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Chief Security Officer Needs to Have a Strong Working IT Background

The chief security officer (CSO) used to be a terminology used in the information technology department whose function is primarily involved with security in IT.  Although this has evolved in many years since the term was first used, some organization of today still use the terminology that way.

The CSO is used in many organizations to describe the leader of the security function in the corporation.  This could include, but not limited to the physical safety and security of the employees, assets, inventories and facilities.  In most cases, the officer holds a title similar to ‘Director’ or ‘Vice President’ of Corporate Security.  In the course of corporate history, separate departments handle information and corporate security.

Chief security officer is also used to describe the leader of an organization’s physical and digital security posture.  CSOs closely participate in related areas like fraud prevention, loss prevention, business continuity planning and privacy.  Tactically speaking, technology is used to implement physical security tools which are driven in databases and delivered in networks.  Strategically speaking, corporate boards and chief executive officers are motivated by regulations to make operational risk views become enterprise-wide.

The CSO will be mainly responsible for the direction of general security functions relevant to IT applications, computing services and communications within the enterprise.  In addition to that, the CSO needs to be aware of the consequences of the regulated requirements which will have significant impact to the overall security of the enterprises.

A chief security officer will have the responsibility of making enterprise-wide security in information rise up to the global level and ensure not just the corporation’s security but also of its employees.  The designated officer needs to coordinate and oversee efforts in security in the entire enterprise such as in the areas of facilities management, communications, human resources, information technology, and in the other groups in order to identify standards and initiatives for security.

The CSO will need to have a strong working knowledge and background in information technology and would need to work closely with the chief information officer.  The designated officer is the executive who will be responsible for the overall digital and physical security position of an organization.

Many say that since the chief security officer is primarily concerned with the IT security, then it is more appropriate and accurate to call the position as ‘chief information security officer’.   In fact, it is noteworthy that chief information security officer (CISO) is now widely used in reference to this position nowadays.

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