The role of Australian CISOs has undergone significant change in recent years. Where you once were responsible for delivering and managing cyber security tools to complement the work done by your CIO, you are now responsible for managing the entire organisation’s risk profile and providing insights on the next cyber security initiatives.
In FY2022, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reported a 13% increase in cyber crime reports from the previous FY. As stats like these trend upwards, you have the challenge of keeping pace with the volume and scope of new threats. Your role is no longer about establishing cyber security controls but understanding the whole picture.
As an Australian CISO, what should you focus on this FY?
Hiring and staff retention
In an ideal world, your organisation would have a full in-house team to handle cyber security. However, Australia’s current skill shortage means getting people on board has become more difficult and costly. Additionally, finding top talent is not just about securing the right skills; it’s also about ensuring a good cultural fit.
If you struggle to find the right people, you may need to raise the question of outsourcing cyber or leveraging a hybrid approach with specialist cyber resources in FY2024. For CISOs of small-to-medium enterprises, outsourcing might be a more strategic option from the beginning. Alternatively, by partnering with specialised cyber security firms, you can tap into a broad range of expertise, ensuring your cyber security defences remain robust and adaptable as you focus on core business functions.
Securing the human layer of cyber security
Securing your organisation against threats starts with your people. In many instances, users are inadvertently the weakest link; someone might accidentally share sensitive information via email due to a phishing attack or simply make an honest mistake.
Addressing this challenge requires a commitment to ongoing training and awareness. Regular team training sessions can effectively bridge knowledge gaps, making staff more adept at recognising potential threats. By complementing these sessions with simulation drills, your organisation gives people practical experience that tests and hones their response in a controlled environment.
Through understanding the inherent risks and prioritising education and hands-on training, you can bolster the organisation’s defences, ensuring that every team member, from the front line to the board room, actively participates in strengthening the organisation’s cyber security posture.
As more automation tools saturate the market, CISOs should ask: ‘What aspects of cyber should I automate?’
Automation brings two major benefits to the fore: efficiency and scale. CISOs can streamline operations by automating repetitive tasks, allowing cyber security professionals to focus on more complex, high-value activities. If you only have a small team for managing cyber security, you can use automation to reduce manual tasks around threat monitoring. In such scenarios, automation ensures timely detection, reducing the window of vulnerability and ensuring that teams can manage threats before they escalate.
Simultaneously, it’s also imperative to ask: ‘What automation challenges will I face?’
When automating processes, you may experience issues integrating the platform with your existing systems, customising it to meet your needs, and dealing with variances to common issues. Moreover, automation cannot replace skilled professionals. Your team must be able to monitor outputs and respond to any cyber security incidents that automation cannot handle. So, correctly identifying processes you can automate and those that require human attention is key.
Across Australia, we have witnessed a clear escalation in the number and complexity of cyber threats targeting businesses. Today’s CISOs have the challenge of navigating evolving threats like ransomware, supply chain attacks, and business email compromise.
You need visibility over these threats. With a clearer understanding of risk, you can make more informed decisions, allocate resources, and devise strategies that align with the organisation’s risk profile. You will need a comprehensive view of internal systems and external threat actors, addressing vulnerabilities and ensuring resilience in an unpredictable digital landscape.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
CISOs are likely to still be constrained by managing tight cyber security budgets this financial year. Clearly understanding the aspects of TCO, such as setup and maintenance costs, updates, staff training, staff time allocations and potential costs associated with a breach if the solution proves ineffective are becoming an ever sharper razor blade. While one solution may appear cheaper in the short term, your business could incur significant costs in future if it does not suit your needs.
In FY2024, CISOs will need to focus on various elements of the business across people, processes and technology.
Addressing the talent gap, whether through in-house recruitment or outsourcing, will remain the top priority. In addition to this people focus, CISOs should drive training initiatives to strengthen the human layer of their cyber security strategy.
As budgets remain a key challenge, CISOs need to prioritise a proactive approach to cyber security. Relying solely on reactive measures is no longer enough, active reconnaissance is needed. You will need to anticipate potential attacks and implement pre-emptive measures by continuously monitoring and analysing the threat landscape to limit the impact of a breach and ensure a quick response should an incident occur.
Why choose recon to guide your cyber security strategy in FY2024?
Navigating the complexities of cyber threats requires a partner that understands the nuances of today’s threat landscape. With recon’s suite of services, your organisation gains access to top-tier expertise without the burden of in-house overheads. We deliver market-leading cyber expertise that empowers your organisation to harness and protect its digital assets while driving tangible business results. Visit our Services page for more on what we offer.