In an age of increasing online threats, SaaS companies are strengthening their cybersecurity efforts by creating systems to protect their digital presence and planning for future threats as they scale.
The chief information security officer (CISO) has emerged as a critical role in companies’ cybersecurity plans. CISOs exercise their expertise to build today’s walls and tomorrow’s blueprints. Despite their importance, companies have seriously struggled to recruit and retain top-quality CISOs.
3 ways to prepare CISOs for success
Preparation is key to a CISO’s success. But how can SaaS company leaders prepare new CISOs for the demands of cybersecurity?
Provide a clear role plan
Cybersecurity’s profile is expansive. And without clear plans for a role charged with maintaining a company’s protection, CISOs burn out quickly.
According to Jill Knesek, Cheetah Digital’s chief security officer, CISOs typically need 3-5 years to roll out new cybersecurity programs. If they leave before then, it leaves a company vulnerable. “High turnover in this position can result in a company never getting a successful security program fully implemented,” she said in a recent Wall Street Journal article.
When CISOs know the company’s focus areas and how their role will develop over time, it’s easier to put in the considerable time and energy required to create a strong cybersecurity program.
Keep them informed
CISOs need to manage a lot of information. Some information, like new regulations, can make or break companies — and being in the know is always better.
For example, when California introduced the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), it affected how many companies managed their data security profiles. Matt Kunkel, CEO of LogicGate, believes CISOs play an important role in guiding companies through the CCPA’s regulations.
“Because CCPA has such a broad view of personal data, companies have to be especially vigilant. It’s up to the CISO to allay concerns via a sound compliance strategy and timeline,” he said in a recent article on The Compliance and Ethics Blog.
Provide your CISO with access to industry news and information like this. When they spot issues or new legislation, they can proactively prepare your company to adapt to needed changes.
Form and maintain good partnerships
Even the best CISOs will run out of steam if they work alone. Companies need to create cybersecurity partnerships if they want CISOs to thrive.
“The right partner will be an extension of your team,” said Jeff Ton, SVP, product development & strategic alliances at InterVision in a recent Forbes article. “They will relieve the pressure the team feels, and provide information sharing and training of internal resources.”
CISOs should continue internally championing your company’s cybersecurity needs. But if there are other job functions you can shift to partners, explore how you can give your CISO space to better plan for your company’s future.
With a clear role plan, up-to-date information and strong partnerships, CISOs can succeed in their crucial places within SaaS companies and protect them now and in the future.
Do you want to share your perspective on cybersecurity and how SaaS companies can best prepare CISOs? Reach out to Lindsey Groepper to find out how BLASTmedia can help you join the conversation.