According to a report by the Identity Theft Research Center, the number of U.S. data breaches recorded in 2014 reached an all-time high at 783. This number increased 27.5% from the previous year. No industry is safe from these breaches, with business sectors, medical/healthcare companies, education and government institutions all being attacked. It does not come as a surprise that companies are beginning to understand the importance of having risk management processes and decision makers in place to handle the threats of attacks.
The complex role of IT security managers
2015 has been labeled “the year of the data breach” and companies know it is time to focus on cybersecurity. Ninety percent of CIOs and top IT professionals agreed that security was their top concern; however, only 21% of those surveyed felt comfortable with the security systems in place. As the importance of security increases, those in IT security management roles will notice their roles are becoming more complex and will be encouraged to understand new risk management systems, as well as aligning the team, systems and vendors all under the new security goals. What qualities should IT security managers have in order to rise to the new challenges they face face in the security industry?
Many surveys have concluded that departments outside of IT do not understand the importance of cybersecurity, which leaves a large communication barrier between IT and the rest of the company. IT security managers who are able to bridge the gaps between departments and challenge incorrect perceptions of cybersecurity will ultimately see the best success. The goal is for security management to be able to effectively communicate the purposes of policies and procedures that are in place, while understanding that other departments may have a harder time understanding the reasoning.
In a rapidly changing world of technology and cyber attacks, the impact of IT security managers who stay relevant is much more important. New vulnerabilities are being discovered and released on a daily basis, and effective managers will research these vulnerabilities and compare them with their company’s current operations. Effective security managers will stay up to date on the threats and technologies in the security industry and implement them into their own current systems.
Passion for coordination
Security management requires a passion to coordinate and integrate security into every aspect of daily business. Security problems and solutions are diverse and unique to each department. Security leaders not only need to adopt the latest techniques, but also assess technology decisions, prioritize key assets and services, and understand legal compliance regimes. These managers should have the courage to step up and drive the business security culture by explaining business demands and cyber risks in a way that employees will appreciate, comply with and work to help achieve strategic goals.
There are hundreds of traits associated with great leaders ranging from honesty, loyalty and humility. In the ever-changing, complex security industry, it is important for security managers to have the qualities to rise to the challenges. Successful security management in today’s industry will be effective communicators, relevant and passionate to coordinate.