Does Your Business Need a BISO?

January 25, 2022 | By IANS Faculty

There is a BISO evolution in the industry. As the CISO role shifts from significantly technical to more strategic, the BISO role drives a more dynamic and broader business focus for security, especially in large, diverse multi-business unit organizations.  

Vast amounts of new technology, remote work and cloud deployment, along with heightened consequences of cybersecurity breaches, as well as growing compliance requirements create a challenging environment. Some of the most important business security risks are tied to revenue streams and productivity critical to business survival. 

BISOs or Business Information Security Officers can help promote security into business processes, protect critical data assets and prevent employee errors, helping to make cybersecurity a part of every business decision. 

This piece explains what a BISO is and how to know if your organization needs one.  Learn how the BISO role adds value to your organization to improve security, business and risk outcomes.  

Why Do Organizations Need BISOs? 

CISOs can’t just focus on tech anymore. They must explain in business terms why the investments they’re making on the security side are needed. Security needs to move beyond just managing risk and strive to have the business act with information security in mind, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do for the business.  

Where the BISO Role Fits in Your Business 

BISOs work closely with the CISO and central information security team, but they have very different roles within an organization. The BISO acts as the CISO's tactical and operations-level connection to the business units, bridging the gap between security and business interests to oversee strategy implementation at the business level.  

Because the BISO function is still relatively new, many organizations don’t understand how to make it work and may not feel the role is necessary.  

Checklist: Does the Business Need a BISO? 

Should your organization hire a BISO? Some initial questions to consider asking include: 

  • Where is your business in terms of maturity and goals? Are technical groups keeping up with aligning their initiatives with both business and customer needs? 
  • Is the organization experiencing a lot of challenges in meeting goals due to a lack of security and business integration?  
  • Are there gaps in translating security objectives and policies into specific business practices and procedures? Does the business understand the threat landscape? Have security incidents based on social engineering increased? 
  • Do security leaders have enough bandwidth to keep up with increasing industry regulations and requirements?  
  • As supply chain risks increase, how often is the business engaging third- and fourth-party vendors? Are vendor risk assessments consistent? Is the organization doing more business with the government? 

READ: The BISO Role: Where Business Meets Security 


Making the BISO Role Successful 

Highly effective BISOs make sure security works smoothly in all parts of a business, enabling a secure experience for leadership, employees and ultimately customers. They openly support and enforce the strong security culture set forth by the CISO. They act as a trusted advisor to the business teams and executive leadership, even during tumultuous times.  A successful BISO must have high visibility across the business and security, building strong relationships while ensuring relevance, driving collaboration and enhancing program maturity. 

Although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in our blog posts, no liability can be accepted by IANS or our Faculty members for the results of any actions taken by individuals or firms in connection with such information, opinions, or advice. 

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