Data has become more valuable than ever and organizations must make protecting it a top priority. According to IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average data breach now costs American companies $8.19 million. On top of that, the recently-released Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 86 percent of all breaches were financially-motivated. 

As attacks become more sophisticated and complex, data breaches can more quickly undermine a company’s growth and erode customer trust. This growing concern places an incalculable value on the role chief information security officers (CISOs) play, as they possess both technical expertise and business acumen to implement security strategies that enable business.

However, despite the growing need for the guidance a CISO can provide, 38 percent of 2019 Fortune 500 companies operated without one, and of those companies, just 16 percent listed any executive at all as responsible for cybersecurity strategy. In the absence of a CISO, critical responsibilities are often transferred to IT managers, which can result in fragmented policies and lax practices that leave systems vulnerable.

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