Why I’m a CISO… Part II
What makes being a CISO so interesting? Why do some people dedicate their lives to this career?
To get a better perspective, let’s put ourselves in a situation that provides a better virtual image of why this career, and its associated elevated level of responsibility, is so captivating and enticing for those of us who wish to, or maybe are fortunate enough to, be engaged as a CISO. If you’ve been to a hospital or doctor’s office, maybe enjoyed your time in an academic institution as an instructor, possibly a coach for a sports team… you might have considered yourself in a role with responsibilities that were automatically assigned to you, or you automatically assumed certain responsibilities were attributed to professional people when you went in to see your doctor or visit an urgent care location.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s look at one such position: Teachers.
Teachers have a tremendous amount of responsibility. From their very first day of school, they are expected to perform feats of strategic decision-making and utilize C-level management skills! Their work never ends, with everything that is required to maintain a structured classroom. Teachers, without a doubt, are absolute superstars! People who can leap very tall buildings in a single bound, run to a student’s emergency faster than a speeding bus, and have the power to enlighten and educate everyone equally well. They have little time to appreciate their successes, and consistently get bombarded with challenges throughout their working day.
Now let us transform this to examine another world that might render a different landscape: Being a CISO. Being a Chief Information Security Officer. How does this role drive a person? With the exasperating work schedule? With the responsibility to protect your organization from threats and pressures they often don’t understand? With the infusion of an enormous level of accomplishment, knowing you have succeeded, this time? Or by knowing you have come prepared to do your best! For your team, your organization, and fulfilling what some call a determination for consumption of unacknowledged achievements!
As a student you look to your teacher as a leader, a support person, a problem solver, a manager, a team builder, for a proactive response protecting you from something harmful, and, possibly most of all, as the visionary of where you can take yourself tomorrow!
Again, we press the transformation button… and we jet back to the vision of being a CISO:
CISO, as a leader
As a CISO, a person must develop and implement global or enterprise-level strategies to ensure everyone, and every entity, is accounted for within a well-defined and well-maintained security management program. This person must have an uncanny combination of intuition, prediction, and insight that one could expect would yield a winning lottery ticket, or an undefeated run on the blackjack table, every time! Pushing an entire organization forward towards accepting your recommendations on changes or something entirely new to ensure the integrity and organizational confidence is working with Superman strength!
CISO, as a support person
As a CISO, and drawing from recent experiences, support is generally defined in a multitude of classifications. You wear many, many hats. Each of which must automatically fit — and fit perfectly — the first time.
CISO, as a teacher
The biggest component of your job is paying attention to the smallest details. You have a direct responsibility to know how to balance, yet protect — many times in spite of themselves– each feature and function of a human’s interaction with technology, from their curiosity with touching something without knowing if it will hurt or not.
Is being a CISO challenging? A better question is: Is there anything else in the world you want to do?
Not me. I’m ALL IN!
Questions? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Part III: October 27, 2017