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Ability to manage many important projects simultaneously

The information security manager must be an excellent project manager, and must be familiar with modern project management tools and techniques. Many information security projects are complex, have a long time horizon and depend on the participation of a wide variety of people. The successful manager must be able to delegate work to, and later manage, people outside an information security group (these people will typically include consultants and contractors). In an increasing majority of cases, the pressing information security projects that most organizations need to complete simply cannot be accomplished with the limited information security staff on hand. At the same time, the manager must stay on top of these projects, paying attention to details and making sure that progress proceeds as top management intended. The successful manager must also be able to put together organization- wide status reports that clearly show trends, problems and areas in need of top management intervention. Separately, the information security manager often has a dotted-line reporting relationship with a variety of staff that have information security related jobs (systems developers, systems administrators, etc.). The manager is thus indirectly responsible for obtaining results, but often not in a position where he or she can force compliance with information security requirements. To get results in this environment, the manager must be a both a diplomat and a politician. An information security manager must thus be a team player, a team builder and a team leader.


  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 last published in September 2005

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