January 9, 2012 Albuquerque, NM- The New Year brings an unfamiliar set of challenges for executive-level Information Security (IS) professionals. The troubled economy and increased economic uncertainty has led many to seek alternatives to doing more with less. However, new initiatives such as implementing more cost efficient technology, with cloud computing being top-of-mind for many executives, and investing in existing resources, like the workforce, come with a set of security and training challenges.
These issues were addressed at EC-Council’s Inaugural CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) Executive Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, NV held from December 5-6th. Over 40 prominent top-level executives from the private, public, and government sectors gathered to collaborate on ways to overcome these obstacles. The corporations and agencies included: IBM, Motorola, TransUnion, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), Sallie Mae, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Deloitte & Touche, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Army Reserve and Department of Defense.
The need for increased Information Security arises as executives look for more cost-cutting technology and invest in existing assets to stay competitive in 2012. As Pearl Zhu, CEO, COO, Chairman, and President of Brobay stated in the article 2012 IT Tea Leaf Reading: The Year of Wisdom, “Businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainties, accelerated changes and hyper-competitive global competitions.” Many organizations in 2012 will focus on software automation and cloud solutions, which provide convenience and cost-efficiency.
The topic of responsible implementation of cloud computing in terms of information security was one of the focus areas of the CISO Executive Summit.
Ben Eu, Program CISO at IBM, and Raymond Soriano, Director of Security & Privacy Services and Cyber Threat & Vulnerability Management at Deloitte & Touche, served as co-chairs on the “Embracing the Cloud and Mitigating Surrounding Threats” panel discussion. Summarizing the panel discussion, they stated that in order to mitigate threats posed by the cloud, top IS professionals must:
• Perform due diligence and consider satisfactory levels of Right to Audit and other measures within contracts.
• Consult with business to understand the requirements and risk tolerance for cloud solutions.
• Engage with Internal Audit to help support and drive additional control with cloud solutions applied for the organization.
Another challenge that awaits CISOs in the New Year is ensuring the IS team they lead consists of highly skilled professionals who are ready to mitigate risks associated with cloud computing and other technologies.
According to “The IT Skills Gap”, an article written by Andrew Horne, Practice Director at Corporate Executive Board, another one of the CIO’s (Chief Information Security Officer) most serious challenges is the lack of adequate skills in prospective and current IS employees. It is projected that demand for certain roles in the IS field will increase by over 200% within the next 5 years. He goes on to say that, “As key IT skills are in short supply, and the few people with those skills are not going to be pried loose from their current employers, the only option for CIO’s is to develop existing employees.”
Co-chairs of “Structuring and Managing Your Infosec Workforce”, Jerry Chappee, Chief Information Assurance and Operations Officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, and Jeffrey Vinson, Director and CISO of SecureNet Payment Systems, stated that one of the best ways to improve the skills of the existing workforce is by investing in certifications, “Leaders of the organization need to support their people and show them the importance of certifications. More specifically, how the certification directly supports the business and keeps information more secure.”
The CISO Executive Summit created an environment where the most recent IS threats and landscape evolution was discussed and debated. Additional key issues addressed were implementing a high-performing IS program, managing insider threats, and factors with the greatest impact on the IS profession. For a full CISO Summit report including highlights and key takeaways, please visit http://www.eccouncil.org/cisosummit.
2012 will have its share of challenges and obstacles to overcome. The tough economic climate and mantra of “doing more with less” will prompt Information Security leaders to come together and share knowledge and ideas. It is the mission of the CISO Executive Summit Series to unite the top Information Security (IS) leaders across the world in the fight against cyber crime and IS threats, while providing a platform for continuous learning where the most recent IS threats and landscape evolution can be discussed and debated.?
EC-Council will host a Global CISO Executive Summit on October 29, 2012 in Miami, FL. For more information, please visit: http://www.eccouncil.org/cisosummit.
Marketing Communications Specialist
The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in various e-business and information security skills. It is the owner and creator of the world-famous Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO) as well as many other programs that are offered in over 80 countries through a global training network of more than 450 training partners. For more information on CISO certification, visit https://www.eccouncil.org/ciso.
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