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CISOs Under Pressure: Two Key Stress Management Methods.

CISOs Under Pressure: Two Key Stress Management Methods.
Written by

Lucy Montague

Published on

8 Jan 2019

CISOs Under Pressure: Two Key Stress Management Methods.


Stress management methods are key to effectively dealing with a complex risk landscape. In our recent blog, CISOs Under Pressure: The Threat Landscape, we looked at the operational business risks involved when CISOs experience undue stress.

With cybersecurity threats rising, enterprise network infrastructure becoming more complex, and staff resources stretched, CISOs are commonly overwhelmed. The job will never be easy, but there’s no reason to make it harder than it needs to be. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that you, as the CISO, get the support you need to do your job effectively while managing the pressure that comes with it.

So, what can you and your organisation do to ensure you, as the CISO, are appropriately supported so you can effectively protect the business?

The Recommendations


Nominet’s report on the modern CISO acknowledges that most board members fail to understand the nature of the challenges they face and where the responsibilities should lie, it recommends that CISOs are vocal about the cybersecurity challenges they face, the stress they are under and the support they need. It’s clear that changes need to be made to organisational culture, embedding cybersecurity and accountability for good practice throughout the business, and better communication will facilitate that.


Your organisation needs to find ways of making you feel more supported and less isolated in your role as the CISO.

Communicating to staff the importance of taking personal responsibility for good habits that don’t leave organisations vulnerable to (cyber)security breaches or falling foul of compliance can, for example, make the CISO’s role more visible and create a greater sense of shared responsibility.

In a recent webinar at RSAC, ‘CISO Challenges and Tips for a More Secure Enterprise’, the experts say exactly that: ‘CISOs need to convey the message that security isn’t an add on, it is part of what it means to be a successful brand/company. People need to understand we are all in this together.’

Greater collaboration between the work of the security and IT operations teams can ensure there is a joined-up risk strategy that takes the work and objectives of both teams into account. Regular staff training can help all employees understand the nature and signs of potential data security risks.

While this could mean hiring more security personnel internally, a more flexible and cost-effective approach can be turning to a third party like SureCloud to act as an extension of your in-house security team and ensure you have everything you need to improve your risk posture.

Using Technology To Manage The Stress of a Risk Landscape

Your organization must take technical steps to make your job easier. For example, managing key business and systems processes in a centralized and accessible platform rather than it being spread across different platforms or spreadsheets can help CISOs stay on top of threats across all platforms. This was demonstrated by our Services Director, Alex Hollis, in his recent webinar on Integrated Risk Management.

Likewise, introducing Integrated Risk Management tools like SureCloud’s Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) solutions can enable businesses to make decisions which support the overall risk posture, rather than battling with it. During the above webinar, a hefty 78% of participants said that integrating their risk management processes was a top priority, a clear sign of the value of an integrated approach. It is crucial, however, to choose a highly configurable, intuitive and flexible platform, which can fit with existing business processes rather than focusing on concessions. SureCloud’s technology has been designed with this in mind.

Similarly, they should ensure that all steps are taken to keep data that is shared in the cloud as secure as possible; for example, only sharing data on a ‘need to know’ basis. Using various methods from automated tools to manual penetration testing the latest versions of firewalls will help organizations ensure they detect potential complex and multi-layered cyber-attacks, and stay on top of their threat landscape. This is a simple step with a powerful impact.

SureCloud not only offers a wide range of cybersecurity testing and assurance services but crucially, we stay with you throughout the entire test life-cycle from scoping through to vulnerability discovery and remediation. By replacing time-consuming and highly manual processes that would otherwise rely heavily on spreadsheets, we leave CISOs with more precious time and resource to protect their business from cyber-attacks.

Read part 1 CISOs Under Pressure: The Threat Landscape to understand the risks organisations face if CISOs aren’t supported here.


To find out more about SureCloud’s cybersecurity solutions, click here.


About SureCloud

SureCloud is a provider of cloud-based, Integrated Risk Management products and Cybersecurity services, which reinvent the way you manage risk. SureCloud also offers a wide range of Cybersecurity testing and assurance services, where we stay with you throughout the entire test life-cycle from scoping through to vulnerability discovery and remediation. Certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) & CREST and delivered using the innovative Pentest-as-a-Service (underpinned by a highly configurable technology platform), SureCloud acts as an extension of your in-house security team and ensures you have everything you need to improve your risk posture.