Strategic CIO

CIO vs CISO: Are Their Responsibilities Different?

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) are crucial C-level executive roles. They focus on the planning, implementation, protection, management, and security of a company’s data and IT infrastructure. Their positions seem highly similar since they share some typical roles and responsibilities. However, there are some critical differences between a CIO and a CISO. How can they be distinguished? In this article at CIO Insight, Shelby Hiter explains the CIO vs CISO differences.

CIO vs CISO: Who Does What?

Roles & Responsibilities

CIOs help companies turn away from legacy solutions and outdated processes to modernize technology in their enterprises. They consistently identify ways to make the processes more efficient. Furthermore, the CIO’s role has evolved to include more cybersecurity-related tasks. On the contrary, the CISO’s role is about managing information security risks throughout the data lifecycle. CISOs are instrumental in implementing a cyber risk management framework to evaluate, govern, and respond to threats involving their organization’s confidential data. They are also engaged in vendor risk management (VRM). Additionally, CISOs report the risk environment to board members for informed decision-making.

Data Usage

“The CIO and CISO lead very different technical initiatives for a company, which is why many larger organizations choose to hire for both roles,” says Hiter. CIOs often analyze the business relevance of data and play a vital role in strategic cybersecurity management. In contrast, CISOs’ primary data responsibilities include data and privacy compliance, security framework implementation, and fraud prevention.

According to experts, the future of CIO vs CISO roles will either be unique or alike. Some studies reveal that CIOs will retain greater cybersecurity oversight than at present. Other findings indicate that CIOs offer different essential services disconnected from cybersecurity. If you are a company with a robust risk and security plan, you must rely on both CIOs and CISOs.

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