Risk
7/8/2014
07:00 AM
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas
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Dark Reading Radio: The Changing Role Of The CSO

Why does the CSO report to the CIO? Join us for a panel discussion. Showtime is today, Wednesday, 1:00 p.m., New York, 10 a.m., San Francisco.

If you were creating a security organization from scratch, would you put it under the umbrella of the IT organization or make it an independent department with a direct line of communication to the executive suite?  

The issue of whether the traditional, hierarchical relationship between a company’s top technology officers -- the CIO and CSO – is still valid was starkly brought into view this past March with the resignation of Target CIO Beth Jacobs in the wake of the retailer’s now infamous data breach. One of the many questions raised by the Target breach is who should ultimately be responsible for data security. Is it the CIO who is typically tasked with broadly managing the entire IT infrastructure of an organization, or the CSO, whose job it is to protect the data and information contained within those systems.

In our next episode of Dark Reading Radio, we’ll discuss the evolution of the CSO and whether today’s organizational structures offer the best way to manage risk and defend against data breaches and attacks. Our guests are CIO Bob Quinn and CSO Rick Howard of Palo Alto Networks, and Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum. Among the topics we’ll explore:

  • Why should the CSO report to the CIO?
  • What, if anything, has changed in the post-Target era to elevate data security from one of several cohorts of an enterprise IT structure to that of an independent domain totally responsible for risk management?
  • Is there an inherent conflict between the needs of IT (running the infrastructure, gaining a competitive advantage) versus the needs of security (perceived as a cost not a benefit)?
  • How should the CSO communicate and interact with the executive suite and board of directors? Does the chief security office deserve a seat at the table?
  • What are the friction points between the CIO and CSO, and how can the two work together effectively?

I hope you'll join our show and offer your insights and opinions to the conversation. You can post your comments and questions below or bring them to the Dark Reading radio studio on Wednesday where you can participate directly through online chat.  Please note, you’ll need to register for the broadcast to participate. I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Marilyn has been covering technology for business, government, and consumer audiences for over 20 years. Prior to joining UBM, Marilyn worked for nine years as editorial director at TechTarget Inc., where she launched six Websites for IT managers and administrators supporting ... View Full Bio
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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
7/10/2014 | 2:46:52 PM
Re: Long overdue
That's terrific that you shared our broadcast with your students! I hope some of them will share their thoughts on the topic on our blogs! Thanks!
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 2:40:26 PM
Re: Long overdue
@Marilyn I am not at all surprised. I imagine that security companies lead other organizations in adopting better security practices as Palo Alto has, much to their credit. I teach Information Security, and I stress the need for this particular organizational separation of duties to all my students. Incidentally, I taught a class last night, and by pure coincidence, the lesson plan included the topic of separation of duties, so I gave the class information regarding the broadcast archive. I can't wait till next week's class to hear their reaction; hopefully they will see that I wasn't just standing on a soapbox, and that real world scenarions reflect what I teach!
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
7/10/2014 | 2:17:16 PM
Re: Long overdue
Glad you enjoyed the panel discussion, @GonzSTL. Were you surprised that there was a total consensus among our guests that there should definitely be a separate reporting structure for the CSO and the CIO to the chief exec. Totally agree that, for most organizations that view is still the exception, not the rule!
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 2:06:46 PM
Long overdue
That was an excellent session. I don't know if you remember it, but we had an exchange regarding this topic not too long ago. I just hope the message goes out that today's security environment is much different than it was a decade ago. Unfortunately, many executives and IT leaders seem to be stuck in that era. Today's security organization must be limber enough to quickly adjust to the ever changing threat landscape and not be bogged down by needless bureaucracy or political conflicts.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
7/9/2014 | 12:34:38 PM
Chat window is now open at Dark Reading radio
You can post your questions to our panel at any time! Here's the link
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2014 | 5:45:26 PM
Re: This should be a great show! Post your comments and questions any time.
I am really looking forward to this show. This is a topic I've covered over the past few years, and it's been really interesting watching this C-level position evolve and mature.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2014 | 11:26:17 AM
This should be a great show! Post your comments and questions any time.
Just a reminder that our radio shows represent an opportunity to interact directly with our panel via online chat following the the broadcast. But if you have a question or point of view you want to express in advance, you can use the comment section on this blog and I'll make sure to convery your thoughts and I'll make sure we address them during the discussion.
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