A FinTech CISO’s view on challenges and opportunities in InfoSec for 2024


Embracing Change: The Future of InfoSec in 2024 by David Scholefield, Chief Information Security Officer at Demica

As we look forward to the security landscape in the latter half of 2024, it’s clear that Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) will face new challenges and opportunities. The InfoSec field never remains static, and CISOs must stay ahead of the curve to manage evolving cyber threats, legislative changes, and increasing demands from stakeholders.

The Dynamic InfoSec Environment

Cybercriminals, regulatory shifts, and demanding stakeholders are pushing CISOs to maintain heightened vigilance in an increasingly hostile environment. The primary focus for CISOs is to protect the value their organizations create while staying agile to leverage technological advancements.

With the increase in the number and sophistication of cyber threats, balancing protection and opportunity will be more challenging. However, by focusing on a few key strategies, CISOs can achieve significant InfoSec victories by year-end.

InfoSec as a Collaborative Effort

The notion that people are the weakest link in InfoSec is an oversimplification. Blaming colleagues for security missteps overlooks the systemic issues that put them at risk. While awareness training can mitigate some risks, it’s crucial to design work processes that support secure behavior without compromising flexibility and creativity.

Mistakes will happen despite good controls and intentions, so implementing defense in depth is essential to prevent one error from causing significant damage. Blaming individuals for inevitable mistakes is unproductive. Instead, understanding their roles and processes to build appropriate controls is more effective.

Rather than relying solely on training, which lacks evidence of standalone effectiveness, threat modeling the riskiest roles and processes to devise targeted controls can significantly reduce risk. InfoSec should not be centralized in a single department but integrated throughout the organization, with everyone contributing to security efforts.

Preparing for AI’s Impact

Ask any CISO about their biggest challenge, and many will point to complexity. As technology evolves rapidly, the challenge of staying abreast of new developments is daunting. The rise of AI represents a significant shift that will divide organizations into adopters and non-adopters, with the latter quickly falling behind.

AI brings risks related to privacy, intellectual property, ethics, and bias, but it also offers tools for intrusion detection, secure coding advice, and vulnerability management. CISOs must balance managing AI’s risks with leveraging its potential to enhance InfoSec programs and business outcomes.

Compliance as a Strategic Tool

Compliance is often seen as a checkbox exercise rather than a strategic asset. However, adopting standards like ISO/IEC 27001 can drive real improvements by providing expert guidance on InfoSec practices. Genuine compliance implementation can enhance protection and InfoSec outcomes, leveraging decades of expertise.

Compliance standards can also be valuable in assessing suppliers, ensuring they meet rigorous security criteria. By adopting a comprehensive approach to compliance, CISOs can significantly enhance their security programs.

Evolving CISO Roles and Reporting Lines

In 2024, the trend of CISOs reporting directly to the board will accelerate, reflecting the strategic importance of InfoSec. This shift acknowledges the potential conflict of interest when CISOs report to CTOs or CIOs and emphasizes the need for InfoSec to be a strategic consideration in organizational governance.

CISOs should continually assess their reporting lines, providing advice on how changes can enhance their effectiveness and contribute to strategic decision-making. This trend will see CISOs playing a more integral role in shaping organizational direction.

Source: intelligentciso.com