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How to Become a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)

CISO is a relatively new position in the C-Suite. However, numerous companies are deciding to appoint a dedicated director of security. Around 55% of all companies currently have a dedicated CISO on the board. Of those that don’t have a CISO, 58% say they will add this position (Navisite, 2021).

In the past, IT security was part of the remit of other senior IT leaders. The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or the Chief Information Officer (CIO) generally took responsibility for preventing cyberattacks. These executives would work with cyber security experts within the IT team to create robust digital defenses.

However, the sheer scale of cyberthreats mean security is now a leadership issue. According to the FBI, cyber fraud has increased by almost 500% in the last five years (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2021). The cost of a hack can run to USD 180 per individual file accessed (IBM Security, 2021).

Organizations are under constant threat from cybercriminals. That’s why it makes sense to appoint an experienced security expert who can offer guidance and support at a strategic level.

CISO is a well-paid position with an average salary of around USD 231,000 (Salary, 2022). However, executive remuneration can vary, depending on the company’s size and the job’s nature. In recent years, top-tier CISOs have commanded salaries of over USD 2.3 million (Melin, 2019).

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