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The C-suite encompasses many roles, from chief executive officers to chief financial officer. These jobs are generally sought after due to their high salaries and prestige.
One C-suite position has been having a particularly notable moment in the spotlight: The Chief Information Security Officer. Studies have shown that businesses are all around better off when they have a CISO on staff to address cybersecurity. Following a year of high-profile data breaches it’s no surprise that businesses are throwing up job openings for this position with rising salaries to match.
The CISO advantage
Businesses are worried about cyber threats. It was a common theme as 2015 closed out and continues to be on the minds of leaders everywhere. Organizations everywhere are susceptible to hackers and the ensuing damage they leave in their wake. These attacks don’t favor a single industry or even a business size – they prey on those with weak cybersecurity infrastructures and a lack of necessary leadership in place.
ThreatTrack Security conducted a survey of nearly 200 security analysts which solidified just how better off companies are when they employ a CISO to deal with these issues at a high level. Of respondents whose organizations employ a CISO 23 percent reported that it had become easier to defend against malware attacks in 2015 – compared to 15 percent without CISOs.
“Concerns regarding cybersecurity continues to be a common trend among businesses.”
Companies with a CISO also have better systems in places than those without. An impressive 94 percent of respondents with a CISO in their company said there is a dedicated incident response team in place for cybersecurity threats. These companies were so confident in their data protection capabilities that 71 percent claimed they would personally guarantee customer data safety in 2016.
“Companies with a CISO are more confident about the technology they use to combat malware (83% vs. 63% at organizations without one),” the survey report explained. “Perhaps CISOs have a better handle on what solutions to implement or are better equipped and positioned in the organization to ensure their team has the solutions they need to defend the organization.”
Vacancies persist as salaries rise
As evidenced above there are a handful of advantages for companies who choose to employ a CISO. It is no wonder then that the demand for professionals who are fit to fill this position has seen a considerable rise. The increase in open positions is not due to a lack of desire from CISO-capable professionals but rather a rapidly growing demand in various industries, explained SC Magazine. In simple terms, there are simply not enough people out there with the skills necessary to fill these C-suite roles.
“Organizations everywhere are susceptible to hackers.”
“[We’re seeing] continued demand, and increased demand from different sectors” explained COO at BeecherMadden Karla Jobling to SC Magazine. “We’ve seen jobs this year coming from the companies you might expect that have had big cyber-attacks. Industries that traditionally wouldn’t have recruited cyber-professionals are now putting whole teams in place.”
The high demand has also caused a rise in salary for CISO positions. The source noted that few CISO salaries dip below $145,000 annually. For professionals looking to break into their chosen field as a potential CISO candidate, The National Cybersecurity Institute offers a training course tailored to these needs.
The Chief Information Security Officer training runs for five days and prepares aspiring CISOs for the EC-Council C|CISO exam. Attendants are trained in a variety of domains including governance, management and information security core competencies. In a field full of opportunities, this course can get you prepped to take on the challenges at hand. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now.
Kris Monroe is a Senior Consultant with Blue Canopy Group's Cyber Security Business Unit. Blue Canopy Group is known for mission relevant solutions, exceptional quality execution, innovative solutions, and industry experience. Prior to joining Blue Canopy he was the Information Security Officer (ISO) at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.
Kris has over twenty years of experience in the field of information technology with more than 10 of those years in information security. He has held positions of responsibility in system administration, networking, and security over the course of his career. He has spoken and presented at prominent events including the Rochester Security Summit, the EDUCAUSE® Security Professionals Conference, and a number of regional professional chapter events.
He is a member of InfraGard℠, a Senior Member of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA®), and a member of the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) of ISACA® . Kris maintains the following certifications in cyber security and auditing: CISM®, CISSP® , CISA®.