In today’s ever-evolving threat landscape, the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has never been more critical – especially for larger enterprises. As such, these in-demand executives have become a hot commodity, with companies clamoring to attract, hire – and most importantly – retain a skilled cybersecurity leader of their own. What’s the secret to success? Well, while there’s certainly no magic formula, there are a few key considerations that might just help your firm stand out as the ideal option for landing that talented security expert you’ve been after.
Breaking it all down…
Hiring a great CISO is a two-part process. First, your organization is tasked with locating the ideal person for the job. This part is relatively easy, because it’s something that you can control to some degree. Your hiring manager (CEO, board of directors – or whoever is tasked with filling executive roles) can search sites like LinkedIn and any of the selection of career boards to locate candidates that possess the skillsets and experience you’re seeking.
The second part of the process isn’t quite as straightforward because it involves a decision on the part of the candidates you’re courting. As mentioned, CISOs and other skilled cybersecurity professionals are in high demand today, which means it’s a job seekers marketplace and probably will be for some time now. These experts have their pick of employers from which to choose. It’s up to you to demonstrate effectively why your organization is the right choice, and this is no easy feat.
One of the biggest challenges companies seeking to hire a CISO face is showing candidates that they’re approaching the hiring decision from the right perspective. Unfortunately, many companies don’t jump at bringing in a cybersecurity expert unless and until they’ve experienced some type of crisis – usually a major security breach. If you are among these organizations looking for a quick fix to your security woes, don’t expect the industries top talent to be chomping at the bit to join your team.
The best way to win over a qualified candidate for the job is to do so during normal business operations, as this is a long-term strategy that will benefit both parties. The key is to view this hire as filling an overarching need within your company. After all, effective cybersecurity isn’t something reactive, but rather a proactive and ongoing function within the business. Just as a CFO is there to oversee the continuous accounting activities of the company, the CISO should be a part of managing everyday operations of your security team, not just put out fires that already occurred.
Different strokes for different folks…
An important thing to consider when searching for a CISO to bring onboard is the current status of your company’s cybersecurity program. Different things may appeal to various candidates, and certain strengths may be more beneficial to focus on when finding the right match. For instance, if your security strategy is still in its infancy, seeking a leader who is particularly adept at the planning phase might make more sense. The other two areas to consider include execution and optimization.
Becoming a frontrunner…
Once you’ve got a better idea of what type of CISO would be best suited for your needs and you’ve begun to map out your strategy for the long-term, versus finding a quick-fix, the last step is making your organization stand out as a frontrunner amongst all the other employers vying for your ideal candidate’s attention.
The more established and equipped you are in terms of the value you place on cybersecurity (i.e. showing commitment to investing in the best tools and technology, such as automated incident response, etc.), the more attractive your offer will become and the more likely you’ll be to win over the expert you’ve got in your crosshairs.