Book Excerpt

Excellent communication skills

More than anything else, an information security manager must act as a liaison between many different groups with different world views, different objectives and different needs. The manager must be able to attentively listen, just as he or she must be able to clearly state what needs to be done. This manager must also be able to persuade management to adopt new and possibly unpopular courses of action. The manager will be required to write top management status report memos, risk analysis reports, security incident post-mortem analyses, vendor request for proposal documents, employee job performance evaluations and many other documents. This manager may also be called upon to act as an organizational spokesperson with the news media and professional society standards setting committees. The manager may additionally be called upon to give presentations at industry and technical conferences. This manager must therefore have excellent interpersonal skills, including writing and public speaking skills. While an increasing number of organizations are using a bachelor's degree as a quick-and-dirty indicator of communications skills, organizations recruiting a manager should go one step further and look for specific evidence of excellent communication skills such as papers written, conference speeches delivered, industry standards committees served, etc.

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  Excellent communication skills
  Good relationship management skills
  Ability to manage many important projects simultaneously
  Ability to resolve conflicts between security and business objectives
  Ability to see the big picture
  Basic familiarity with information security technology
  Real world hands-on experience
  Commitment to staying on top of the technology
  Honesty and high-integrity character
  Familiarity with information security management
  Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty
  Demonstrated good judgement
  Ability to work independently
  A certain amount of polish

Information Security Roles and Responsibilities Made Easy, Version 2
By Charles Cresson Wood
278 pages; $495
Published by Information Shield

Download Appendix B, Personal Qualifications

This was first published in September 2005

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