Essential Traits Every IT Security Pro Should Have

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 09-18-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Essential Traits Every IT Security Pro Should Have
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    Essential Traits Every IT Security Pro Should Have

    Every major epidemic begins with a "patient zero," and it's no different with cyber-security. These traits can help prevent an infection before it takes root.
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    Be Forward-Looking: Understand the New Threat Landscape
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    Be Forward-Looking: Understand the New Threat Landscape

    Digital enterprises today are not sufficiently protected from cyber-attacks. CISOs need to address a whole range of attacks and threats.
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    Be Strategic: Build a Zone of Trust
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    Be Strategic: Build a Zone of Trust

    CISOs need to assure customers that communications are actually coming from their company and not a brand imposter. Create a zone of trust in which customers can be certain that any link they click and any correspondence they respond to returns to your company.
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    Be Comprehensive: Look Beyond Your Perimeter
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    Be Comprehensive: Look Beyond Your Perimeter

    IT security leaders should look far beyond their immediate perimeter to a far-out, event horizon where off-the-radar threats, like infrastructure holes and malware, may threaten their security.
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    Be Vigilant: Patrol Your Online Identity
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    Be Vigilant: Patrol Your Online Identity

    Aggressively mitigate and clean up your brand name online. Result: Attackers won't see you as quite so vulnerable, you'll become a less lucrative target, and then, hopefully, you'll fall off your attackers' radars.
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    Be Meticulous: Teach Basic Best Practices
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    Be Meticulous: Teach Basic Best Practices

    Every major epidemic begins with a "patient zero." It's no different with cyber-security; even sprawling attacks originate from a single, compromised point-of-entry—often through a phishing email or rogue mobile app.
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    The Power of No: Say ‘Don't’
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    The Power of No: Say ‘Don't’

    If you educate your team in the power of "don't"—don't click unfamiliar links, don't download documents and don't respond to communications you don't recognize—your employees will be less likely to cause a headline-grabbing breach.
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    Be Prepared: Maintain a Clearly Defined List of Goals
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    Be Prepared: Maintain a Clearly Defined List of Goals

    Even though cyber-preparedness is now a board-level issue, most CISOs have little day-to-day access to the executive committee. They report to the CIO or CFO and often function as a service organization instead of a strategic one. Yet they are held accountable by the executive team when something goes wrong.
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    Be Ready to Answer
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    Be Ready to Answer

    To meet lofty board and C-suite expectations, be ready when the braintrust of your organization comes looking for answers. That means having an expanded agenda, innovative ideas and a list of goals.
 

The tech world has been in constant motion while CISOs have been building defenses to ward off attackers, and the changing landscape has created entirely new responsibilities for security professionals, according to Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, CMO, BrandProtect, a threat detection services firm. "It's not that digital enterprises undervalue certain attributes and skill sets in their CISOs," he said, "It's that digital enterprise CISOs have a whole new set of responsibilities that require them to make considerable changes in how they go about their day-to-day." CISOs are up against cyber-criminals who are just like every other working professional; they're sophisticated, resilient and opportunistic. Here are some qualities every CISO needs to combat their counterparts, according to Mancusi-Ungaro.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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