Qualities of a Good Chief Information Security Officer

Qualities of a Good Chief Information Security Officer

Lyton atinga

Information security is typically the practice of preventing unauthorized disclosure, modification, access, use, disruption, inspection, and recording of information. The information can be electric or physical.
Information security is built mainly around the following three objectives: confidentiality, availability, and integrity. Confidentiality means the information can’t be disclosed to unauthorized entities, process or individuals. Integrity maintains completeness and accuracy of the data while availability means the information must be available when needed.

Why should you secure information? Secured information remains confidential, and only the authorized personnel can have access. It’s a good feeling to know that no one can change or have access to your information without your authorization; this assures you to depend on its integrity.
For a company to have a great chief information security officer, the company need to recruit a person with both excellent management and technical skills.

Let’s discuss the qualities of a great chief information security officer.

1. Be approachable and friendly
A chief information security officer should be friendly and easy to approach person, he/she should listen carefully to his staff.
The job can be very stressful if you can’t communicate or receive feedback from colleagues. Be friendly so that if anything happens, people will find it easy to approach you and address the issue at hand without hesitation.
Be a good listener don’t ignore anyone, or any issue addressed to you. It’s the responsibility of chief information security offer to listen carefully to the superiors and colleague and to understand their projects and needs and make a decision that will help in minimizing risks to the company.

2. Communicate Clearly
A great chief information offer should be able to hire the best and brilliant person, provide the right tools to do their jobs. Communicate regularly with the board of directors and outline actionable metrics.
He/she shouldn’t sugar coating anything however wrong or small the issue might be. This role combined with being approachable and friendly being understood won’t be a problem. The chief information security officer can build a good relationship with the board, with time the link can turn into something more open, and honest. By doing so, the board can learn to trust more strategies, equipment, and suggestion. To be understood don’t come easy, so you need to work hard to gain their trust over time.

3. Ability to align business and security goals.

Chief information security officer aligns the programs with purpose and mission value of the organization at large, he/she understands how to communicate with the leaders of the company in ways that are culturally aware of and enable the leaders to make effective decisions.

A chief information security officer should bear in mind that he/she can create a super vault, un-hackable and unbreakable system where information can’t escape. A great information security officer should balance what’s good for security and the business.

4. Should have Patience
For a business to succeed, there must be patience. Chief information security must be a master of engineering. It takes years of patience to change everything in an organization like security culture, risk tolerance, and coding. This job isn’t for people with short term goals you have to be patient to realize success. Change isn’t an overnight thing; it takes years of dedication and hard work to achieve visible and long-lasting changes.

Being approachable and friendly is a must quality to be a great chief information security officer. If you lack this aspect, be sure to lose it along the way.

5. Talent management and recruitment
An excellent chief information security offer must fully understand how the environment works. He/she has to choose appropriate IT staff to ensure a high level of protection and work throughout projects. Security should be the number one priority.
The IT staff has to make their work structure something that competes with the companies around it as cybersecurity talent is not usual quality to find. The chief information security offer should give these genuinely talented people a working place that they do not want to leave but willing to offer ex-colleagues and friends to join the team if there is a vacancy.

6. Risk awareness

Chief information security offer must be aware of risks .He/she has to be in touch with the companies’ directions and can translate business impact and requirements safely. For instance, if a marketing offer needs to implement a tool that can save thousands of cash and improve efficiency, the chief information security officer must analyze the tool see if it’s safe to use or if it makes sense.

A good chief information security officer ensures that the organization doesn’t experience shortcomings. Chief information officer always thinks and prioritize business risks. He/she should have an idea of how to minimize the impact of these risks such as data loss or breach and theft.

7 Organization

A Chief information officer should be able to prioritize and assess the appropriate assets in the business and those that need to be protected. He/she must be able to prioritize and understand the risks to the assets. Convey the risks in a way that the board can understand and allocate a budget. Implement and identify appropriate controls to protect the assets.

A chief information security officer must implement efficiency, productivity, and organization. He /she has to organize how to carry out their duty.


A great chief information officer should be able to assess and prioritize assets that need to be protected, convey the risks to the board before the risks can affect the company. He/she has to implement appropriate control with a talented team to give the best to the company. She/she should be able ready to respond to incidents at the time occurs, he/she must have a well thought out documented response to any incident.
A good chief information security offer does not implement anything because they can, or it worked in the last risk they faced. Chief information security officer comes up with the idea that will work better and last longer.

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