Chief Security Officer (CSO)

Chief Security Officer (CSO)

CSO (Chief Security Officer)

Have you ever heard about the chief security officer? Who is he/she?

A chief security officer is an organization’s senior most executive responsible for development and oversight of policies and program for reduction of strategic, financial and reputational security risk strategies relating to the protection of people and intellectual assets. Why this position is becoming important day by day? This is because it has become easier to steal sensitive company information.

But nowadays the word CSO is more accurately used as CISO i.e. Chief Information Security Officer. And this title is becoming more prevalent for leaders with an exclusive info security focus.

The CSO is responsible for both physical and digital security posture. CSO frequently look after business continuity planning, loss and fraud prevention, and privacy matters. They need to have a broad skill base otherwise it would be challenging to overcome organizational inertia to deliver on that vision. CSOs say a holistically trained security get-together can deliver better security at an economical cost. They are heading under Enterprise Risk Management with other groups as CSOs desire an enterprise view of operational risk.

Let us now discuss the roles, responsibilities, skill requirements and other beneficial about the CSOs.

Responsibilities of Chief Security Officers

The most important thing they need to take care of or must give the highest priority to physical and IT security. They need to be consistent about their organizational strategic plans and objectives. They must be outspoken and have good knowledge about the security part that comes under their workspace. They need to work with people of varying professions so they have to prepare and present the technical information about they have to work on to them. They have to have the knowledge about what is going in the present market and the security threats to design and employ the best and effective security facilities. Apart from having the knowledge about the technicalities they also have to take care of the organizational financial constraints that need to be spent on security needs. They create security systems to protect the data and may also tell the employees about their employer’s security policies.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to a survey made in 2014, the salary for CSO is $139,763. Overall amount that they are expected to take home with them is among $58,734 to $223,558.

While according to a survey made in 2014 the salary for CISO is $131,322. Overall amount that they are expected to take home with them is among $74,082 to $239,307.

And according to the BLS projects, there are chances that the jobs in this field will rise by 15% from 2014 to 2024.

The total pay includes your base salary, bonuses, tips, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings.

What is all required for being a CSO?

Skill requirements for being a CSO

  • Degree requirements

At the minimum, you will need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity or related technical field. But as of now that security issues have become more dangerous and complex, it is being specified if the CSO also have a technical master’s degree with a concentration in IT security. Also, the candidates having multiple years of leadership experiences are required. Also, some positions may require a general background in IT.

  • Hard skills

These skills include

  • Security concepts related to DNS, routing, VPN and proxy services.

  • Practices and processes of IT strategy, enterprise structure, and security construction.

  • Windows, UNIX and Linux operating systems.

  • C, C++, C#, Java and/or PHP programming languages.

  • Firewall and intrusion detection/prevention.

  • TCP/IP, computer networking, routing, and switching.

  • Secure coding practices, ethical hacking, and threat modeling.

  • Soft skills

In addition to the expertise they have, they also need to have good communication skills, strategic planning and creative, just like a chef bringing also sort of good taste in his cuisine. Interpersonal skills are also preferred. CSO must able to perform under huge sort of pressure, complex organization along with the leadership quality to guide the team. CSO must be result oriented, must be able to bring output even after the complex situations and must be able to juggle with financial constraints and technological problems.

What do the Chief Security Officers mean for the Corporations and Customers?

Nothing is more important for big industries and corporation to ensure confidentiality to maintain the trust of their legit customers. The boardroom has woken up to the importance of security and how to protect their customers from kind of infidelity attacks.

CEOs of most of the companies are urgently hiring a-grade Chief Security Officer to lead him the charge to protect the company and consumer data. The qualities that are being searched for in a CSO by the boardroom, is how they react to the complexities, how they safeguard the company and consumers data in this threat prone environment.

The first and foremost thing that a CSO must have beyond all the technical skills is that he must be technically curious to know about the situation from the beginning. They should have an intuitive understanding of how the attackers may plan to do their assignment and how they can defend their customers from being attacked. They should always keep on scanning the horizons like what are the chances that they may be making a mistake, how the same problem can be handled using different methods. They must keep on learning from the mistakes they have made and from the mistakes that others made.

They have to keep on trying new stuff be in security architecture, information and privacy protection, organizational resiliency program, threat or vulnerability management. In this, today’s threat prone environment, with the danger of being attacked is rising day by day and to restore trust the CSOs have to put on everything they can. It’s time for CSOs to lead the way. They are termed as the communicator and crisis manager.

It is believed that in a business you can have a bad design and can stay in business but if you have bad security management you are out of business.