Now more than ever, there is a need to combat cybercrime. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, in 2025 cybercrime could reach $10.5 trillion in annual damages, and this is where a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) comes to the rescue.

If you are interested in a cybersecurity career that puts you in charge of security for an organization, you may want to consider becoming a CISO.

In this article, we’ll explore who a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is and what it takes to become one, we shall also take a look at the career outlook looks like for this position.

Who is a Chief Information Security Officer?

A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Security Officer (CSO) is a senior executive who is in charge of developing and implementing an information security program.

He or she oversees the overall IT, Information, and Data security of an entire organization including the team, the technologies, and the initiatives.

They report their findings to the chief information officer (CIO), who then reports to the chief executive officer (CEO).

What are the Duties/Roles of a CISO?

The roles and responsibilities of a CISO include;

  • Managing the cybersecurity of an organization
  • Protecting networks and systems
  • Developing and implementing information security policies.
  • Collaborating with the CIO to procure cybersecurity products and services
  • Manage disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
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What are the Skills Needed to Be a CISO?

Becoming a Chief Information Security Officer means being in the position of leadership, since it is the role of the CISO to assess the overall IT team, he or she needs to possess certain leadership skills which include;

  • Communication Skills
  • Well-inclined in IT-related laws and compliances
  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • Risk Analysis

A Chief Information Security Officer also needs to have the best cybersecurity tools and gadgets to increase productivity.

Related: Explore the best Cybersecurity laptops you need to fight Cybercrime.

How to Become a Chief Information Security Officer

To become a Chief Information Security Officer, you need to stay vigilant in your research, education, and skills training.

A CISO is required to be a person with a technology background and a passion for helping businesses protect data, proprietary information, and internal communication.

You will need to attend any of the best cybersecurity schools near you and earn your cybersecurity certifications.

Steps to Become a CISO; Education and Training Required for a CISO.

Here are the following steps to take as you become your journey to becoming a CISO;

1. Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

In order to become a CISO, students can start their journey by earning a bachelor’s degree in the field, at this level, the student will develop basic skills that prepare them for entry-level positions and gain hands-on experience.

Some degree options you can choose at this level include;

  • Business administration
  • Computer Science
  • Public administration
  • Cybersecurity, or a related degree.

2. Earn Your Master’s Degree

Undergraduate fundamentals are not enough to become a Chief Information Security Officer, passionate individuals should go on to pursue a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity.

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Most IT professionals give more preference to individuals with a strong foundation in technology and technical information, and this is what a Master’s degree can do for you.

A Master’s degree in Cybersecurity is designed to groom students with the business acumen, management skills, and network security expertise to excel in a chief information security officer role.

3. Earn Certifications

In order to become a stand-out CISO, you need to go for additional cyber certifications, and you can quickly explore the highest-paying cyber certifications you need to increase your earning potential.

The Certified Information Systems Security (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and ISACA’s Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) are regarded by industry experts as the top choices.

Infosecurity Magazine suggests these certifications are ideal for IT security professionals. Each requires the holder to pass an exam and participate in continuing education to maintain it.

Learn more on the Steps To Become a Cybersecurity Expert: Best Guide

Are Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in demand?

Here is why a Chief Information Security Officer is highly demanded; in recent years, Cybersecurity has tended to suffer from a lack of executive guidance.

The global cost of cybercrime is said to exceed $1 trillion, and this makes most IT companies lose so much money because they are vulnerable to cyber threats.

It becomes the duty of the CISO to guide the cybersecurity ship and balance the needs of security with the necessities and goals of the business, thereby creating demand for the industry.

The World Economic Forum advised Cyber CEOs to really get to know their business and protect clients’ information.

What is the Career Outlook for a CISO?

Here, we explore the CISO career in detail, basically, a Chief Information Security Officer is one of the highest-paying Cybersecurity jobs an IT person can think of.

According to research done by the cybersecurity jobs team as of August 2022, the average salary of a CISO is $230,204 per year.

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However, some CISOs earn as little as $120,000 while others earn as high as $900,000.

Explore other high-paying Cybersecurity jobs, Careers and Salary today.

FAQs on Chief Information Security Officers

Can you become a CISO without a degree?

To become a CISO as we have said, you need certifications and years of work experience, however, you can also grow your experience with either a college degree or an additional credential from the (ISC)² approved list.

Is CISO C level?

Yes, a Chief Information Security Officer is a C-level position and can make a case for cybersecurity directly to the CEO and the board, usually resulting in improved threat awareness and greater allocation of budget.

Can a CISO work from home?

Yes, a CISO can work remotely from home.

What is the average age of a CISO?

Most CISOs are an average of 52 years, statistics show that about 82.0% of CISOs are White, followed by Hispanic or Latino (6.6%), Asian (6.5%), and Black or African American (3.0%).

Is it hard to become a Chief Information Security Officer?

Becoming a CISO is not a very difficult task, you need to get your Bachelor’s degree and a lot of experience.

With this, you can be able to climb the corporate ladder to the CISO position; in most cases, additional degrees and certifications are required.

To get started today, quickly check out the most recommended cybersecurity schools near you.

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Agbai Obasi
Agbai Obasi

Agbai Obasi is the founder of and related brands; he is currently a master-level student of Information Security Systems Management, managing the security operations of this site; in his spare time, he creates tailored blog contents that speak directly to the needs and interests of students. Visit his website below to stay updated with cybersecurity industry insights, best practices, and more.

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