Gain Key 2023 CISO Comp Insights: CISO Comp Benchmark Report is Live

October 10, 2023 | By IANS Research

CISO compensation is increasing but is not immune to macro-economic challenges and slower security budget growth. While the overall cyber threat environment remains high, CISOs did not see the same level of investments in cyber. Funding for new cyber talent also took a hit. Fewer companies initiated a CISO search, resulting in a tightened market for CISO talent.

In this piece, we’re breaking down three compelling data points from our 2023 CISO Compensation Benchmark Report. Our fourth annual CISO compensation benchmark study, jointly fielded with Artico Search, offers objective insights and cross-industry compensation survey results from over 600 CISOs across the U.S. and Canada.

Merit increases were fewer and smaller

This year, 80% of CISOs received raises, a 10-percentage point decline from last year’s figure of 90%. The share of CISOs with bigger bonuses and equity packages also declined, by 12 and 8 percentage points, respectively (see chart below).

The average base salary increase was 7% in 2023, down from 10% the previous year. Bonus and equity increases also faced downward pressure. As a result, the total compensation increases dropped year-over-year.

Finance and tech firms have the highest CISO comp

In the past three years, finance and tech firms were consistently in the top-3 highest paying for CISO total compensation. This year is no different. (see the chart below)

  • Finance CISOs have a total average comp of $728,000, of which $548,000 (75%) is cash compensation.
  • Tech CISO total comp is not far behind at $678,000, but cash comp comprises just 58% of total comp and nearly $300,000 comes from annual equity.
  • Business services and retail CISOs have above-average cash comp plus equity.
  • CISOs in legal, healthcare and manufacturing have total comp that is well below the overall average ranging from 325K to 380K plus relatively small equity.

Are CISO Satisfied with their Compensation?

The share of respondents who are considering a job change within the next 12 months ticked up eight percentage points from 67% in 2022 to 75% in 2023.

Matt Comyns, co-founder and president at Artico Search sees this as well:

Most CISOs are looking for another opportunity, yet most are staying put at their current jobs because they're simply not seeing the interesting opportunities that were available a year or two ago.

The flip side is that while in 2022, a third of respondents said they are definitely not looking, this year, only a fourth ruled out a change of employers (see the chart below).

Compensation is not the only driving factor since, across each of the quartiles, the share of CISOs looking to make a change is more than 40%. For high-paid CISOs, reasons for a change vary from a lack of opportunities for advancement to an underappreciation for the work and an unsustainable work-life balance.

CISO Compensation & Security Budget Benchmark Reports

Each year, IANS, in partnership with Artico Search, releases a series of benchmark reports on CISO compensation, security budget, security organization, security staff compensation, and job satisfaction. These in-depth reports feature new takeaways, uncover a wealth of insights, and provide valuable leadership guidance to fine-tune your current role, department, and career path.

Download our 2023 CISO Compensation Benchmark Report – the second in our CISO Comp and Budget Report series – and gain access to these and other valuable insights and data sets.


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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