Business Information Security Officer (BISO)


What Is a Business Information Security Officer (BISO)?

A Business Information Security Officer (BISO) is a senior security leader assigned to lead a group or business unit’s security policy. He/she offers a bridge between centralized security functions and business operations. The Business Information Security Officer works as a CISO’s deputy in the organizational hierarchy, specializing in business-related information management problems, such as how to incorporate customer-centric technologies safely to protect customer information.

The main aim of a BISO is to guarantee that, like any other business necessity, the business unit or division knows that information management is a business requirement.

Role of the Business Information Security Officer (BISO)

In certain organizations, BISOs are called upon not only to report the state of security of the company to the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) but also to the Executive Committee (EC) and the Board of Directors. Therefore, BISOs must have a good strategy for evaluating enhancement and ensuring that potential targets are defined and monitored.

He/she works very closely with the CISO and executives to ensure that corporate protection priorities are viewed as a critical business criterion. BISOs make sure that these targets are fulfilled with policies and methods designed to better suit the division’s particular inner workings. This also involves linking security measures to regulatory, audit, and enforcement standards.

One of the main functions of a Business Information Security Officer is to formulate strategies to make information security an essential business requirement. A company’s corporate considerations and information management obligations can no longer walk on different paths. Hence, being on the same page is the call of the hour, just like any other business necessity within an enterprise.

Why Do Organizations Have BISOs?

Getting a senior security expert loyal to the business unit provides a single owner for the security policy of the division. BISOs usually own and drive systems such as vulnerability detection, enforcement, and device protection. In addition, BISOs acts as a consulting resource on security-related problems for technology and production teams. All of this helps to establish trust within the business unit for protection and to develop an environment that understands that security is the responsibility of everyone.

The relaying of security specifications to the team responsible for customer-facing goods and services is a crucial task for BISOs. Product creators today need to build secure products more than ever without losing the usability that appeals to consumers. This implies working more to make concessions and to create the right product.

In recent years, the role of a CISO has become extremely important, demanding greater focus as work shifts to the cloud — but there is only so much one CISO alone can do. This is where a Business Information Security Officer steps in. As expected, this expansion of leadership and management positions in cybersecurity is more common in larger organizations that have the capital to invest in developing and constructing new teams. Usually, the BISO reports to the CISO. The position of the latter was once a solely technological one, but strategic and market thought must now be accounted for.

Qualities of a BISO

The important characteristics of a BISOs are quite like those of a CISO. These are the four main qualities a good Business Information Security Officer should possess:

1. Comprehensive security knowledge

A Business Information Security Officer should possess a great deal of proficiency in the technological aspects of cyber defense, as you would naturally expect from a security chief. The perfect individual has a wide spectrum of expertise in different fields. However, it is always helpful to find someone with more cybersecurity-oriented experience in core technical technologies, based on the reach and make-up of the business unit. For example, if the BISO is heading a department that is undertaking a concentrated cloud transition, he/she should have specialized experience in native cloud technologies.

2. Executive level integration

Since the BISO coordinates the security initiatives and policies within the division or the corporation at large, the leadership framework must be a shared responsibility. It is a vital skill set to efficiently communicate the risk and security status of the company to the management and the Board of Directors. This implies going above the technological ramifications and thinking instead in terms of the company’s priorities and threats that are affected.

3. Influencing the leadership

Although BISOs usually operate across the hierarchy of business leadership, this does not mean that they function in a position of power and authority over the technology and business groups they will deal with. BISOs serves as the interface between the organization and the role of corporate protection. They must also be willing, even without formal authority, to successfully influence the organization from within.

Strategic thinking

A good BISO is one who doesn’t get bogged down with the technical details and is able to see the bigger picture. This entails the different aspects of the company’s operational and defense plans to work together. BISOs look at their jobs from a long-term perspective. Specific tactical components and mid-level programs all contribute to the vision in one way or the other.

The Emerging Role of a BISO

The BISO is there to ensure that security measures with a business background in mind are enforced. Inside the department, the BISO supports the protection and ties security to market facilitation. BISOs are a critical resource who are likely to be developed within a growing number of organizations.

If a CISO already exists with the old domains of expertise, a BISO may be needed to strengthen the overall security road map. In some cases, there is a maturity factor to consider, being aware of the speed of change in the digital/tech transformation and to safeguard any information security. The company should be aware and be responsive to this security need and hopefully, there should not be an issue of power as the focus should be the health of the company.

– Jenny Lundholm, (Director of IT, Halmstad Energi och Mijlo AB)

There is a very strong demand for information security officers who have excellent leadership and communication skills and are skilled with the know-how to run the enterprise, while at the same time explain cyber threats to executives.

Find out more about cybersecurity opportunities for a rising career path with a sneak peek at the services offered by EC-Council. The Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO) certification from EC-Council is a market-leading course that identifies the real-world expertise necessary for information management to succeed at the highest executive levels. CCISO features an industry-leading curriculum that recognizes the real-world expertise and experience required to succeed at the top of information security managerial levels.

BISO Salaries and Career Prospects

The BISO, integrating corporate experience with technological expertise, helps strengthen the role of information management regarding the provision of resources and collaboration with the leadership of the regional/business unit. As a BISO, you’ll be tasked with the understanding of key assets and practices, define and analyze threats and controls, and, where applicable, recommend gradual controls or risk reduction techniques.

In this day and age, where risks have become a part and parcel of an organization’s existence, being a certified business information security officer (BISO) opens the doors to a myriad of career opportunities. The median salary range for a BISO currently stands between $100,000 and $169,000 annually.

Find out if you have what it takes to be a BISO — test your skills now!

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