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  • It wasn't that long ago that the CIO's place in the C-suite was questioned, and the role was marginalized by other executives who felt CIOs should just focus on software and hardware. Well, that attitude is nothing compared to the beating chief information security officers (CISOs) take in a recent survey conducted by ThreatTrack Security. The security vendor surveyed more than 200 C-level executives this summer, and the findings indicate that information security leaders have some work to do if they want to earn the respect of their C-level peers. Responding executives made it clear that they do not view CISOs as equals, and they sometimes even blame CISOs for undermining the bottom line. "CISOs are often viewed simply as convenient scapegoats in the event of a headline-grabbing data breach, and they are significantly undervalued for the work they do every day to keep corporate data secure," says Julian Waits, Sr., CEO of ThreatTrack. "This perception needs to change, as CISOs—and the teams that work with them—should be viewed as drivers for business protection and growth." ThreatTrack offers some suggestions for CISOs who want to enhance their image in their company. Among these: Formalize your role; develop and communicate a strong security strategy; forge strong relationships with other C-level execs; and focus on the economic impact of risk and develop metrics that illustrate the financial impact of security efforts.

  • For many IT organizations, their resistance to adopting public clouds has given way to a more balanced perspective on the state of public cloud security.

  • It's no surprise to business and IT leaders that cyber-security risks have reached alarming levels, but a recent report from Unisys and the Ponemon Institute has unveiled some shocking research about the state of cyber-security in critical infrastructure industries. This situation has serious repercussions for the global economy, as well as for national security. According to the report, "Critical Infrastructure: Security Preparedness and Maturity," nearly 70 percent of the companies surveyed—organizations that are responsible for the world's power, water and other critical functions—acknowledged at least one security breach that led to the loss of confidential information or disruption of operations over the past 12 months. "The findings of the survey are startling, given that these industries form the backbone of the global economy and cannot afford a disruption," noted Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "While the desire for security protection is apparent among these companies, not nearly enough is actually being done to secure critical infrastructure against attacks." The survey was based on a Web survey of 599 respondents from 13 countries in the oil and gas, utilities, alternative energy and manufacturing industries from April to May 2014.