CISO, CSO, CRO – Defining the key players within your cybersecurity team

by | Sep 15, 2020

Defining cybersecurity processes within your workplace is one of the most important steps towards building a culture of cybersecurity but you may be asking yourself – how do go about building a cybersecurity team? Should I hire a CISO or CSO? What role does my CEO play? What even is a CRO? You’re not alone in feeling a bit overwhelmed when it comes to building a team within your organization so we’ve pulled together a quick guide to getting started. Organizations of different sizes will have different needs and different industries may need to approach cybersecurity differently, but this information should at least help you create a foundation for your cybersecurity team!

Step 1: The Who’s Who of Cybersecurity

There are a lot of acronyms tossed around in relation to cybersecurity and each plays a slightly different role when it comes to an organization’s needs. Let’s start by defining these roles and how they might help your organization:

  • CDO (Chief Data Officer): The Chief Data Officer is in charge of the data strategy (both protection and privacy) for your organization.
  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer): The CEO is responsible for managing your organization and for the ultimate performance of your organization.
  • CIO (Chief Information Officer): CIOs help align information and technology with your organization’s overall strategy. They also help improve processes as related to technology.
  • CISO (Chief Information Security Officer): The main responsibility of the CISO is to analyze the risks that your organization faces in order to help protect your data and information.
  • CRO (Chief Risk Officer): A CRO helps your organization reduce risks that put your organization’s business objectives at risk.
  • CSO (Chief Security Officer): CSOs are primarily in charge of overall corporate security. They guarantee the security (both physical and technical) of your organization and keep an inventory of your assets.
  • CTO (Chief Technology Officer): The CTO is responsible for overall information and technology for your organization, similar to the CIO but more technical.

Your organization will likely have only some of these roles on your cybersecurity team but outlining their roles and responsibilities and how they will work together is an important first step to building your organization’s cybersecurity. Start by thinking about your organization’s current cybersecurity comfort level and what might be missing – which of these roles could help round out your team?

Step 2: Integrating Cyber Leaders Into Your C-Suite

In some manner, security should be the purview of every member of your c-suite and the specific arena of the security focused individuals on your leadership team. This means that your entire team should be kept in the loop on all security issues but should lean heavily on the expertise that you have now brought in-house. The benefit of bringing in a security-minded resource is that you aim to be ahead of the curve when it comes to risks or threats. For many teams, a security-oriented team member can also help make changes to an organization’s protocols and practices that put them in a proactive rather than a reactive position. When hiring new security officers, make sure to give them both the support and bandwidth needed to ensure that they can make these changes and help re-position your organization as needed.

When multiple security officers exist within a team, we recommend outlining each of their roles to help your c-suite how to interact with each new team member and what role they play in cybersecurity.

Step 3: Expanding Your Cybersecurity Team

Once you have identified which cybersecurity roles you need and have integrated them into your working c-suite, it’s time to expand your cybersecurity team. Keeping your cybersecurity strategy relegated to your leadership may seem like the safest path forward but in reality, it means that you’ll be keeping your strategy from helping the people who can make the biggest difference – your overall team. Because many threats come directly from your employees, it’s important to integrate them into your strategy and day to day surveillance.

Utilize your security officers to define and set your protocol but ensure that it is distributed and maintained by your larger team. You’ll find that you have cybersecurity ambassadors in every department and at every level of your organization!

Now that you know a little bit more about the roles that go into cybersecurity, it’s time to build a team that takes your organization to the next level! Sign up for updates from the Resilience team or follow us on LinkedIn for regular information, educational resources, and more.