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Expanding Role of the Chief Security Officer!

Tightened data security is essential for daily business, marketing & revenue.

Chief Security Officer (CSO) is a title bestowed upon an individual with the responsibility of protecting physical, digital and intellectual property/data of a particular organization. In the past, corporate organizations blended information security inside of their infrastructure department. While organizations found this method to be successful, the best use of this department was for it to operate separately. The next issue the CSO faced was having the CSO report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). This reporting structure soon failed as CSOs govern Information Technology and sets the standards on how to operate. For example, when the information security department performs a risk assessment on the infrastructure, certain individuals would be reluctant to report such information because the assessment would spotlight some of the CIO’s shortcomings. In this type of reporting no one is the winner and the organization ultimately loses because CSOs would withhold information to the CIO due to reporting and/or blowback.

The next generation Chief Security Officer reports solely to the President, CEO and, on unique occasions, the COO. SOME of today’s CSO’s responsibilities revolve around compliance, mergers and acquisitions, marketing, governance, risk, BC/DR, operational, application, privacy, legal and telecommunications.

The information security program is implemented by the CSO in the genesis of most businesses’ operating models. Not only does the CSO define the compliance path based on the business objective, they also serve as a trusted advisor to the Board of Directors and assist in the global decision-making process of their respective organization.

CSOs aid in marketing initiatives for organizations with the more certifications they earn – this type of validation makes the business more attractive to potential customers, businesses and potential buyers. As the CSO continues to secure their respective environment, revenue increases as well. Revenue increases because, as other organizations in their respective space fall to breaches, customers are soured and migrate to a more secure business that has not suffered a breach.

There are many CSOs who work in the financial, healthcare and e-commerce industries and while each industry is specific in their compliance path, a truly knowledgeable CSO can be injected into ANY industry and have huge success. Perhaps arguably, the rise of the CSO will save the healthcare industry and in order to save this industry, organizations must pull from a talented pool of CSO’s in other fields. It will take this sort of recruitment to educate doctors, board members and office managers in this space and to place Information Security at the forefront of respective organizations if they desire to increase their security posture, services and profitability.

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