The 2023 CISO Compensation Benchmark Report - Explore Key Findings

October 17, 2023 | By IANS Research

CISO compensation is increasing, but not immune to macro-economic challenges and slower security budget growth. Funding for cyber talent also took a hit. Fewer companies initiated a CISO search, resulting in a slower market for CISO talent.

The average increase in total compensation among CISOs was 11% in the latest comp cycle—a drop from 14% in 2022, but a relatively small dip in light of the economic climate. One in five CISOs didn’t receive an increase in compensation.

In this short video clip, IANS Senior Research Director, Nick Kakolowski and IANS Faculty member and Artico co-founder Steve Martano, discuss findings from our CISO Compensation Benchmark Report previewing some of the compelling insights included in this year’s benchmark report.

The underlying report, fielded together with Artico Search [link to:] provides key insights and actionable guidance for CISOs to better prepare for upcoming comp cycles.

CISOs can use this report to stay informed of their own market value, support arguments for their compensation inquiries and build a career strategy for the next upcycle. Watch our video to gain a better understanding of what underlying conditions have caused CISOs’ comp increases to vary in relation to previous comp cycles.


CISO Compensation Dynamics Have Changed

Data from this year’s survey indicated that 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. CISOs who changed jobs still had significant financial upside, an average gain of 42% to their total compensation. While the financial incentive to switch employers remained high, the talent market tightened. With less movement, fewer companies needed to offer their current CISO a retention incentive. Just 8% indicated their pay bump resulted from such an incentive versus 24% last year.

Here’s Steve Martano, partner in Artico Search, take on the data:

We have seen less movement in 2023 compared to 2021 and 2022, even though most CISOs are open to listening to new opportunities. Of the open CISO roles, many remain vacant for three months to a full year as internal teams attempt to figure out the unique market for themselves in an effort to tame recruiting costs. This, in turn, has impacted compensation dynamics, as CISOs no longer have multiple offers in front of them, thus limiting retention bonuses and counteroffers, which often lead to large jumps in pay.

By focusing on the new data in this video and compensation report, CISOs can use our industry benchmark data to improve their current compensation and position themselves strongly for new opportunities.


CISO Compensation & Security Budget Benchmark Reports

Each year, IANS, in partnership with Artico Search, releases a series of benchmark reports on CISO compensation, 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 budget, current role, department, and career path.

Download our Comp 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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