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A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) controls information security issues in an organization and is responsible for securing anything related to digital information. The CISO and Chief Security Officer (CSO) roles may be interchangeable, but CISOs may also handle a company’s physical security.
A CISO maintains the security of an organization’s information technology (IT) systems. The CISO must understand how to protect these systems with special hardware, software and secure business processes. Not only do CISOs secure computer systems, but they also create, implement and communicate the organization’s digital information security policies and procedures. In the event of a confidentiality breach, the CISO must know how to handle an emergency situation with an established business continuity plan (BCP).
A CISO usually reports to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), or other chief-level executive, and helps guide a company with a combined knowledge of business and technology. To increase employability, a CISO or prospective CISO can obtain an information security certification, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). CISSP is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC²®).