Review: Becoming a Global Chief Security Executive Officer

Becoming a Global Chief Security Executive Officer

“If protecting a business were as simple as deploying technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and secured development life cycle processes, or implementing intellectual property protection programs and workforce safety programs, this would be a short book. But protecting an entire business truly means understanding the end­-to-­end concept of your company’s business lifecycle and any operational value chain associated with it,” says the author at the very beginning, and then proceeds to explain, well, everything.

About the author

Roland Cloutier specializes in the development, implementation, and management of global converged security programs and has held positions as the chief security officer for major multinational corporations such as EMC Corporation and ADP.

Inside Becoming a Global Chief Security Executive Officer

The goal of this book is push security executives into becoming leaders in business operations protection, and make them realize and internalize the fact that, in this day and age, the security department is as important to a business as the sales or any other department in the organization.

The author starts with a “greater picture” chapter on what a CSO must know about the organization it serves and about what he or she should strive for (quality, consistency, transparency, the power of data, etc.). He emphasises the change from security executive to business leader – from getting the job done to having and implementing ideas that will bring financial and business value to the company – and points out that this is the future of the CSO position.

Then, he goes into the details: the ins and outs of creating a converged security program, the ever growing influence of technology in every type of business, the interconnectedness of business ecosystems, capabilities and diversification, how to grow human talent, and so on and so forth.

You will learn what the job of the senior security executive entails now and what it will entail in the future as everything changes (including the privacy climate), and about creating the motivational mission for your security department – and achieving it.

It’s also worth noting that, while the infosec industry is concentrated on data, information and systems’ security, there is also the physical aspect of corporate security (the security of the workforce, the facilities, the executives, fraud prevention, travel security, etc.) that the aspiring CSO will have to deal with.

The author stresses the importance of continuous education and learning for those who aspire to the CSO position, and the importance of good organization, but also that of remaining grounded despite the demanding and stressful job.

He offers advice on handling it all – the work, the family, the mind, body and soul. He also points out the different roadmaps to the position, depending on where the aspiring CSO is currently positioned in the business (from newly hired college graduate to executive, from technical and physical security expert to risk and privacy specialist).

The entire book is a seamless flow of crucial information that the author has obviously been gathering and testing for years. Interwoven with the various points are examples of tried and good solutions, and psychological insights that will help you understand business and people, but also make you realize what you can (and should) be capable of.

In addition to this, there are helpful checklists that will point you in the right direction when it comes to any aspects of the CSO job.

Final thoughts

This is a fantastic book, whether you are an aspiring CSO or a CEO, an executive in another department of the business or simply an employee in the IT department. Depending on your position, you will either learn more about how to improve yourself, how to do your job better, how to better interact with your superiors, your colleagues, manage your subordinates, and what to expect from them.

You can feel the author’s enthusiasm for his job. For security management students who are considering achieving the CSO title, this book is a must: it brings particular knowledge and a ton of inspiration.

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