C-suite leaders aren't seeing eye to eye with CISOs

Sixty-six percent of chief information security officers said senior leadership doesn't understand their role within the organization, while 31% of C-suite executives admitted to struggling with understanding the tangible return on investment in cybersecurity, a March 26 survey from FTI Consulting found.

FTI Consulting, a business advisory firm, surveyed 787 C-suite executives and 165 CISOs to assess gaps between cybersecurity leaders and other C-suite executives. 

The survey found that:

  • Despite 82% of CISOs feeling compelled to present a more favorable picture to the board, 31% of C-suite executives believe that CISOs tend to offer an overly optimistic portrayal of reality, with an additional 30% sensing reluctance among CISOs to voice concerns regarding organizational vulnerabilities.

  • Regarding alignment within the organization, 58% of CISOs acknowledged difficulty in effectively translating technical jargon to senior leadership in a meaningful manner.
    Conversely, 28% of C-suite executives perceived their CISOs as struggling to convey technical concepts in business terms, with 30% encountering similar challenges in expressing cybersecurity risks in financial and tangible terms.

  • Ninety-eight percent of surveyed C-suite executives expressed support for increased funding directed toward CISO communications and presentation training, with "nearly half" identifying this requirement as urgent.

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