CISOs Growing More Comfortable With Risk, But Better C-Suite Alignment Needed: Netskope Research

Netskope, a leader in Secure Access Service Edge, published new global research that finds that shifts in the cyber threats landscape have changed the way Chief Information Security Officers evaluate their business’ risk appetite. Specifically, 92% of CISOs report that these changes are creating tensions with their CEO and other members of the C-suite, and two-thirds say they are “walking a tightrope” between what the business wants and what makes sense from a security perspective.
The research surveyed more than 1,000 CISOs around the world to explore the evolution of the CISO
role as a strategic member of the executive team.

James Robinson, Netskope’s own CISO commented; “The research makes it clear that CISOs are generally hungry to play a more proactive role that enables innovation while also protecting the business. In my experience, the best way to make CISOs more proactive partners across the C-suite is to gain deep understanding of the business challenges C-suite colleagues are focused on solving and align those to security strategies, rather than attempt to assert security strategy – or individual technology choices – on what is perceived to be C-suite risk appetite.
“Too often this alignment doesn’t occur among enterprise teams. But CISOs who are able to define the ways in which they are helping their C-suite peers to acquire new revenues, drive efficiencies, and navigate regulatory requirements will be recognised as valuable contributors at the highest levels.”

Discussing the research, Steve Riley, Field CTO at Netskope, said; “With business technology and cyber threats evolving at a faster pace than ever, it is encouraging to see that CISOs are increasingly progressive in their thinking. CISOs clearly no longer feel the need to lock down access completely if it is to the detriment of the business.
“However, our findings show that the wider C-suite is not always ready for CISOs to break out of
their traditional role as the protector of the business. To truly enable secure innovation and business transformation, security leaders need to bring their colleagues on the journey with them and help them to understand how buzz phrases like zero trust actually contribute to strategies that strike a balance between staying secure and getting work done.”
The research was conducted on behalf of Netskope by Censuswide and interviewed 1,031 CISOs
worldwide across five markets in a wide range of sectors including healthcare, retail, finance and industry.

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