The CISO’s greatest challenge exists beyond technology and external threats
A critical and often forgotten element of a world-class cybersecurity program exists in a largely overlooked space beyond the technology, malicious actors, and compliance requirements. After the development of a formal cybersecurity program, the greatest challenges come from within the very organization that the CISO is responsible to protect.
Departmental alignment, team cohesion, ownership of responsibility, and difficulties while transitioning roles are issues that create the most unrecognized and hidden elements preventing companies from fully maturing their cyber risk management programs.
Often mid-market and larger organizations have industry standard cybersecurity frameworks and best practices well implemented but still continue to struggle long after these foundational elements are in place.
In order to be effective, a CISO must gain support across the enterprise and create organizational alignment through the different departments. Doing so benefits the executive team and board as they know they are getting the highest return on their cybersecurity investment. The CISO benefits when organizational adoption of their initiatives is no longer entirely their own burden to carry.
Silent Sector’s unique Organizational Adoption Methodology™ guides CISOs to take their cyber risk management program to new heights. By addressing the factors beyond technology, compliance, and external threats, companies develop:
How it Works
Our Organizational Adoption Methodology™ starts with an assessment using our proprietary Organizational Adoption Framework™. Differing from the traditional cybersecurity control frameworks by NIST, CIS, and others, the Organizational Adoption Framework™ addresses the six internal business priorities specifically to move toward a quantitatively managed, optimizing cyber risk management program.
Input consists current business communication artifacts and processes across the organization. The deliverables examine all elements of the current state and maturity of the cyber risk management program. This data is aggregated by the Silent Sector Team to provide a set of concrete and practical recommendations to the CISO (or other cybersecurity leader).
Results of the initial assessment are developed into the Organizational Adoption Roadmap™ which is held by the CISO in preparation for deployment across the enterprise. Silent Sector’s Chief Strategy Officer provides ongoing support for the CISO with regular strategy sessions and ad-hoc meetings to elevate the maturity of organization’s cyber risk management program.
The Silent Sector Advantage
Rather than struggle to navigate the complexities internally, having an independent and objective set of eyes on the problems of accountability and ownership is critical piece of feedback and information for the cyber and risk management leader. In addition, having an external and seasoned expert in the area of business communication to boards of directors and senior management enhances the effectiveness of engagement and understanding for those not versed in the language of cybersecurity. A CISO can often leverage the third party facilitator and assessments for additional influence across the organization.
Why the Organizational Adoption Methodology™ was Developed
Across many different regulated industries, mid-sized organizations are in the early stages of addressing the maturation of their cyber risk management programs. Many have staffed their cyber team from within and have established under the office of the CIO a “cyber” leader who previously had responsibility for cyber hygiene. This person is often new to the job and experienced as a seasoned technologist. They now must step into a role that requires exceptional people and relationship management skills.
The organization recognizes the need to implement tools and systems to defend the network. They immediately set out on investing in critical tools to “protect” the network from bad actors. Some also establish critical incident management response functions to augment their oversight as an emerging capability.
As these boot-strapped internal (and outsourced) functions are developed, a critical problem is often realized. The whole organization assumes that any problem occurring with cyber and risk management will be “handled exclusively” by the cybersecurity team or outsourced third party security vendors. Many senior non-cyber leaders make this mistake, assuming that because they created and funded the cybersecurity function, the cybersecurity team will fix all the cyber risk related problems.
In many organizations, technologists come to realize that the best way to not be held accountable for a security gap is to get “approval” from the cyber leader to confirm it is okay to move forward with a change or project. This process is an easy way for those outside the walls of the cyber function to pass the buck of owning the role of protecting the company’s critical assets.
Considering these internal dynamic struggles, it is imperative that cybersecurity leaders step back and look not only at closing technology and compliance gaps, but also implementing the Organizational Adoption Methodology to gain influence, accountability, collaboration, and increased trust across the enterprise.
Silent Sector's team helps organizations build world-class cybersecurity programs to protect organizations, stand out from the competition, and dominate markets.
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