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IS YOUR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER your role model?
That may be overstating the case, but increasingly, chief information security officers should have a lot in common with their colleagues in finance.As a 21st century CISO has to be more than a technologist, the outstanding CFO is much more than an elevated CPA.
"The CFO should be someone who has initiative, is well rounded, and who has broad business sense and broad business experience," says Mark Hogard, CFO of Oklahoma City-based First Capital. "He has to think ahead, think outside the box, and make sure the company is prepared in this ever-changing world."
Both positions have become even more demanding in today's compliance-heavy business environment, with unprecedented requirements for data protection, privacy, consumer protection and corporate accountability. Even in the financial services sector where regulatory controls are old hat, the sheer volume of transactions and explosive growth of data has altered the paradigm.
Financial services executives call on a new breed of CISO, who looks to the example of the CFO to implement compliance and security in a risk assessment context, instead of simply firewalls, antivirus and intrusion prevention systems. There are sharp lessons to be learned for security officers from their financial counterparts.
WHO ARE YOU?
CISOs have often been outstanding technologists, very adept at identifying and implementing new security products and systems.
"The CFO position has always been about business evaluation, and the position has always been a business partner evaluating various business objectives," says Mike Stiglianese, who has the unique perspective of having served in both CFO and chief information technology risk officer roles at Citigroup.
That's where the CISO role needs to be, but typically is not. Much more often than not, the position is in IT, and therein lies much of the problem. Stiglianese is surprised how few CISOs are like... him.
Now an independent consultant, Stiglianese spent his entire career at Citigroup-25 years on the finance side, including several CFO positions, and the last three as CISO. The things he's encountered outside the CFO chair have opened his eyes.
"The shocking thing was the lack of metrics and a lack of discipline," he says. For example, he asked one organization how many applications it had, and was told 8,000 to 12,000. Count them, he said.
This was first published in January 2009