Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operations

8/17/2015
09:15 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

CISOs Spend Too Much Time On Tech, Not Enough On Strategy

Deloitte's CISO Transition Lab finds CISOs spend 77 percent of their time on technical aspects of the job, and is helping them become more strategic.

A chief information security officer (CISO) has four faces, according to the Deloitte CISO Transition Lab: the technologist, the guardian of computing assets, the advisor, and the strategist. Although CISOs would rather devote only 35 percent of their time to the technical aspects of their jobs -- as technologists and guardians --  they're devoting 77 percent of their time to those duties, according to Deloitte. 

Some new chief information security officers hit the ground running. More often, though, they stay mired in old habits,  like focusing too much on technology and tactics or getting tangled in new corporate politics. To address this problem, Deloitte Cyber Risk Services created the CISO Transition Lab last year to get new CISOs on the right track quickly.

The Transition Lab creates one-day training sessions, and each one is customized for just one individual. As Mike Wood, CISO of Integris described it, he went to the event not knowing what to expect. He saw a whole classroom, full of whiteboards, with different stations set up to address different subjects -- all for one student. "All of that was just for me," said Wood.

Mike Wyatt, director of Cyber Risk Services for Deloitte Advisory, explains that before the one-day CISO training, the Deloitte Transition Lab facilitator will spend about six weeks gathering up information. They'll learn about the organization and any particular projects that affect security. They'll talk to all the major stakeholders and discuss their own "hopes and fears for the new CISO," says Wyatt.

"So there's a lot of context building ... The level of candor and specificity we discover is surprising," says Wyatt, but generally, he says, it's because the stakeholders all want the new CISO to succeed.

All this information is used to develop the training program during which the facilitator imparts some information, but also extracts information by asking the CISO some big questions -- about their own role, their strategy, their chemistry with teammates, and more.

"A lot of times they haven't had the time to slow down and think about those types of questions," says Wyatt.

The facilitators help identify what the CISO's challenges are, determine how to proceed differently, and develop a roadmap for the next three to six months.

In its first year, the CISO Transition Lab noticed certain common threads.

"Almost inevitably there is a lot of time being spent on technology," but they need to spend more time enabling the business mission, says Wyatt.

"If you're very technology-focused," says Tim Callahan, CISO of AFLAC, "you're generally going to look at technology as the answer. And it's really not."

Callahan, who says he went into the transition lab with an "'it couldn't hurt' attitude," came out "very impressed," noting that the solutions are in the people and the process, not the technology. He was looking for help in establishing better cross-function governance and designing a strategy that could "absorb the threat of the day."

The goal, says Callahan is to "morph into the visionary leader, not the tactician."

Wood agrees. "[The lab] changed how I approached things. I was still focused on the same tactical things." Now he says, he has broadened his perspective. After the lab he met with other stakeholders in his organization and has made the security strategy better aligned with what the rest of the business is doing.

Both CISOs say that their infosec staff members want to know how their work aligns with the business, and that the companies' increasing awareness of security is helping. Wood says his company, Integris, decided it wants to be "'the most trusted name in healthcare,' and we see that as something we can really align with."

"AFLAC is just a wonderful, wonderful company that cares about its clients," says Callahan. "Keeping information secure and keeping the bad guys out is an extension of our corporate culture."

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2015 | 9:58:52 AM
Tech Only one Piece of the framework
Yes very true, technology is only one piece of your security framework. Without stategy tech will not be utilized to its maximum efficiency and further money will be spent trying to close the gaps. If the stategic management life cycle is applied to a security framework, then strategy will be reviewed on a regular basis as well as other pieces of your framework.
bilharmer
50%
50%
bilharmer,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/20/2015 | 12:57:16 PM
Re: Tech Only one Piece of the framework
Agreed.  We have teched ourselves to death and have left a lot of companies "checkbox vulnerable".  We need to be looking at the direction of the company, the business plans and the processes that are being used to support that direction.  
j1mmyd
50%
50%
j1mmyd,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/7/2015 | 9:56:01 AM
Re: Tech Only one Piece of the framework
Nice advert for Deloitte.
News
FluBot Malware's Rapid Spread May Soon Hit US Phones
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/28/2021
Slideshows
7 Modern-Day Cybersecurity Realities
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  4/30/2021
Commentary
How to Secure Employees' Home Wi-Fi Networks
Bert Kashyap, CEO and Co-Founder at SecureW2,  4/28/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-27941
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
Unconstrained Web access to the device's private encryption key in the QR code pairing mode in the eWeLink mobile application (through 4.9.2 on Android and through 4.9.1 on iOS) allows a physically proximate attacker to eavesdrop on Wi-Fi credentials and other sensitive information by monitoring the...
CVE-2021-29203
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
A security vulnerability has been identified in the HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Manager, also known as HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Management Software, prior to version 1.22. The vulnerability could be remotely exploited to bypass remote authentication leading to execution of arbitrary commands, gai...
CVE-2021-31737
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
emlog v5.3.1 and emlog v6.0.0 have a Remote Code Execution vulnerability due to upload of database backup file in admin/data.php.
CVE-2020-28198
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
** UNSUPPORTED WHEN ASSIGNED ** The 'id' parameter of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Version 5 Release 2 (Command Line Administrative Interface, dsmadmc.exe) is vulnerable to an exploitable stack buffer overflow. Note: the vulnerability can be exploited when it is used in "interactive" mode wh...
CVE-2021-28665
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-06
Stormshield SNS with versions before 3.7.18, 3.11.6 and 4.1.6 has a memory-management defect in the SNMP plugin that can lead to excessive consumption of memory and CPU resources, and possibly a denial of service.