CSO – good or bad idea?

Sony has appointed Philip Reitinger, as new chief security officer and senior vice president.  It is one of many steps that the company is taken to improve their network security, following a series of high profile cyber-attacks.

Computing magazine comments that ‘there has never been a worse time to be a chief security officer’.  But since these attacks, security has been pushed to the top of the international agenda.  Perhaps therefore, it is the best time to be an organisation’s head of security.  The government’s launch of its new cyber security strategy confirms cyber security remains a tier one issue and a BCS poll of IT professionals showed that security awareness topped their list of concerns.

Schwartz, the new CSO for RSA explains that ‘for a long time, these advanced attacks were able to continue without being noticed.  We need to shorten the window of opportunity for hackers, and measure our ability to limit the damage.  Then we’re bringing the fight to the adversary.’

The expense and embarrassment cannot be easily disregarded, with both short and long term costs.   In the short term, the cyber-attack set Sony back £107m.  But in the longer term, shares fell 55% and the negative media coverage will have affected the Sony reputation. Therefore, the chief security officer post may well be in order.  However, scepticism is still high amongst Computing readers, 45% see little benefit in the new position believing that a CSO is never recognised for their successes but only their failures.

But principal analyst at Ovum, Graham Titterington believes the role to be truly necessary and more than just a PR exercise.

‘If the company is big enough then it’s proper to have a CSO and not just wrap it up into the CIO role.  The concept of the role is sound; I wouldn’t dismiss it as a political gimmick.’


Read more: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2111791/analysis-cso-stunt-scapegoat-idea#ixzz1Z3bsN0oW
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