What Is Cybersecurity Management, and Why Is it Important?
Cyberattacks increased by 50% in 2021, reaching an all-time peak in Q4 as companies experienced an average of 900 attacks per week (Check Point, 2022). Businesses are under relentless assault and can only keep their data safe by investing in a sophisticated cybersecurity management strategy.
Most organizations take cybersecurity management seriously, with businesses spending an average of 10.9% of their IT budget on strengthening their digital defenses (Deloitte, 2020). Many companies appoint a dedicated board member—the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)—to oversee their cybersecurity management strategy.
What Is Cybersecurity Management?
Modern organizations often have complicated IT infrastructures. The typical tech stack includes a mix of on-premises and cloud services, so staff members might log in from the office or home. This complexity can create new attack vectors for cybercriminals and raises new data security risks for organizations.
Cybersecurity management is about creating and implementing a unified data security strategy so that data remains safe no matter how the company’s infrastructure evolves.
The CISO or other senior infosec executive will develop a cybersecurity management strategy that covers everything, including:
- Technology: Overseeing the primary security architecture, including hardware and software, as well as assessing any new services for potential vulnerabilities
- Infrastructure: Guiding decisions on changes to the IT infrastructure, which involves a balance between flexibility and stability
- Personnel: Educating users about security best practices. People are often the weakest link in an organization, but with knowledgeable support, employees can do their part to prevent cybercrime
- Incident response: Identifying and resolving issues as quickly as possible, assessing the extent of the breach, and mitigating damage
- Business strategy: Working with other senior leaders to deliver a long-term strategy as the company grows while avoiding any increase in cyber risk
Cybersecurity management is about more than just making sure the firewalls are functional; it’s about nurturing a safety-first organizational culture that puts security at the heart of everything you do.
What Is the Importance of Cybersecurity Management?
Cybersecurity is now the number one global business risk. When asked to name their biggest concerns, 44% of business leaders said cybersecurity incidents—more than those who said pandemic (22%) or a recession (11%) (Allianz, 2022).
Why are businesses so concerned about cybersecurity management? For several reasons, including:
- Excessive cost of incident response: The average data breach cost in 2022 was $4.35 million. This is an all-time high, up 12.7% since 2020 (IBM Security, 2022).
- Slow response to cybersecurity incidents: Businesses sometimes don’t realize they have experienced an attack until months later. On average, it took 277 days to identify and resolve a breach in 2022 (IBM Security, 2022).
- Risk of extortion or espionage: Organized criminal gangs target large organizations so they can steal valuable data or demand a ransom. Recent high-profile attacks have shut down the United States’ largest fuel pipeline (Turton, 2021) and Ireland’s national health service. (Harford, 2021).
- Reputational damage: People trust businesses with sensitive personal data. If cybercriminals steal that data, it destroys that sense of trust. One study of an e-commerce brand affected by a data breach found that one-third of consumers affected would not shop there again (Strzelecki and Rizun, 2022).
- Business stability: Cybersecurity management is a life-or-death matter for most businesses. In 2022, the medical startup myNurse shut down its service after hackers accessed confidential patient records (Whittaker, 2022). myNurse is just one example of the thousands of businesses that collapse directly because of cybercrime.
When cybersecurity management fails, the entire business can fail. Therefore, companies need to hire a talented CISO to avoid the catastrophic aftermath of a cyberattack.
What Is the CISO’s Role in Cybersecurity Management?
The CISO is responsible for keeping their company one step ahead of malicious hackers.
This means overseeing operations, assessing risk factors, and implementing policy changes on a day-to-day basis. You’ll work with people from every business function to learn about the data needs in each department and ensure that the cybersecurity management strategy is right for your organization.
A CISO’s typical workload includes:
1. Governance, risk, and compliance
A CISO is responsible for all aspects of data governance, which includes the cybersecurity management team structure. They also oversee the frameworks for assessing cybersecurity risk management and ensure that everything is compliant with applicable laws.
2. Information security controls and audit management
Each organization needs an internal controls framework to help implement data security management. The CISO oversees the technology and best practices that make up such controls. They will also implement an audit program to help identify potential breaches.
3. Security program management and operations
The CISO defines the culture of the entire cybersecurity management team. They are responsible for laying out a mission statement, communicating policy, and ensuring a suitable team structure to deliver the strategy.
4. Dealing with cybersecurity issues
CISOs need excellent technical knowledge to get involved in major cybersecurity issues. This may involve overseeing the response to a data breach or patching a known vulnerability.
5. Strategic planning and finance
Finally, a CISO must deal with organizational issues similar to other executive leaders. This means balancing the departmental budget and working with other leaders to develop a business strategy.
How CISO Training Can Help You Become a Chief Information Security Officer
As a CISO, you’ll have a chance to make a real difference to your company’s cybersecurity management strategy, and you can also expect a healthy rewards package. The average CISO in the United States earns $232,090 as of July 26, 2022 (Salary.com, 2022).
You’ll need an extensive track record in cybersecurity management to secure a position as CISO or another senior infosec executive role. This means having expert-level cybersecurity knowledge, including threat analysis and security architecture. You will also need management skills, including communication, delegation, and creating high-level strategies.
If you’re ready to move into senior leadership, you can level up your career with the Certified Chief Information Security Officer Program (C|CISO) program from EC-Council. This certification builds on your existing knowledge of cybersecurity management and teaches you what you’ll need to know to succeed in executive leadership.
Seasoned CISOs developed the C|CISO program to help you deliver the right cybersecurity management strategy for your company. Find out more about how CISO certification can help you on your journey to the C-Suite.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. (2022, January). Allianz risk barometer. https://www.agcs.allianz.com/news-and-insights/reports/allianz-risk-barometer.html
Check Point. (2022). Check point research: cyber attacks increased 50% year over year. https://blog.checkpoint.com/2022/01/10/check-point-research-cyber-attacks-increased-50-year-over-year/
Center for Internet Security. (2021). CIS controls (version 8). https://learn.cisecurity.org/cis-controls
Bernard, J. Nicholson, M. (2020, July 24). Reshaping the cybersecurity landscape. Deloitte. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/financial-services/cybersecurity-maturity-financial-institutions-cyber-risk.html
Harford, S. (2021, December 10). Hacker accessed ‘frail’ HSE system two months before ransomware attack. Silicon Republic. https://www.siliconrepublic.com/enterprise/hse-cyberattack-pwc-report-ransomware
IBM Security. (2021). Cost of a data breach report 2022. https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach
ISO. (2022). ISO/IEC 27001:2013. https://www.iso.org/standard/54534.html
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2018). Framework for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity (Version 1.1). United States Department of Commerce. https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.CSWP.04162018
Salary.com. (2022). Chief information security officer salary in the united states. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/chief-information-security-officer-salary
Strzelecki, A., & Rizun, M. (2022). Consumers’ change in trust and security after a personal data breach in online shopping. MDPI. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su14105866
Turton, W. Mehrotra, K. (2021, June 5). Hackers breached colonial pipeline using compromised password. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-04/hackers-breached-colonial-pipeline-using-compromised-password#xj4y7vzkg
Whittaker, Z. (2022, May 3). Health startup myNurse to shut down after data breach exposed health. TechCrunch. https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/02/mynurse-data-breach-shut-down