Understanding risk. Communicating with the board. Getting others to understand and care about security. What is the most vexing cybersecurity issue for a CISO?



Check out this post by Kate Fazzini, cybersecurity reporter for CNBC, for the discussion that is the basis of our conversation on this week’s episode co-hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), the creator of CISO Series and Allan Alford (@AllanAlfordinTX). Our guest for this episode is Mark Eggleston (@meggleston), CISO, Health Partners Plans.

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On this episode of Defense in Depth, you’ll learn:

  • Communications starts with engaging people where they work. CISOs can’t have any long-term success selling fear, uncertainty, and doubt (AKA “FUD”).
  • CISOs need to focus on people skills. If a CISO is going to be rolling out a solution it’s going to be in his/her hands to get others to adopt. Successful CISOs integrate the community into their thinking.
  • While CISOs want to be proactive, you can’t be purely proactive or reactive. There’s always a blend.
  • The best start for a CISO is to get the C-suite and board to listen and understand.
  • Not only do CISOs need to have conversations about risk, they need to document it and revisit it.
  • Look at where the company is making money by examining the 10-Q report. See where you can apply risk analysis to all of those revenue streams.
  • Whenever a FUD-like headline appears, the C-suite and board will see it. Don’t let them fall into the trap of absorbing the hype. CISOs need to show how they’re handling such situations and how they would if something similar happened to them.
  • Top issues for CISOs include having a clear understanding of who owns what risk. And more importantly, individual contributors should acknowledge their specific role in the overall security program.