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BWW Media Group / Working with CISOs — or helping buyers fill the gap

Working with CISOs — or helping buyers fill the gap

When you’re pitching your brand to the C-suite, you’ve probably worked with your share of CTOs and CIOs — but have you made the acquaintance of any CISOs?

If current trends continue, chances are you will. Pronounced “CEE-so,” the role of CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) is joining the top tier of executives at a growing number of organizations. According to a recent survey of readers, 30% reported that their company currently has a CISO.

So why add another C-level tech executive to the organization?

IT infrastructures are growing more complex, interconnected, and expansive — absorbing the operational technology in smart industrial machines and accounting for machine-to-machine interactions required for advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Meanwhile, cyberthreats are becoming more sophisticated, including espionage attacks and espionage from governments as well as private actors. And increased stringency about the protection of personally identifiable information under laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation means lack of compliance can cost a company, even without a major security incident.

When asked to rank the biggest threats they face, 62% of Petri readers cited ransomware, 51% percent identified other outsider threats, and 43% pointed to outages with data loss. Meanwhile, one-fifth of respondents said they’d experienced a loss of service less than a month before the survey.

If your IT buyer has hired a CISO, you’ll need to address any security concerns about your product with honest confidence and clarity.

And if they haven’t made a hire, it may be up to you to take the initiative a CISO would demand, by making sure that you’ve crisply articulated the key security features your brand offers in a way that quantifies the potential business stakes of security gaps and describes how your products are hardened against novel threats by bad actors. (Those also include inside jobs; twenty-eight percent of Petri readers numbered internal threats among their top concerns.)

In either case, it’s up to you to set aside time and attention to security.

Look at it this way: If your customer has a CISO on staff, you’ll be speaking that corporate leader’s language. And if not, you can position yourself as an invaluable resource to ensure the company has its security act together.