Understanding CISO Roles and Responsibilities


The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is the ultimate protector. The CISO’s roles and responsibilities include protecting people, assets, infrastructure and technology. The CISO serves a critical role assessing risk and acting in the best interest of the company in an effort to eliminate threats. 

Are you interested in learning the roles and responsibilities of a CISO? Discover more details behind the everyday tasks of a CISO and what it takes to be successful. 

It takes a Starbuck

Anyone familiar with Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick, knows that Starbuck acted as the first mate on the Pequod and reported directly to Captain Ahab. Throughout the novel, Starbuck is a constant voice of reason who has a healthy respect for the dangers of whale hunting. CISOs operate with similar regard. They often report directly to the CEO and are responsible for communicating security precautions and roadmaps through their ability to quantify risks and manage solutions. A CISO’s role and responsibility is to push onward, in a thoughtful and strategic way, on behalf of the entire company (and crew). 

The ability to quantify any security risks is an essential skill required to succeed in the role of CISO. Monitoring downtime issues, major and minor security incidents, assessing the cost per incident, impact on the customer and the time it takes to resolve an issue are just a few of the tactical and operational roles and responsibilities of a CISO

Read more: How to Talk About Cybersecurity Risk Management

Navigating rough waters

The roles and responsibilities of a CISO extend beyond a hands on operational approach. The best CISOs offer strategic leadership advice, in-depth industry and security knowledge and possess strong relationship building skills. When a threat is present, it is their responsibility to act as a guide for the entire company, offering strategic, cost effective and proactive approaches and insights. 

Additionally, this role requires strong communication and collaboration skills. Hackers and malware are becoming increasingly sophisticated, creating rocky seas for anyone responsible for upholding security protocols. With this considered, it is critical to be able to motivate a team when facing adversity and challenges. The role and responsibility of a CISO is to be proficient at rapidly implementing the latest and best technology available to secure the business through collaboration, communication and rapid action with confidence.   

Call for backup 

No single person can carry the weight of keeping an entire organization secure; it takes a squad. When outsourcing help, it is essential to choose the right crew. 

One of deepwatch’s differentiators is the Squad Delivery Model. Much like a CISO, our role and responsibility is to fully understand the multifaceted needs of your organization, team and risk concerns. This kind of high touch, collaborative and tailored approach proactively prevents threats and keeps your company secure. Working with the same people routinely allows for a team of seasoned security experts to collaborate in an ongoing fashion with your team to offer comprehensive, strategic, 24/7 support.

Your squad understands the unprecedented importance of protecting your assets and reputation. Through proactive threat hunting, even the most sophisticated adversaries don’t stand a chance. Utilizing the expert help of third-party resources allows the CISO to have a constant pulse on new and evolving threats. And with tools like our deepwatch SCORE, CISOs have access to immediate, real time insight to see how well their team mitigates risks. 

Read more: How Good is Your Maturity? A Q&A with Corey Bodzin

Do You Want To Learn More About deepwatch?

Managing the roles and responsibilities of a CISO is a lot to handle in the digital age. Security threats are constantly advancing and relentlessly attempt to break down your strongest defenses. At deepwatch, we bring game changing managed detection, leading edge products and unparalleled service to curb your risk and defend your brand alongside your team. Let our squad help to set you and your team up for quantified, proven, success. Contact us today.

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