Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Data Security, Leadership, Network Security

Why Visibility is The CISOs Biggest Challenge

By Marcos Colon

The hurdles chief information security officers face today are more daunting than ever, given the evolving threat landscape, but most importantly, the current state of technology within the enterprise.

Visibility has always been a challenge for CISOs, but now there’s less control over devices, networks, and data. As they say, you can’t protect what you can’t see.

As CISO at security firm Zscaler, Michael Sutton spends a lot of time talking shop with security executives at enterprises across the country. What’s he hearing? Well, the single biggest challenge CISOs are facing today surrounds visibility into their network. When you’re tasked with measurably reducing cyber risk within the organization, and don’t have a clear view of what you’re protecting, you can only imagine the problems this causes.

“They’ve invested in all of this infrastructure, but what good does it do if they have an Achilles heal in the form of an employee working remotely any given day,” Sutton told Infosec Insider in a recent video interview. “CISOs are saying, ‘Look, do I have an equal level of protection regardless of where my employee is working today and what device they’re working on?’ For the vast majority of companies, the answer is no.” 

As a first step, Sutton advises CISOs to take a step back to have a birds-eye view of their network to assess the level of visibility they have across the organization’s IT ecosystem. This allows CISOs to understand where their gaps are and know what tools and processes are needed to provide the right level of protection as it relates to the business. 

In this video interview with Infosec Insider, Sutton discusses the current state of visibility within the enterprise, what CISOs can do about it, and how automation is just a part of the equation and not the overall answer.


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