Leadership through adversity: Why so many businesses look to their CISOs at times of crisis

There are many types of crises that threaten a business’s ability to function properly, from global conflicts and recessions, to data breaches and natural disasters. Until a few months ago, few would have put global pandemics very high up the list, yet here we are, in the midst of one of the most unprecedented crises in living memory.  Most people think of the CEO and CFO as having critical roles at such uncertain times, and quite rightly too. But for many organisations, the chief information security officer (CISO) will have an equally important role to play in the coming days, weeks and months, aiding in both security and business decision making at the highest level.

In times like these, the overriding emotion felt by many of us is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear for our health, our jobs, family, the future. Ultimately, no one knows how these uncertain times will eventually play out, which is a scary prospect. In a business setting, the person everyone turns to for security in the face of the unknown is the CISO. In their usual day-to-day role, the CISO is responsible for safeguarding the company’s most sensitive data against known and unknown threats, building trust with key stakeholders and advising the C-Suite on how to move forward in a secure, efficient manner. They are essential to the overall security and wellbeing of their organisation.

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