Mid-sized businesses can thrive with the help of a CISO. Source: Shutterstock

Mid-sized businesses can thrive with the help of a CISO. Source: Shutterstock

Is it time for mid-sized organizations to hire a CISO?

CYBERSECURITY is the responsibility of the company’s CEO. When there’s a breach, it is the CEO who will be penalized by shareholders and the board.

Given the incredibly complex job that cybersecurity is, hiring a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) makes sense.

Not only does it free up the CEO’s time to focus on business expansion and growth, but also ensures that a more qualified professional is tasked with cybersecurity responsibilities.

The role of the CISO isn’t new. Banks such as Citibank hired a CISO way back in the 1990s and had them report to the CEO.

However, the job function of a CISO has changed with time. They’re now more dynamic executives with a strong role in the organization’s digital transformation programmes.

Hence, mid-sized entities should also consider hiring a CISO to mitigate risks in the digital-first marketplace. Here are three things CISOs can help such organizations.

# 1 | Earn the confidence of customers

Hiring a CISO makes a statement. It tells stakeholders and customers that the company is serious about protecting data that it is privy to.

A CISO can also help mid-sized enterprises satisfy data protection best-practices recommended for larger enterprises. Doing so can help raise the profile of the business in the eyes of customers as well as regulators.

This is a critical step, especially for mid-sized businesses looking to earn the trust of their customers and encourage them to share data so the company can further tailor its products and services to suit their needs.

# 2 | Create a secure data platform

Creating a secure data platform is critical for any business hoping to use artificial intelligence (AI) to gain an edge in the digital age.

In order for AI to work, companies need access to data that is structured and secure. Although this isn’t exactly part of the job description of a CISO, it’s something they can significantly contribute to.

All in all, this is the kind of work that a CISO needs to do in order to make sure that the company doesn’t work around data management and security rules in order to create AI solutions.

# 3 | Transform the CX provided by the company

Data is key to digital strategies a company formulates. It can not only help create smarter products and solutions but also radically improve the experience it provides to customers.

Of course, the role of a CISO in such a project is to not only make sure that the data that is being used to enhance the CX is safe but also that the project is using the right governance and privacy practices to keep customers safe in the long term.