Network Security

Former CISO: Knowledge of cyber should be requirement to join board of directors

A CISO carries many weighty responsibilities, but teaching cybersecurity to a company's board of directors in order to secure their buy-in should not be one of them, according to Edward Amoroso, founder and CEO of cybersecurity advisory firm TAG Cyber LLC.

In fact, the former AT&T  CISO and CSO believes that a basic understanding of cybersecurity should be a mandatory prerequisite to being named to a board of directors.

“This idea that it's okay to not understand technology and okay to be a Luddite with cybersecurity is a terrible mistake,” said Amoroso at Gigamon's second annual NYC Cybersecurity Summit. “It should be, if you don't have that skill, you don't belong on that board.”

Amoroso said that too many CISOs try to train board members in cyber, babying them with simple concepts that give directors the false impression that they understand cyber, when in fact their comprehension is superficial and ultimately inadequate.

“The best thing we can do with our boards is to brief them – not train them, brief them – as peers, brief them as capable, knowledgeable executives,” said Amoroso. “And when you… reference the fact that the telemetry in your SIEM and the SDN controller looks like it may have a tad bit higher percentage of false positives than you're comfortable with… just wait after that, listen for the crickets, and let them realize they don't know what you're talking about.”

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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