office, multi-geography scenarios.

When you have no clue about all the touchpoints of data flow, exchange, access, and control across your enterprise, the kind of vulnerabilities you are exposed to is unimaginable. Business email compromise (BEC) alone has accounted for $26 billion in theft, as per many reports. Hiring a CISO is less about just the data management – it is about ensuring that your entire data architecture and the use of data across enterprise levels is done as per high standards in security.

Before hiring a CISO, it is wiser to consult an expert in CISO recruitment and find out the kind of talent that is being hired in your industry and how much investment would be required for making all kinds of changes post-hiring a CISO.

When Having an Expert is Needed For Compliance with Rules and Regulations

Your organization might have evolved or transformed to have digitalized operations requiring a high level of security at every touchpoint it is accessed and used, with mechanisms to track and trace every activity and prevent data theft, loss, or any kind of breaches. It is then time to consult with a CISO recruiter to plan a CISO recruitment process.

If Millions of Dollars Are Resting on The Way, You Manage Data

If any kind of data breach occurs, how much would be at stake? Do you have protocols and measures in place to identify and prevent data theft possibilities in the internal environment itself? If you would end up losing millions of dollars due to a lack of proper information security infrastructure, paying penalties, and losing client accounts, that is not a risk worth taking. It is better to go for CISO recruitment early on.

What Do CISOs Do

After taking note of the many scenarios which indicate when and why CISO recruitment is needed, you will be able to get a strong notion about how your organization stands in terms of hiring a CISO.

If you are wondering about what all a CISO does and could achieve, here are some roles, responsibilities, and functions that are common to all CISO positions.

Preparing Data Assets and Infrastructure

You might already have your traditional architecture and an infrastructure that supports the creation and secured management of data assets. How resilient is the infrastructure going forward?

A CISO will help you assess the vulnerabilities of your data and information infrastructure and envision and implement the right upgrades, restructuring, and other changes so that you can benefit from the secured creation and management of data assets.

Information Security Strategy

A CISO is responsible for identifying, developing, implementing, and maintaining processes for controlling information security risks. The CISO makes the strategies to direct the establishment and implementation of protocols, measures, IT systems, policies, and procedures for ensuring secured operations management across the enterprise.

Data Loss and Theft Prevention

We have heard many IT leaders and reports indicating that half of all data breaches occur due to human error. You need a CISO to establish an infrastructure where data access and use can be monitored, tracked, and controlled.

From emails and online data flow and exchange to sales, financial, and operations data, there is a need for authentication, controls, and restrictions in the way information are accessed and shared. A CISO will ensure that such an infrastructure exists to control all kinds of internal and external data theft.

Cyber Security and Online Data Sources

A CISO is expected to manage information security initiatives and employees across the organization to ensure a smooth transition toward security-aware and risk-free business practices.

Supervising Technology Investments for Information Management

One of the roles of a CISO involves supervising technology investments for information management and security. A CISO executive search consultant for your industry would be able to outline all the responsibilities that come under this role, such as checking the compatibility and effectiveness of any new technology with existing information management and operations efficiency goals or research into technology tools that enhance operations efficiency while optimizing security management.

Compliance Management

It is important for the CISOs to ensure that their organization is not only adaptable to evolving compliance regulations but has the resources to maintain compliance with efficiency. Regulations bubble up and change frequently, and it is up to the CISO to train employees and hire staff for managing compliance.

Online and Offline Data Governance and Regular Checks / Testing

In coordination with IT directors, Business Intelligence chiefs, CIO, and CRO, a CISO needs to participate in all decision-making related to online and offline data governance. What kind of roles should data stewards play and how should security checks and testing be carried out, how should issues be addressed? These are some of the questions the CISO would have to answer.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

A CISO plays an important role in achieving a robust crisis communication channel, disaster recovery, and risk management system. The CISO has to take a strong role in checking matters related to disaster recovery and business continuity, improving and strengthening the existing system and procedures.

Coordination and Training for Data Management Improvements

For ensuring smooth management of operations in accordance with a high data security internal environment, employees need to be trained and offered the resources to get the right information at the right time. CISOs are often involved in supervising all the change management planning and related training activities.

Connect With Great Talents

Alliance Recruitment Agency

Alliance Recruitment Agency has been offering CISO executive search and recruitment support for a decade.

Our agency has helped not only big companies, serving as the best CISO recruiters managing each step with excellence, but also assisted numerous startups seeking CISO executive search services. Our track record covers about 100 projects.

We help businesses put in place a highly relevant and efficient CISO executive search and virtual interview process that also ensures a good candidate experience. Our CISO executive search specialists also help you assess options such as virtual CISO recruitment and consultant CISO hiring and find out what would best suit your organization.

If you are a company with operations that involve high consequence data and information and looking to digitalized operations, hiring a CISO is worth considering. Let us know what your queries and requirements are!