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By Jack Danahy, Director for Advanced Security, IBM

There’s an evolution going on in the executive suite–emerging technologies like mobile, cloud and embedded devices are making the world more instrumented, and at the same time, producing huge amounts of data. Senior executives are paying close attention to these emerging technologies, not only because of the opportunity to learn more about behavior, but also because of the potential security risks they pose. With this, security is increasingly moving beyond simply a technology issue to a business issue.

High-profile hacking and data breach incidents can quickly impact shareholder value, tarnish public perception and expose the company to law suits. This is convincing senior executives of the key role security needs to play in the modern enterprise.

IBM recently surveyed global Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to get a look at how their role is evolving in an increasingly interconnected world.

The study, conducted by IBM’s Center for Applied Insights reveals how the CISO role follows the historical evolution of the CIO and CFO with more strategic organizational responsibilities. IBM’s new study identifies the distinguishing traits, expectations and challenges these CISOs are facing.

Nearly two-thirds of CISOs surveyed say their senior executives are paying more attention to security today than they were two years ago– but there’s room for advancement for security as a function–only one in four security chiefs surveyed currently are playing this kind of strategic role in their firms. The study also shows that mobile security is the biggest headache facing CISOs in the coming two years.

John Meakin, global head of security solutions and architecture at Deutsche Bank – echoed many of the assessments findings and speaks to the need for security officers to take on a more strategic role via a contributed article in Forbes. John hits the nail on the head when he says “to do a better job of protecting our enterprises, we’ve got to become more open and collaborative.”

The findings of this survey of Chief Information Security Officers–and Mr. Meakin’s article in Forbes–speaks volumes to the need for technology leaders to connect and learn from each other. We’ll continue this conversation and these initiatives on our Institute for Advanced Security blog. Please check that site regularly for updates regarding the CISO initiatives.

David Jarvis, senior consultant with IBM’s Center for Applied Insights, led the CISO survey initiative and provides a succinct recap of the survey results in this short video.

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