Becoming the ultimate CISO

Every organisation has one. The ones that don’t; definitely need one. We’re talking about a Chief Information Security Officer. The alpha dog of security professionals within any given organisation. The person who sits at the board and convinces all them other executives to make sure the company protects their and their customers information.

It’s not compulsory that the CISO comes from an information security background. But they should have a good awareness of what infosec is and have a competent team of infosec professionals working for them.

Looking through Linkedin it seems CISO’s are a dime a dozen. How do young budding CISO’s looking to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack and become a true badass CISO? If you want to know, simply follow these tips:

clip_image0021. Become a religious leader

No one would ever suspect that a religious leader would be a bad CISO. This identity will allow you to hide your flaws AND persecute others who are brave enough to question your leadership. Be careful about over persecution… you don’t want someone to really call you out to a fist fight.

2. Wear Jeans

First things first, you gotta ditch those womens sold as mens clothes you get from GAP, Top Man etc. They’re made for a specific type of man. Generally those who want to attract the attention of another man. Secondly, you want to stand out right? Make your own rules, don’t wait for jeans for genes day to wear yours. Rugged ripped jeans show a real CISO is too cool for any other clothes.

3. Drive a huge uneconomical, American muscle car

clip_image004Nothing screams CISO like a man who doesn’t care if his car only does 1 mile to the gallon. No matter how you feel about the environment and what how your gas guzzler is melting the snow-caps, you have to portray the image.

No air freshener or fuzzy dice. A dashboard compass will enhance the illusion. Make sure there are fast food wrappers on the floor and the maps should be folded incorrectly.

4. Don’t eat vegetarian

Nothing says not to be messed with CISO like a full meat BBQ. Beef, lamb, chicken you name it. Be careful when you get a kebab you don’t get one of them pepper and salad on a stick jobs. You need a pitta stuffed full of the unhealthiest meat to prove you can hang with the executives in the board room.

5. Pay cash

Even if your company canteen offers your discount cards or only accepts payment by scanning your ID badge, insist on paying by cash. Bonus points for keeping your cash folded lengthwise, everyone will assume that you have been or are going to a strip club. When you do pay with cash, tuck the bill into the cashier’s waistband.

6. Have an opinion

At parties, political and social debate may arise and you might be confronted with a question about same sex marriage or tube drivers rights. It’s best to pause and think of the sensible answer, and say the exact opposite. You may think that real CISOs use common sense at times like this, but I think we all know that those who are over-compliant are over compensating.

clip_image0067. Talk about great Dictators

Simple. No real man thinks Tony Blair or Nelson Mandella were good leaders. They praise people like Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin Dada. Drop “Cold War” a few times and how disappointed Regan was that he never got to nuke anyone. Just shake your head and mumble, “Good ole days.”

8. Change your secretary / PA every month

If things get drastic and people start questioning your knowledge and work ethic simply change your secretary / PA every month. It will allow you to miss all important meetings by blaming it on your new secretary. Others will be more interesting in spreading rumours about why your PA’s keep changing. At the end of the day people will remember all these insignificant details and just assume you’ve been a great CISO.

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