A recently published study on the cybersecurity situation in the DACH region shows that across company sizes and industries, a full 66% of companies have already fallen victim to cybercrime. Every second one of them more than once. It is therefore not surprising that the role of the CISO is increasingly becoming the focus of companies. In Germany, too, the role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is being seen more and more frequently.  In this article, you’ll find out what challenges CISOs face and how they can best overcome them.

CISO – a definition

Originating in the U.S., this role is becoming increasingly popular in German companies as well. The CISO fills the role of overall information security manager for an organization. The designation has evolved over the years as threat scenarios for companies are always changing and can no longer be controlled with traditional approaches. Depending on the size of the company, CISOs have different responsibilities. Generally speaking, the CISO is responsible for the proper operation, strategic direction and budget of a company’s security measures. He mostly reports to the management and advises on security issues and security threats. In addition, he takes care of compliance requirements and conducts security awareness training to sensitize employees.

Here we have summarized the five challenges that arise and how they can be mastered with the password management solution Password Safe:

Challenges 1: Knowledge and learning

The CISO’s role is primarily different from other security managers in that he or she tries to predict cyber-attacks and prevent them before they happen, rather than reacting to attacks that have already occurred. CISOs must continually educate themselves and never stop learning as threats are constantly changing. They must always keep up to date with the latest knowledge in order to properly assess threats. Businesses today are also changing faster than ever before, CISOs need to react to this and design, adapt and implement appropriate security concepts.

The highly secure Password Manager

In Password Safe, individual password policies can be stored that correspond to the security level. CISOs can thus prevent simple passwords from becoming a gateway for hackers. The complex passwords are stored in the software, employees can log in with one click in seconds without even knowing the password. In the software, passwords, access data and operational secrets are protected by secure end-to-end encryption. In addition, Password Safe undergoes regular pentests. This ensures that the software meets the latest security requirements. While the CISO needs to stay informed, Password Safe can improve employee password behavior, which has a high impact on organizational security. Learn more about Password Safe security here.

Challenge 2: Compliance

CISOs must be aware at all times of all current and future industry and regulatory requirements that affect compliance. For example, if the company does not only operate in the EU, the CISO must have knowledge of the data protection regulation of the respective country in addition to the General Data Protection Regulation and its compliance. This requires the CISO to have a thorough knowledge of existing and future regulations and to keep up to date regularly via websites, blogs and trade journals. Due to the ever-changing and new requirements of the countries, this task is not getting any easier

The DSGVO-compliant Password Manager

With Password Safe, companies can be DSGVO compliant. This means that company secrets can be easily stored and processed in a data protection compliant manner. Password Safe not only uses the latest end-to-end encryption technology and hashing functions, but also logs data in an audit-proof manner. Access to passwords or data is stored in the logbook and is thus traceable and protected against data manipulation. With Password Safe, CISOs no longer have to worry about the privacy-compliant and secure handling of passwords.

Challenge 3: Securing access

The number of digital devices used in companies is growing continuously. Where there used to be a local computer, there is now a laptop, a smart copier, a tablet and a smartphone. Likewise, employees must be able to access internal company data regardless of location, whether from the home office, from the train or from abroad. It is the challenging task of the CISO to integrate all devices, technologies and access points into his security concept. This can be difficult simply because of the large number of tools.

The location-independent Password Manager

Password Safe is available from anywhere and allows device-independent work. The web version and browser extension, which can be quickly downloaded for all popular browsers, gives users the feeling of a cloud application without losing data sovereignty through on-premises. In addition, Password Safe is also available as an app that allows employees to easily and securely log in while on the go. Thanks to automatic synchronization between the app and the servers, passwords are always up-to-date on all applications. Password Safe thus secures all accesses, no matter where the employee happens to be. In this way, the security level is always kept high and passwords and secrets remain secure.

Challenge 4: High level of communication skills and persuasiveness

The CISO’s most important task is to protect the company from threats and ensure IT security. Since he acts proactively, he must convince employees, management and relevant stakeholders of activities and measures with a high level of communicative skill. Because CISOs must recognize the signs of an attack before malware can cause organizational damage, they must take precautions to detect potential attacks. To do so, they need budget approved by management. Since a cyber attack can never be 100% ruled out, one of the CISO’s challenges is to keep management’s expectations in perspective and focus on minimizing cyber attacks, despite high spending. Likewise, CISOs need to clarify the basics of secure working to non-IT and IT-related employees alike. Regular security awareness training is the key word here. It’s no longer a secret that trained and level-headed employees can significantly reduce cyber risk. However, only 22% of companies give their employees the opportunity for cybersecurity training more than twice a year. Accordingly, it is a challenge for CISOs to obtain the budget to schedule and deliver regular security training. When employees gain awareness of secure IT practices and adhere to policies, the risk of cyberattacks and shadow IT can be significantly reduced.

The password manager for everyone

A password manager for power users from IT that can also be used effectively by non-IT users? This is possible with Password Safe FullClient for power users and LightClient for end users. CISOs have a wide range of customization options with the FullClient and can set up high security policies. The clear presentation of the LightClient in combination with the user-friendly interface mean that all employees can use Password Safe immediately and without any training effort. This makes it easy for the CISO to provide all employees with software that ensures secure work. With Password Safe, employees no longer have to remember passwords. They can generate complex passwords at the click of a button and log in to different applications in seconds without knowing the password. This relief in the daily work routine leads to a high probability of use.

Challenge 5: Unmanageable data volumes

Preventive protection measures focused solely on the enterprise are no longer sufficient to protect against cyber attacks. Emerging threats make it necessary to develop a multi-layered security plan that includes prevention, detection and remediation of cyber attacks. The early detection of hacker attacks alone causes IT security teams to log every operation in the company, resulting in a very unmanageable mass of data. Digitization is additionally producing large amounts of data. CISOs need reliable indicators to identify dangerous situations and derive necessary measures. It is therefore another challenge for CISOs to keep track of all data and applications. Smart work, home offices, the use of personal devices and access to public networks as well as cloud applications make the task increasingly difficult for CISOs. They are always concerned about the security of IT systems and therefore must control and sometimes restrict them, despite the cost, productivity and elasticity benefits of cloud applications. Communicating the restriction of applications or tools to departments, management and employees is an additional challenge.

A password manager to keep track of it all

Password Safe puts CISOs in the driver’s seat – from automated reports of the logbook, rights management and password quality to effective analytics and reporting. The data generated by Password Safe can of course also be exported or printed out. This means that important documents can also be stored externally and used for audits. Other helpful features such as the quick view and tagging function help CISOs find the information they are looking for in seconds. Through the API, CISOs can also connect Password Safe to their SIEM system to receive weekly reports on password behavior. In addition, the data is hosted exclusively on the company’s own servers – data sovereignty remains within the company.

With Password Safe, CISOs no longer need to worry about easily cracked passwords and unsecured access. Password Safe relieves the CISO in his daily work, so that he can fully concentrate on the company-wide IT security.

Learn more about Password Safe here.