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GDPR and Compliance: the role of the Chief Information Security Officer

GDPR and Compliance: the role of the CISO

The Role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is increasingly taking on a strategic role in defining and managing business processes to defend against cyber threats.

This task requires a high level of technical and procedural knowledge, considering both physical and digital elements to ensure the correct protection of the IT environment. All this must be done in compliance with the GDPR.

Let’s delve into the challenges a CISO faces today and the checklist they must follow to ensure the highest level of protection, confidentiality, and availability of sensitive data.

Challenges Faced by a CISO Today

Every Chief Information Security Officer must contextualize their operational choices based on the business reality they operate in.

Today, given the continuous increase in the frequency and intensity of cyber attacks, this IT role faces several challenges that require an increasingly strategic and holistic approach, capable of considering a large number of security variables.

Below are the main challenges a CISO faces:

  • Balancing Cybersecurity with Business Needs 

CISOs must ensure the protection of corporate data and information while ensuring that the company can operate efficiently. Finding this balance is a constant challenge.

  • Managing Remote Work and Cloud Migration Complexity

With the rise of remote work and cloud adoption, CISOs must tackle new threat vectors and security gaps, such as access from unsecured networks and locations.

  • Developing Managerial Skills

Many CISOs come from a technical background, so they need to acquire leadership, team management, communication, and negotiation skills for their new managerial role.

  • Finding and Retaining Qualified Talent

CISOs face the challenge of recruiting and retaining qualified cybersecurity professionals, given the shortage of such resources.

  • Managing Increased Stress and Responsibilities

Transitioning from a technical role to a managerial one involves a significant increase in responsibilities, which can generate stress for CISOs.

  • Effectively Communicating with Management and the Board

CISOs must be able to clearly and convincingly explain security issues and solutions to executives and board members without technical expertise.

Cybersecurity and GDPR: The CISO Checklist

The CISO’s checklist for cybersecurity in compliance with the GDPR is a set of principles and best practices that help Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) protect corporate data and ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Here is a detailed list of these principles and best practices:

  1. Company Protection

Defense Against Cyber Attacks: implement measures to prevent and counter cyber attacks, such as protecting systems and networks.

Business Continuity: ensure the continuity of business operations in case of incidents or emergencies.

Immediate Data Recovery: Have a data recovery plan in case of loss or destruction.

Work Methodologies for System Defense: adopt work methodologies that favor system security.

Well-Defined Roles and Responsibilities: clearly define roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability and transparency.

  1. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity by Design: design and implement systems and services with security in mind, adopting principles of privacy by design and privacy by default.

Risk Assessment: assess the risks to the company and implement appropriate security measures.

Adequate Technical, Procedural, and Organizational Measures: implement technical, procedural, and organizational security measures to protect data.

Defining Principles for Corporate Cybersecurity: define principles for corporate cybersecurity based on risk assessment.

Regularly Review Information Security Policies: regularly review information security policies and introduce new security elements.

  1. Incident Response (IR)

Risk-Based Approach: manage cybersecurity incidents with a risk-based approach.

Incident Response and Privacy: ensure that data privacy considerations are addressed alongside security measures during incident response.

Security Awareness and Privacy Training: develop a holistic approach to data protection through security and privacy awareness programs.

  1. Collaboration with Other Functions

Collaboration with Legal and Compliance Functions: work with legal and compliance functions to ensure regulatory compliance.

Collaboration with the Data Protection Officer (DPO): collaborate with the DPO to ensure data protection and GDPR compliance.

  1. CISO Skills

Technical Skills: possess technical skills in cybersecurity and risk management.

Organizational Skills: have organizational skills to manage cybersecurity and risk management within the company.

Risk Management Skills: have risk management skills to identify and assess risks to the company.

  1. ISO 27001 and GDPR

Security Management Systems: implement security management systems that comply with GDPR and ISO 27001.

ISO 27001 Certification: obtain ISO 27001 certification to ensure compliance with international cybersecurity standards.

CISO as a Service by CyberTrust 365

We have seen how the role of the CISO encompasses many technical, managerial, and procedural skills, which are not easy to find in the IT market.

To make these skills accessible, CyberTrust 365 has developed the “CISO as a Service” offering.

With this service, companies do not need to worry about hiring a CISO but can entrust the protection of their digital ecosystem to an external IT partner who will implement a comprehensive and customized cyber security strategy.

Discover CISO as a Service>>

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