Do you enjoy coding? Do you aspire to be a leader? You have the mindset of a Chief Information Security Officer if you answered yes!
According to Statista, there were 1,001 reported data breaches in the United States alone in 2020, exposing 155.8 million people’s sensitive information. Information security professionals are in high demand across all industries because data is such an important part of modern business. The chief information security officer leads a company’s security force and works to foster a secure and safe company culture by implementing measures to protect data and sensitive information and assist departments in securely communicating.
Do you aspire to be a Chief Information Security Officer or are you just exploring the field? In either case, you’ve arrived at the right place! This blog discusses the necessary skills, colleges and courses, salary, and other requirements for becoming a Chief Information Security Officer. To become a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), follow the blog’s detailed guide.
What does a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) do?
A chief information security officer is in charge of protecting a company’s data, financial records, intellectual property, and technology programmes. The nature of the job is to develop security programmes that meet the needs and goals of businesses while also protecting them from cyberattacks and hacks. A CISO’s responsibilities may include:
- Evaluating the firm’s information security and vulnerability
- Developing safe systems and processes
- Creating data-protection tools and automated processes
- Identifying potential security threats and developing prevention programmes
- Budgeting and cost estimation for information security programmes
- Discovering new cybersecurity technologies, software, and trends
- Hiring, training, and managing an IT and security team
- Employee education on good information security practices and policies
- Ensuring that only authorised employees have access to specific data systems
- Meetings and information sharing with executives, board members, and company stakeholders
- Response to and resolution of security breaches
- Investigating security breaches to determine why they occurred
- Data recovery from lost media
- Making decisions about security software installation and upgrades
- Making emergency preparedness plans
- Chief information security officers are also responsible for ensuring that the company complies with cybersecurity laws and regulations. They notify the CEO and CIO of any security risks or updates.
Job Roles as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
While no CISO can be described as purely one type, these descriptions do provide some insight into where the CISO should report.
The Technical Information Security Officer (TISO):
- The TISO specialises in the management of technical security issues as well as security operations and monitoring functions such as managing firewalls, IDS/IPS infrastructure, and so on.
- The TISO also coordinates and manages technical policy, control, and assessment activities.
The Business Information Security Officer (BISO):
- The BISO specialises in business-related information security issues such as how to securely implement customer-facing technologies and protect customer information.
- The BISO’s main purpose is to ensure that the business unit or division understands that information security is a business requirement just like any other.
- This person also aids in the execution and translation of enterprise security requirements, policies, and procedures.
- Furthermore, this individual should conduct self-evaluations or, at the very least, coordinate identified business-related security issues.
The Strategic Information Security Officer (SISO):
- The SISO specialises in translating high-level business requirements into enterprise security initiatives and programmes that must be implemented in order to achieve the mission, goals, and objectives of the organisation.
- To ensure appropriate progress and traction, the SISO must coordinate with the OPSO and BISO functions.
- The SISO should also be in charge of metrics, dashboards, executive reports, and assessments of the enterprise’s State-of-Security (SOS) to the Board of Directors.
Career path in Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Although there are many paths to starting your career as a CISO, here are the most ideal ones
- Path 1: Select science stream after 10th ➜ Complete B.Sc Computer Science after 12th ➜ Pursue a Master’s degree ➜ Get certifications ➜ Gain experience ➜ Become a CISO
- Path 2: Select science stream after 10th ➜ Complete B.Sc Computer Science after 12th ➜ Pursue an M.B.A. ➜ Get certifications ➜ Gain experience ➜ Become a CISO
- Path 3: Select science stream after 10th ➜ Complete B.Sc IT ➜ Pursue a Master’s degree or an M.B.A. ➜ Get certifications ➜ Gain experience ➜ Become a CISO
After 10th, students should focus on and learn computer and programming and math subjects to prepare them for learning advanced topics in these subjects while pursuing their bachelor’s degree.
During this time, students should learn how to use their logical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation skills like a tech whiz with the Clever Harvey- JuniorMBA Technology programme. Try it out for yourself!
