Perfect strangers: How CIOs and CISOs can get along

The rise of security as a strategic imperative has altered the relationship between IT and infosec leaders. Here’s how CIOs and CISOs can become better partners.

Perfect strangers: How CIOs and CISOs can get along

A pandemic makes CIOs and CISOs strange bedfellows, and this year they have had to work together more closely than ever under unprecedented circumstances. The result? The state of the relationship has generally improved.

Organizations across the board have accelerated their digital initiatives and migrations to the cloud to support remote workers and customers in the past several months. This has “caused people’s risk appetites to shift very, very dramatically and it’s caused CIOs and CISOs to be even more locked at the hip,’’ says Jeffrey Wheatman, a Gartner Research vice president.

A symbiotic relationship is also needed now because “boards are now asking more and sometimes better questions about cybersecurity,’’ says Wheatman, “and that has resulted in CIOs and CISOs trying to at least have aligned stories or narratives.’’

CIOs and CISOs agree that the push to automate manual processes and capabilities to create efficiencies has necessitated working together more closely. “The CIO and CISO have to be so tightly coupled together in roadmap and strategy, regardless of reporting structure,’’ says Patricia Titus, chief privacy and information security officer at insurance company Markel.

Security is now strategic

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