The threat of cybercrime looms over organizations of all shapes and sizes, but specific leaders in the field work to strengthen these defenses and instill a culture of robust data security. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) aim to anticipate and mitigate risks pertaining to information security that could seriously impact business operations. By following some of the top CISOs in the USA, you can gain valuable insights into developing a robust cybersecurity strategy.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has never been more important. As digital transformation accelerates across all industries, the volume and sophistication of cyber threats are increasing exponentially. An organization’s ability to protect its data, infrastructure, and applications is critical to success.
Leading this charge are Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). CISOs are responsible for an organization’s cyber risk management and information security strategy. They identify vulnerabilities, implement relevant controls and processes to reduce these gaps, and build cyber resilience. Following influential CISOs is a great way to stay on the cutting edge of cybersecurity.
Here are the Top CISOs in the USA to Follow in 2024
Ricardo Lafosse: Ricardo’s career has encompassed over 16 years of senior level technical, management and consultative positions in government, health care, educational, financial services and legal services. Ricardo has architected innovative and successful incident management, risk management, application security programs, data protection policies and cloud security vendor assessment and frameworks.
Ryan Kazanciyan: As Chief Information Security Officer, Ryan leads security operations, engineering, and risk & compliance across Wiz’s corporate, development, and cloud production environments. Previously, as a security engineering lead for Meta, Ryan worked on detection and response operations and infrastructure, product security strategy for WhatsApp and Messenger, and security diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
Kayla Williams: As the CISO at Devo, Kayla leads a team of security and risk management professionals who are responsible for protecting the data and assets of Devo and its customers. She has over 10 years of experience in cybersecurity, risk, compliance, and governance, with certifications in CRISC, GRCP, CIPM, and GIAC.
Bill O’Hern: Over 15 Years of Cyber Security and Information Security, Risk Compliance, and Threat Analysis in the Chief Security Office at AT&T. Management of industry leading professional teams focused on Security Protections, Threat Analytics & Response, data protections, policy and controls, innovative technologies, and cost effective security protocols to secure valued assets, resources and company brand.
Roland Cloutier: Global Executive Security, Risk, and Privacy Leader, Strategic Security Visionary, Author, and Board Member. Focused in Critical Infrastructure Cyber and Kinetic Defensive Operations. Expertise in the management of strategic converged security programs and services and the development of global business operations protection programs.
George Stathakopoulis: Experienced Vice President Information Security with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer electronics industry. Skilled in Scalability, Enterprise Software, Culture Change, Online Services, and Vulnerability Assessment. Strong military and protective services professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Computer Science from Portland State University.
Adam Ely: Adam Ely is an executive having founded a technology product company and held global leadership roles with several Fortune 100 companies. Ely currently serves as the Head of Digital Products and Engineering where he’s responsible for commercialization, product management, and engineering across Fidelity’s consumer products. Prior to this role he was the Chief Information Security Officer of Fidelity, Deputy CISO and CISO eCommerce at Walmart, co-founded Bluebox Security, acquired in 2016, and held similar roles at Salesforce and The Walt Disney Company.
Aaron Shierlaw: Currently the CISO at Electric, Aaron has over 14 years of experience in the information security and compliance field.
Joanna Burkey: Joanna Burkey is a transformational leader, senior executive and board director with deep experience in cybersecurity and digital transformation. She is currently the Chief Information Security Officer at HP Inc and an independent director at Overstock (Nasdaq: OSTK) and ReliabilityFirst Corporation. She has held a variety of roles throughout her career, primarily focusing on cybersecurity, strategy, engineering and risk, and is passionate about increasing diversity within technology and using her decades of experience in security and risk to serve others.
Jenai Marinkovic: Board-level cybersecurity and technology executive with 20 years of experience designing, building, and operating global fortune 100 cybersecurity capabilities at scale. This includes Enterprise Risk Management, Security Governance, Security Research & Innovation, Consumer Product Security, Application Security & Architecture, Engineering, Testing & Assessment, Security Operations, Threat Management, Cyber Defense, Response, Forensics, and eDiscovery. Also managed physical security and crisis management capabilities.
Following influential CISOs provides insights into the real challenges facing cybersecurity leaders and the strategies they employ to build security into the developing digital economy. Their experiences and advice can help security professionals at any level strengthen their organization’s security posture.
What Makes a Great CISO?
A CISO plays an integral role in any organization. They are responsible for overseeing and implementing effective security programs to protect critical data and infrastructure. The best CISOs demonstrate certain key attributes:
CISOs possess a strong technical background surrounding information security concepts. They stay up-to-date with advancements in cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and solutions. CISOs need to comprehend complex security architectures and controls to implement robust security strategies.
A CISO must be a strong leader who can gain buy-in across the organization. They need to communicate security priorities to executives, collaborate with IT and business leaders, and motivate team members. Exceptional CISOs can translate technical security issues into business risks that stakeholders understand. They also manage budgets, resources, and security roadmaps.
A Business Mindset
While technical skills are important, a CISO must approach security with a business-focused mindset. They need to understand the organization’s key business drivers, priorities, and risk tolerance to develop pragmatic security strategies. An effective CISO finds the right balance between strong security and enabling business objectives. They think about how to maximize security in a cost-efficient manner.
An Innovative Approach
Cyber threats are continually evolving, so a CISO must take an innovative approach to data security. They explore emerging technologies and solutions that could strengthen the organization’s security posture.
What Does a CISO Do?
The core responsibilities of a CISO include:
-Developing and implementing an information security strategy and policies aligned with business goals.
-Managing information security risks across the organization. This includes conducting risk assessments, monitoring threats, and implementing controls.
-Overseeing information security operations, including processes for incident response, access management, security monitoring, and vulnerability management.
–Ensuring compliance with information security standards and regulations. This includes managing compliance audits and reports.
-Raising security awareness among employees through training and education.
-Staying up-to-date with advancements in cyber threats and security technologies.
The role of a CISO will only become more important as our world becomes increasingly connected and dependent on technology. Following the leading CISOs in your industry is a great way to gain insights into new information security strategies, tools, and approaches to improve your organization’s cybersecurity posture.
Don’t forget to check out our Comply or Die podcast, that breaks down security compliance into bite-size pieces, empowering compliance leaders everywhere to navigate this beast!