Students who have completed their 10+2 with a science stream from any recognised board, such as CBSE/ICSE/State board, are eligible for the Bachelor in Computer Science programme.
After a bachelor’s, students can pursue a Master’s degree or an MBA. Candidates for MBA admission must meet the university’s target in entrance examinations such as CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT, etc.
Check out the ‘How to Become a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)?’ blog for a step-by-step guide to becoming a CISO!
Salary in different stages of a career as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
- A Chief Information Security Officer in their early career with 1-4 years of experience earns an annual average total compensation (tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹1,250,000.
- A mid-career Chief Information Security Officer with 5-9 years of experience earns ₹1,965,270 per year in total compensation.
- An experienced Chief Information Security Officer with 10-19 years of experience earns ₹2,325,998 in annual total compensation.
- Employees in their late careers (20 years and up) earn an annual average total compensation of ₹3,025,238.
Skills Required to become Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
To be successful in their careers, chief information security officers must have a diverse set of skills. Here are some CISO skills to work on, list on your resume, and explain during job interviews:
- Risk management: A CISO should be able to identify potential security risks associated with employers, partners, vendors, software, processes, and IT tools. They should be aware of these dangers and how to mitigate or avoid them.
- Compliance: Chief information security officers stay current on industry regulations to ensure that their data systems and policies are compliant.
- Technical abilities: A CISO has a thorough understanding of complex information technology networks and operations. Their technical skills include mobile device management, security architecture, database security, firewall management, application security, database security, and data management.
- Communication: To achieve their security objectives, chief information security officers work with a large number of executives, managers, developers, and stakeholders. They should be able to clearly communicate complex technical information and deliver well-organized presentations.
- Leadership: A company’s CISO has extensive management experience and understands how to train and guide technical teams effectively. When security breaches occur, they have the confidence and leadership to issue resolution instructions.
- Critical thinking: Chief information security officers must be able to identify problems and determine the best solutions for each situation.
Is Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) a good career option?
Because of the growing number of senior positions in technology, the competitive environment will be critical. A large demand exists for experienced and qualified individuals who can handle the various tasks and responsibilities of a Chief Information Security Officer.
The liberalisation of India has created a hospitable environment for the establishment of new businesses.
According to compensation data, the salary potential for Chief Information Security Officer will increase by 42% over the next five years.
The number of jobs for CISOs and other computer and information systems managers is expected to grow by 12% from 2016 to 2026, compared to a 7% growth rate for all occupations, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Types of industries Hiring Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
More than two-thirds of the CISOs worked for companies with annual revenues of $5 billion or more, and they worked in the industries listed below:
- Financial services
- Energy and consumer
Top Recruiters for Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
The position of chief information security officer dates back to 1994 when financial services giant Citigroup (then Citicorp, ranked 17th on the Fortune 500 at the time) established a specialised cybersecurity office in response to a series of cyberattacks by Russian hackers. Now, a quarter-century after the first CISO was appointed, every major corporation has a cybersecurity chief. Here are the top ten CISO recruiters:
- UnitedHealth Group
- CVS Health
- Berkshire Hathaway
- Exxon Mobil
Courses to upskill as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
There are numerous information security certifications and training programmes available to help you improve your skills and knowledge. When you list these credentials on your resume, they demonstrate your commitment to your career, highlight your information security knowledge, and impress hiring managers. Depending on your level of experience, you may want to consider the following information security certifications:
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
- Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- GIAC Security Leadership (GSLC)
- Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
- Certified Authorization Professional (CAP)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Each certification entails meeting specific work experience requirements and passing an exam. They all demonstrate that you understand how to keep information systems secure and minimize security risks. Advanced certifications, such as CISSP, demonstrate your ability to manage an information security program.
Check out the JuniorMBA Chief Technology Officer Program to upskill yourself.
Qualifications to become Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field required: A bachelor’s degree in a field such as a computer science, or information technology is required. These three-year programmes provide CISOs with fundamental knowledge of technology, computer skills, programming, and security processes.
