Multi-skilling CSOs keen to share learnings with peers

The increasing complexity of legislative and security-enforcement responsibilities is pushing increasingly multi-skilled CSOs to ask how they can share security best-practices with peers and even potential competitors, an IBM survey has found.

The 2013 IBM CISO Assessment report found that security executives are increasingly being called upon to function in business domains as effectively as they have traditionally functioned in the technical domain, with translation skills that allow them to jump between the two as changing business cases require.

This has seen a high level of CEO involvement, with 80 per cent of CSOs aware of their CEO's security concerns and 70 per cent developing their security strategies in conjunction with other business strategies.

Given the magnitude of the modern security threat, a growing proportion of CSOs recognise that the sharing of information has become an essential part of keeping up with that threat. However, IBM Institute for Advanced Security director Glen Gooding told CSO Australia that many struggle to do so given the traditionally secretive nature of security discussions and the potential repercussions for oversharing.

“One of the biggest issues raised in the survey was the ability for like-minded professionals, from the same industry or across industries, to share information from what they're seeing on the network,” Gooding explained.

“I'm having many conversations where CSOs are talking about how they can comfortably share information about what they're seeing on their network – with what is in some cases a direct competitor – without compromising the business integrity or the competitive nature of the two businesses.”

Such sharing has become essential in helping businesses avoid being isolated and attacked individually by outside malicious hackers, or even by disgruntled staff whose modus operandi often carries similar characteristics regardless of the type of company they're working in.

Gooding sees a potential role for the federal government and large corporations to drive this sharing by building a culture in which it is encouraged for the greater good. However, with the IBM CISO Assessment report indicating that less than half of CSOs actually do share information in this way, he said, a core priority has to be the promotion of such sharing.

“We are going to be better prepared, as a country, to protect ourselves from any external malicious activity if we can share information across industry,” he said. “It's not a financial services, not a critical infrastructure discussion.”

As well as improving communications within and between businesses, the IBM research found that CSOs face a growing burden to keep up with evolving security postures. Fully 39 per cent of respondents, for example, are planning to develop an enterprise bring your own device (BYOD) strategy but only 29 per cent have actually done so. And while 71 per cent of CSOs track the impact of security on the overall organisation, almost two-thirds of them do not translate those metrics into a financial impact.

Future efforts to improve this visibility will help define the CSO's role in years to come. Consolidation of multiple, disparate and poorly or non-connected systems will, in particular, be a key part of this – both in an operational sense, and because consistency and interoperability provides measurement capabilities that have long been lacking.

“In the future, the task of the CSO is going to be understanding a measurement strategy that they can push back to the business to potentially enable technology or platforms that allow the business to more readily act with the sense that it has a secure framework behind it,” Gooding said.

“Slowly but surely, security is becoming not-a-cost centre. Businesses have to look at it s a way of giving trust back to the organisation.”

Follow @CSO_Australia and sign up to the CSO Australia newsletter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags 2013 IBM CISO AssessmentIBMCSOs

More about AdvancedCSO

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place