Security Intelligence Handbook Chapter 12: Security Intelligence Helps CISOs Communicate IT Risks to the C-Suite

Posted: 22nd April 2021

Editor’s Note: We’re sharing excerpts from the third edition of our popular book, “The Security Intelligence Handbook: How to Disrupt Adversaries and Reduce Risk with Security Intelligence.” Here, we’re looking at chapter 12, "Security Intelligence for Security Leaders.” To read the entire section, download your free copy of the handbook.

In 2021, more than ever before, CISOs are a company’s biggest asset in today's digital-first world according to a recent Forbes article. CISOs are a key organization protector and hold the entire weight of an organization's data security in their hands.

As cyberattacks continuously increase in sophistication and privacy regulations force companies across all sectors to establish robust security postures, CISOs are finding themselves in an elevated status within corporate C-suites. They are getting called in more often to meet with their CEOs and the board of directors. Everyone wants to know what the CISO is doing to protect digital assets, honor customer privacy demands, preempt risk, and ensure business continuity. The bigger, more important question: how is the CISO protecting revenue earned and market growth attained?

To answer this question successfully and fulfill this critical role, CISOs need to assess business and technical risks as well as emerging threats and the “known unknowns” that sneak up on businesses. CISOs also need to identify the right strategies and technologies to mitigate risks. Initiatives in these areas must also be communicated to the CEO and the board to justify security investments based on the financial value to the business.

This can only be done with in-depth, real-time security intelligence that supports risk management and investments in cybersecurity programs. Security intelligence also mitigates any security skills gaps that might exist within the InfoSec team, from leadership to practitioner.

The intelligence must be acquired from multiple internal and external sources. While internal audits and reviews of security incidents help determine what happened in the past, external intelligence empowers the CISO to foresee what might happen in the near future. External intelligence also gives context to internal intelligence—verifying if any risks are related to known threats and producing warnings of any emerging unforeseen threats.

To further explore the types of security intelligence CISOs find most valuable when communicating security risks to the C-Suite and the board, check out “The Security Intelligence Handbook, Third Edition: How to Disrupt Adversaries and Reduce Risk With Security Intelligence” from Recorded Future. In the excerpt below, which has been edited and condensed, CISOs can learn about the stages of security to move through when allocating resources and budget to minimize the likely impact of threats on the business.

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This chapter is one of many in our new book that demonstrates how to disrupt adversaries and measurably reduce risk with security intelligence at the center of your security program. Additional chapters explore different use cases, including the benefits of security intelligence for SecOps, vulnerability management, security leadership, and more.

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