A chief security officer (CSO) oversees all aspects of risk management, security policies, and IT infrastructure. These positions are a part of a circle of executives among CTOs, CIOs, CFOs, and CEOs. As a CSO, you’ll be responsible for protecting all components of an internal network including software and hardware. You’ll work with your team to create security policies that keep customer and employee information from unauthorized access.
Job Description: What Does a Chief Security Officer Do?
Any company that uses the cloud for internal processes runs the risk of having their network hacked. A CSO is tasked with identifying areas of the network that have risks of being hacked, prioritize risks, and then find methods to protect these systems from hackers. CSOs keep up-to-date with the latest security threats and work with their team to minimize new threats. They also help mitigate current cyber threats when a breach occurs. They don’t use hands-on experience, but a CSO usually has a long history in the Internet security field to give them the ability to be competent in their line of work.
Chief Security Officer Responsibilities and Duties
A CSO is a management position, so most responsibilities revolve around managing employees, other manager expectations, and making decisions based on security policies. The number of responsibilities also depends on the size of the company you oversee. If the company has a huge global network, you’ll have much more responsibility and duties than someone overseeing a small local network.
Job responsibilities and duties include:
- Improve physical security on corporate LANs and WANs across multiple locations
- Identify goals and objectives for corporate security
- Work with teams to assign and delegate authority across all security departments
- Create budgets and prioritize concerns for each years IT and security changes
- Understand local and federal laws concerning IT security and work with teams to ensure that the business follows these policies
- Bring experience to the organization and help train personnel on best security practices
- Know specific security guidelines such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI
- Build relationships between all other executives, directors, and managers
- Hold meetings and seminars that provide information to employees and other businesses in the field
· Certified Security Analyst (ECS
Chief Security Officer Soft SkillsThese skills are where the CSO must excel. Soft skills are oral and written abilities that help the CSO manage relationships, communicate with team members and other executives, and work with personnel on various HR and interpersonal skills. The CSO must be able to write well for documentation and email communication. Oral communication is necessary to hold meetings, webinars and train staff on the latest security concepts
Chief Security Officer Degree & Education Requirements
Since CSOs are responsible for expensive digital assets, companies usually require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems. Even though a bachelor’s is the minimum requirement, most CSOs have a higher education such as a master’s in business. MBAs show companies that the CSO has not only a computer science mindset, but can also understand business management processes. Certifications help secure positions that ask for applicants to have a high degree of technical understanding. Certifications show that applicants have the knowledge even if they haven’t worked on systems that
Chief Security Officer Work Experience
Hard skills aren’t used as much once applicants move on to management positions. The same goes for a CSO position. While CSOs usually work with soft skills, they still have the hard skills and experience to make technical decisions. They must be able to keep up-to-date with the latest security concerns, and hard skills are necessary for this type of knowledge.
Hard skills for a CSO include:
- Networking hardware including routers, wiring, switches, desktops, and printers
- Configuring network systems such as routers and switches
- Networking protocols such as TCP/IP, DNS, HTTP, HTTPS, and UDP
- Utilities for analyzing security packets such Wireshark
- Monitoring software for any network intrusions
- Penetration tools including IDS and IPS
- Standard methodologies and best practices for upgrading and patching security software and hardware