CISO Trainings , Events , Infosecurity Europe Conference

The New Security Leader: Less Techy, More Business-Savvy

Paul Watts of Information Security Forum on Balancing Cyber Risk and Business Goals
Paul Watts, distinguished analyst, Information Security Forum

Security leadership has evolved significantly in recent years, moving beyond technical expertise to strategic partnerships within organizations. Security professionals now articulate business value and align with organizational objectives, according to Paul Watts, a distinguished analyst at the Information Security Forum.

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"The ratio between technical and business acumen for security leaders is changing. Technical ability is not necessarily a barrier to entry for security leaders," he said. "There are CISOs coming into the industry and into these leadership roles without a massive technical background."

Watts foresees a shift toward decentralized security management models, promoting agility and integration with business processes.

"There's a role called business information security officer," Watts said. "It's an increasingly fashionable interface between the security function and the business process. These are people who are taking a business-first, security-second approach to balancing risk with reward."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at Infosecurity Europe 2024, Watts also discussed:

  • The ongoing debate about the CISO's role on a corporate board;
  • The need to balance technical risk management with broader business objectives;
  • The challenges security leaders face due to the stressful nature of their roles.

Watts has worked in information technology for more than 28 years, 17 of which have been as a security executive and CISO in a range of sectors including financial services, retail, critical national infrastructure, food and beverage, data analytics and market research.

About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, Productions, ISMG

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.

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