Have you ever noticed how closely your role as the CISO of your organisation resembles that of the Wizard from “The Wizard of Oz?” As the Wizard, you are expected to be all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. Your role is to keep everyone safe from the evils of the world while frantically pulling levers, pressing buttons and turning dials behind the curtain.

Life behind the curtain as a CISO

Like Dorothy, many would be surprised about what just goes on behind that curtain and how complicated a role the CISO is. Of course, everyone in the C-Suite has important work to do. But I believe that the role of the CISO is the most complex and intricate of all roles due to the requirement of candidates having a complex mix of skills which few others can match.

To be truly successful as a CISO, you must be a leader, not merely a manager. A manager tells people what to do, while a leader inspires them to follow. This alone is no easy task. Add to this the need for the CISO to have a strategic view of the world, one which can be translated into tactical and operational steps for keeping the organisation secure. This means having a broad understanding of many disciplines as well as in-depth knowledge and appreciation of business processes and needs.

The Role of CISO – Intersecting People, Process, Technology

The CISO role is complex because it encompasses and impacts all areas of the organisation. Therefore, the role requires both soft and hard skills to be employed. From understanding the business needs and overall strategy to the deployment of technical controls, the CISO has multiple levers and dials to contend with.


A CISO knows that people are not the weakest link; they are our greatest (Read more...)