- MBA or Master’s degree is strongly preferred: Many employers require master’s degrees in computer science or information technology for CISOs. Alternatively, you could earn a master’s degree in business administration and combine it with information technology certifications to better understand the business practices of being a company executive.
- Gain experience: Before becoming CISOs, most chief information security officers have at least seven to ten years of professional experience. You could apply for an entry-level job after graduating from college, such as:
- Computer programmer
- Network or computer specialist
- Network, system or computer analyst
After a few years of experience, you may be able to advance to a mid-level position such as:
- Security analyst
- Security consultant
- Ethical hacker
- Security auditor
- Security Engineer
After you’ve honed your IT knowledge as well as your technical, interpersonal, and leadership abilities, you could advance to a senior-level position such as:
- Information technology project manager
- Security director
- Security Architect
Degrees in India
- B.Sc. Computer Science: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (B.Sc. CS) is abbreviated as B.Sc. Computer Science. B.Sc. Computer Science is a three-year undergraduate programme. Computer Science is the study of computing theory, programming languages, database systems, networking, software engineering, and artificial intelligence.
- B.Sc. IT: The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (B.Sc. IT) is a three-year undergraduate degree in information technology. Information technology focuses on the storage, processing, and management of an organisation’s data. The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology programme is designed to teach students how to manage large amounts of information in a business, evaluate the operation of computer systems and network servers, and avoid unnecessary data transmission difficulties.
|MBA in cybersecurity||2 years|
|M.Sc. Computer Science||2 years|
|M.Sc IT Course||2 years|
- UG degree: Aspirants can pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, business, or cybersecurity. These four-year programmes provide CISOs with a solid foundation in technology, computer skills, programming, and security processes.
- PG courses or MBA: Aspirants can earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity, information systems and technology, computer science, information technology and management, or digital forensic science. Alternatively, you could earn a master’s degree in business administration and combine it with information technology certifications to better understand the business practices of a company executive.
- Entrance exams: Students must take important international entrance exams such as the SAT, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL. Clearing these exams is required for admission to universities and colleges in various countries around the world. Clever Harvey’s step-by-step guide to the SAT entrance exam will provide you with all of the necessary information for the SAT exam. Check it out for yourself!
References for Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
The position of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is relatively new and has only recently gained organisational level recognition from the CxO community and board of directors. To establish and demonstrate the importance of this position, the CISO must handle multiple tasks. The following books look to address the role of CISO or the knowledge it needs to be in hand.
- CISO Desk Reference Guide
- Hacking Exposed — Network Security Solutions
- The Computer Incident REspone Planning Handbook
- Threat Modeling Designing Security
- Cyber Breach Designing Exercise
- Data-Driven Security Analysis Visualisation
- Cyber Security Everything Executive Needs to know
In corporations, the CISO is a c-suite level position, which means it is one of the most powerful and influential officers in any given company and generally reports directly to the CEO. As a result, extensive knowledge, expertise, and hands-on experience in as many aspects of information security as possible are required. Best wishes as you begin your new career as a Chief Information Security Officer!
What is the career path for a CISO?
Ans: The most common path is to choose the science stream after 10th and then B.Sc Computer Science after 12th. Study for a Master’s degree or an MBA. Obtain certifications to improve your skills. Gain experience and eventually advance to the position of CISO.
What does a chief information security officer CISO do?
Ans: The chief information security officer (CISO) is a senior executive who is in charge of developing and implementing an information security programme, which includes procedures and policies to protect enterprise communications, systems, and assets from both internal and external threats.
How long does IT take to be a CISO?
Ans: Before becoming CISOs, most chief information security officers have at least 7 to 10 years of professional experience.
How do you become a CIO CISO?
Ans: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, information systems, or a related field, as well as a master’s degree in business administration or information technology, are common educational requirements for becoming a CIO or CISO.
Is CISO C level?
Ans: Yes, the CISO is a c-suite level position in corporations, which means it is one of the most powerful and influential officers in any given company, reporting directly to the CEO.