- Compared to other execs, chief information security officers typically stay out of the spotlight.
- CISOs are tasked with protecting companies’ information against hacks, leaks, and espionage.
- Insider asked CISOs at top companies including Netflix, Verizon, and IBM to share security insights.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Unlike other top executives, chief information security officers don’t often appear in the spotlight — but the role they play couldn’t be more crucial.
Tasked with defending against hackers, leaks, and espionage attempts, CISOs work to protect companies’ valuable information from prying eyes. Their roles often require IT experience and engineering know-how, as well as the people skills necessary to guide hundreds or thousands of employees away from security risks.
The importance of CISOs and the cybersecurity teams they oversee have become especially pronounced in the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic forced offices across the globe into remote work, exposing countless new vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. Other threats — including sophisticated ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and the sweeping SolarWinds supply chain attack — added to the urgency surrounding cybersecurity.
The $134.6 billion industry is expected to grow roughly 10% in the coming year, according to a Gartner market report, which notes that “business and security leaders are being challenged to change the way they approach cybersecurity.”
Insider surveyed top cybersecurity execs about the year ahead and their underrated security tips. We’ve also included memorable quotes previously made by some CISOs who were unavailable to be interviewed for this story.
Here’s a who’s who of top cybersecurity officials at 20 of the world’s biggest tech companies: