Security managers are working with senior executives in all divisions across their organizations to move away from compliance-focused thinking towards a risk-based approach to information security. The shift requires senior management and C-level executives to think about risk strategically versus simply crossing off regulatory check boxes.
Report data was gathered from recent Wisegate CSO peer discussions, where CSOs across industries confirmed the need to embrace the risk management role and offered a number of major takeaways for senior IT security professionals who must now move beyond a compliance “check box” mentality and adopt the most strategic security practices.
The study discusses how IT organizations can “up” their security game by doing a better job at measuring and using risk information to develop security practices. CSOs share their candid viewpoints on why it is important to let risk data set security priorities.
“Leaders of forward-thinking organizations understand the need for more pervasive risk awareness – and are far more focused on enterprise-wide education, collaboration, and communications,” said Candy Alexander, CSO at Long Term Care Partners.” “The new breed of CSO is taking a systemic approach to security that goes way beyond compliance, and takes the whole risk posture into view.”
This risk management switch has been brewing for quite some time. In a previous Wisegate report, CSOs from top companies shared how they are no longer just focusing on information security, but are also taking on risk management and privacy programs within their organizations. These leaders are increasingly being asked to act more strategically and to take a proactive role in identifying the risks the organization currently faces.
CSOs are now tasked with prioritizing the risks and identifying which ones need to be addressed immediately and which ones are acceptable as part of the cost of doing business.
“Risk tolerance is hard to define,” said Wisegate member Randall Gamby, Information Security Officer at the Medicaid Information Service Center of New York, “which is why it's important the security team works alongside line of business partners to work through assessments and keep the conversation going on a regular basis. Definitions, thresholds, and tolerance levels eventually get clarified, and executive leadership will know when something carries too much risk.”