Better CIO and CISO Collaboration in 3 Steps
To proactively address vulnerabilities and prevent attacks from affecting a business, a collaboration between CISOs and CIOs has never been more important.
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It seems like every week, there is another headline about a new security breach or ransomware attack. That’s not a coincidence -- security breaches, specifically ransomware, have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, as many businesses have shifted employees to work from home and implemented new digital processes.
The total cost of ransomware damage is expected to reach a whopping $265 billion by 2031, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. No one ever wants to experience a security breach, and for businesses, the damage extends even further as a ransomware or malware attack can mean the difference between keeping customers’ trust and losing it forever.
To proactively address vulnerabilities and prevent attacks from affecting a business, a collaboration between CISOs and CIOs has never been more important. Below are three best practices for these leaders to better bridge gaps and break down silos so ultimately, the entire organization can win.
Step 1: Begin With Full-Stack Observability
To effectively protect a business, security and IT priorities need to be closely aligned from the start, especially as IT environments grow more complex. For CIOs specifically, full-stack observability provides a dynamic and detailed view of the overall IT environment, from the application all the way to the network, and gives them the tools they need to address performance issues before they happen. From there, they can take the insights provided by full-stack observability and align with the goals of the business in order to make the best possible prevention and remediation decisions.
Full-stack observability can actually apply to CISOs too, as performance issues and security issues can often happen in tandem. In fact, PwC recently found that 50% of security executives foresee that cyber and privacy will be baked into every business decision and plan going forward.
For example, if a bug in an application causes a secondary security vulnerability, it’s crucial for the IT and security teams to be in communication to catch that potentially harmful bug and fix it before it ever evolves into something worse. Full-stack observability gives that bird’s eye view of the environment to help teams better identify when issues arise, enabling everyone to act faster and in accordance with the overall goals of the business.
Step 2: Open Up the Innovation Cycle
CIO and CISO collaboration is best implemented within a DevSecOps or BizDevSecOps model, and CISOs need to be brought in as a key part of the innovation cycle. Because CISOs are aware of the latest advancements in security and are constantly keeping up-to-date on the latest in an ever-changing field, they need to have a seat at the table when in the innovation cycle rather than being confined to just “fixing” a breach.
If CISOs are the ones helping construct a wall of protection around a business, they should be brought in to help build that wall rather than just patching the holes. For CIOs, this means reaching across barriers by bringing CISOs into their processes and finding ways to implement security at every step. Leveraging the strengths and resources of both teams is fundamentally important to the success of a business.
Step 3: Bounce Back From Attacks Without Sacrificing Performance
On the other hand, after a major breach or attack, the natural tendency may be to pull back or to put other projects on pause while addressing the effects of the attack. During this phase, it’s crucial to refrain from placing blame, but rather bring teams together to address growing complexity and form a plan to prevent future attacks. Two-thirds of consumers say that irrespective of the root cause of an issue, they will blame a brand or application for a lapse in performance.
While the instinct may be to dial back on innovation, this is actually a great time to learn from the experience and use it to implement technology and processes that improve performance while simultaneously strengthening security.
It is important to take into account the perspective of the CIO and the CISO together, in addition to internal listening to feedback from your developers, SREs, IT practitioners, and all the other technologists who keep the organization moving forward. At the end of the day, the most important goal is protecting and supporting your business and providing customers with the safe and seamless experiences they expect.
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