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Evolving technology has impacted the data landscape. Businesses can now use and analyze the data they gather to form a better understanding of how to attract and retain consumers.

This, however, comes with risks such as fraud, GDPR breaches, and cyber-attacks so it is important to have a Chief Information Security Officer in place to monitor this. The responsibilities of a CISO, and the necessity to find the right CISO for your business is crucial. But what is a CISO?

chief information security officer

What is a Chief Information Security Officer?

A Chief Information Security Officer is a c-suite role that is responsible for a business’s information and data security. Although it may seem that technical knowledge is crucial to the success of this role, it is more important for CISO’s to understand the security challenges the business operations may face. They can then provide the right tools, skills, and resources to help the organization avoid growing information security risks.

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Chief Information Security Officer

The roles and responsibilities of the Chief Information Security Officer vary depending on the size, industry vertical, hierarchy and compliance regulations of the organization.

The general responsibilities of a Chief Information Security Officer can be split into six categories:

Security Operations

A Chief Information Security Officer is responsible for designing and approving the security strategy. The strategy will include evaluating the IT threat landscape, leading auditing and compliance initiatives, and devising policy and controls to reduce risk.

They are also responsible for onboarding key stakeholders and secure the necessary funding and resources needed to carry out the initiatives set in the security strategy.


The CISO must ensure the organization is keeping up to date with the latest compliance regulations. Global organizations will often have a variety of regulations they need to adhere to, so it is crucial that the CISO manages this to avoid considerably high costs.

HR Management

Part of a CISO’s role is to put systems in place that help eradicate human error as much as possible. Many data breaches stem from human error, so setting the right criteria and mechanisms when hiring employees such as verification checks for job applicants, security education and training programs, and policies for access and identity management can help reduce the risk.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

Cyber-attacks are one of the main threats faced by FinTechs today. The role of the CISO is to prevent and defend against information security attacks and make sure the organization quickly recovers. To do this, they should establish a reliable crisis communication channel, disaster recovery, and risk management system. If any security breaches do occur it is important for the CISO to analyze the incident and response activity and make suggestions on how to improve.


The CISO is responsible for ensuring any key documentation in relation to compliance, governance, risk management, incident management, and hr are up to date. This will help the employees of the organization to follow the security best practices and organizational policies.

Stakeholder Onboarding

Another duty for the CISO is to evaluate business opportunities against security risks that could damage long-term financial rewards. The CISO is then required to find a balance between the opportunities and risks linked to information security projects that would protect the growth of the business.

When To Hire a Chief Information Security Officer

Hiring a Head of Security or Director of Security is crucial from the beginning stages of a business.  This role should naturally progress to a CISO position however if there is not a role that focuses on the security of the business, it is better to go straight for the senior hire sooner rather than later. Every company is exposed to the risk of a data breach, so having a CISO in place can provide peace of mind if the business becomes compromised.

Are you on the hunt for a CISO? Or looking for your next role as one? Get in touch. Our specialist Consultants can advise you on the process and connect you with their network of highly skilled FinTech talent.