What does a CISO need to know Key Compliances and Responsibilities

What does a CISO need to know? Key Compliances and Responsibilities

What it takes to be a professional CISO goes beyond being aware of CISO roles and responsibilities. Although being adept at IT operations is still obligatory to get this job title, a futuristic information security officer has to know how to set a comprehensive business strategy. 

What should a CISO focus on? The answer is simple: proper IT operations throughout the company. But to ensure the proper functioning of different departments, it is important to learn about their operational modalities.  

As technology and automation pervade organizational infrastructure, CISOs’ roles are getting bolder as well. The increment of CISO roles and responsibilities increases their need for knowledge in various domains. An answer to “what does a CISO need to know?” can be summarized as follows: A CISO has to:                    

  1. Understand duties and the operational processes of other departments,
  2. Present efficient automation solutions,
  3. Ensure that the IT functions are streamlined for the benefit of the business.

There seem to be many expectations of an individual C-level executive, but there are proven methods to address them. We are going to explain these methods later in this article, but first of all, we have to clarify the misunderstandings about the roles of a CISO.  

Who is a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)?

To get a better understanding of CISO roles and responsibilities, it is important to know exactly who a Chief Information Technology (CISO) is.

As senior executives, CISOs are in charge of protecting organizations’ crucial data. There are numerous creative methodologies, such as bug bounty, threat bounty, next gen pen testing, etc, that can be used to level up security. Does advancing in level provide adequate protection for infrastructure, software, hardware, and data? Yes, but only if companies level up faster than threats’ growth. That is what security experts present as proactive insight, and it can be achieved by implementing creative methodologies solely. 

Gaining proactive insight into cyber security requires executing and maintaining strategies related to different aspects of operating processes. Utilizing such comprehensive strategies typically necessitates active contact with the CTO and CIO. These two C-levels work closely to expand companies’ infrastructure, and their activities are sometimes mistaken for the duties of CISOs. Let’s take a brief look at what distinguishes CISOs, CTOs, and CIOs. This gives us a clear view of the CISO’s roles and responsibilities. This provides us with a clear picture of the CISO’s roles and responsibilities. 

CISO legal responsibilities

the CISO role can be taken by an individual or a group of experts chosen from the 24 CFO Act Executive agencies.”

In terms of legal matters, as there are no set guidelines for creating and maintaining information security strategies, there may be significant variances between CISO roles and responsibilities in various organizations.

Even FISMA (Federal Information Security Modernization Act) has not considered strategy making as a part of ciso roles and responsibilities, and instead has assigned it to CIOs. However, most CEOs tend to delegate management of the agency’s information to both CISOs and CIOs. Why? Because information security threats are getting more complex every day. Therefore, making strategies to defeat them requires professional cybersec knowledge.  Eventually, the purpose of the the CIO and the CISO responsibilities is to ensure information security requirements are met. 


Simply put, the CIO is the one who arranges all the strategies that are related to IT, while the CISO is the one who is in charge of executing the plans. In many circumstances, the CIO takes on the role of CISO by itself. 

What should a CISO focus on?

As previously stated, becoming a CISO requires a variety of key talents.  The question here is:

“What should a CISO focus on?” 

A simple way to find the answer is to learn. CISO skills using predefined frameworks. Predefined frameworks are shaped based on what companies need to protect their crucial data. The good news is that there are well known compliances that are defined based on security requirements in different industries. 

What are key compliances? 

Compliance is a predefined framework for arranging a structure. The structure that is arranged based on compliance addresses all of its key qualifications. In a simple word, compliances are very similar to the standard rules of an industry. CISOs have to learn about key compliances that are common among different companies while finding out what applies to their industry. Here are some key compliances that a CISO has to know about:

1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

2. Payment card industry (PCI)

3. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

4. Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT)

5. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)

There are also predefined frameworks such as ISO 27001 that adderress multiple skills and compliaces that a CISO has to learn about. Please keep in mind that these types of frameworks would teach you how to become a CISO, but a CISO roles and responsibilities can still be above what you learn from them. 


International Organization for Standardization, also known as ISO, has also examined the skills needed by a CISO in order to define a specified standard for the chief information security officer. 

To define such a comprehensive standard, ISO experts had to consider millions of systems and investigate what makes them more available, confidential, and integrated. CISOs who are certified by ISO are familiar with compliances, information security aspects of business continuity management, communications security, operations sec, system acquisition, development, maintenance, etc.

Personal requirements for being a CISO

Besides all the technical skills, being a professional CISO also requires high level personal skills. CISOs have to know how to present the company’s security state to other C-levels. They also should have proactive insight into the company’s future security strategies. But more importantly, they have to know how to arrange an effective security team and lead them towards

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