The future of cybersecurity is calling: is it with the CIO or CISO? 

 April 8, 2019

By  Jane Frankland

Thanks to age of digitalisation, cybersecurity is now one of the biggest issues facing business owners and the C-Suite. And, with Industry 4.0 on the horizon, it’s set to further increase as a priority, as digital and cyber threats grow in volume and sophistication.

To prosper, most leaders know that they must prepare themselves for cyberattacks, and that new cyber legislation will be enforced to mitigate risks. Furthermore, that this will mean developing proactive, people-centered strategies, and implementing processes and technology that will support them. However, effective leaders, particularly those charged with cybersecurity, are catching on to the biggest issue in regard to this…

"How they can use cybersecurity strategically to develop themselves, their roles and their brands to increase influence throughout their organisation."

Handled successfully, cybersecurity can give its leaders an opportunity to raise their profile—in the C-suite and with the board—and enable greater career prospects, such as promotion to a CIO role, seat on the board or a non executive director position elsewhere. Resulting in more trusting relationships and greater influence, leaders who use cybersecurity in this manner can be empowered to create more impact and strengthen the security within their organisation.

But, here’s the interesting thing. It’s not just cybersecurity leaders who are catching on to this. Their bosses—typically, CIOs or CFOs—are too. However, sitting within the IT function, and often without a clear separation between cybersecurity and IT budgets, this can create even more of a rub and conflict between them.

When it comes to CIOs, most are fully aware that cybersecurity is front and center on board agendas, and that it's going to account for much of what they do. And, thanks to an increasingly hyper-connected world, technological advances in business, and the speed at which cyber threats are emerging, most are now focused on how their role is set to change and what they have to do to up-level.

By seizing the opportunities that cybersecurity presents, CIOs have the same opportunity to raise their profile in the C-suite and increase their level of engagement across the business — two of the main aims of many aspirational CIOs.

So, to make the most of what cybersecurity has to offer—for both CISOs and CIOs, both must carefully consider what they want in terms of their careers, how they want to be positioned in terms of their personal power and brand, and how they’re going to work together to prepare themselves for the issues involved.

Now I want to hear from you…

  • Tell me, are you a CIO, CISO or aspiring leader, and if so, how you're going to use cybersecurity influence to meet your goals.

In my next blog, I’ll be examining personal branding in more detail. Until then, if you want to get started with creating a personal brand and learn how to better position yourself so you can build trust and influence within your organisation, get my latest workbook. It's detailed, comprehensive for those in cyber and as it gives you a step-by-step way it's getting rave reviews.

Take the next step...

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Jane frankland


Jane Frankland is a cybersecurity market influencer, award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and speaker. She is the Founder of KnewStart and the IN Security Movement. Having held executive positions within her own companies and several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business solutions. Jane works with leaders of all levels and supports women in male dominated industries like cybersecurity and tech. Her book, IN Security: Why a failure to attract and retain women in cybersecurity is making us all less safe' is a best-seller.


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