​The rise of the “on-demand” Chief Information Security Officer

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As companies strive to improve their levels of security in the midst of increasing cyber threats, many are finding it difficult to recruit sufficient numbers of skilled staff. Deploying and maintaining an effective IT security infrastructure is no easy task and people with the knowledge and experience needed are in short supply.

The situation is likely to get worse before it gets any better. As organisations come to rely increasingly on digital assets and workflows, maintaining security becomes a higher priority. This, in turn, is resulting in more competition for any qualified professionals who are on the market. 

The problem is particularly acute when an organisation is searching for a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). CISIOs need a rather unique blend of both technical skills and business acumen acquired over many years. They need to understand the challenges posed from a corporate perspective as well as have a deep technical understanding of the threats faced and ways in which they can be overcome.

If a suitable candidate can be located, the salary required to secure them can be significant. Many CISOs command salaries in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, making their appointment impossible for all but the largest organisations.

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