Growing business role for information security managers

The role of information security managers is changing fast to focus on business needs instead of technology, according to a survey of over 1400 Certified Information Security Managers (CISMs) in 83 countries by ISACA.

The Information Security Career Progression Survey Results showed that information security managers experiencing major career momentum are closely aligned with business goals and priorities. ISACA surveyed 1426 CISMs from 83 countries in November 2007.

Survey respondents represented more than 20 different industries; the greatest populations were in banking and financial services (26.6 per cent), consulting (23.75 per cent), technology (12.5 per cent), government (12 per cent), and healthcare (4.2 per cent). The purpose of the survey was to examine how professionals in information security management arrived at their current position, what types of activities they are accountable for and how they envision their future.

The career growth pattern among CISMs is clear as they continue to move up into management ranks, and acquire more business-focused responsibilities. When asked what their next career step will be, 40.6 per cent of respondents replied that they intend to step into an executive management role, 40.6 per cent intend to step into a chief information security officer (CISO) role, and 27.1 per cent see themselves in a chief security officer (CSO) role.

The survey also revealed that the top five most common activities performed by information security managers in their current positions are risk management, security program management, data security, policy creation, and maintenance and regulatory compliance.

When asked about prior job duties, only 54.8 per cent of respondents said that they had responsibility for risk management. In their current position, 75.6 per cent said they were responsible for this business-related function. Network security was the third most frequently performed activity in prior positions, but it dropped to eighth in current positions.

Further information:

Image: Information security managers experiencing major career momentum are closely aligned with business goals and priorities

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