ECSO’s webinar on demystifying the CISO role facilitates crucial conversations among HR professionals and CISOs

On 12 July, ECSO organised the second webinar of its exchange series between HR professionals and CISOs dedicated to the role of CISOs and facilitating networking and collaboration. This webinar, titled “Demystify the CISO role: CISOs and HR managers combining forces”, aimed to provide members of the European HR Community with a better understanding of the CISO role. The session featured engaging discussions between HR managers and CISOs, highlighting the immense possibilities that collaboration between the two parties holds.

Today, with escalating cyber risks, HR professionals are responsible for nurturing a security-conscious culture within their company while attracting, hiring, and retaining talent. Unfortunately, the collaboration between CISOs and HR managers does not always function as well as it could. With regard to this divergence, ECSO has launched an exchange series between its European HR Community and CISO Community aimed at facilitating the conversation between HR professionals and the executives of IT departments, thus fostering their ability to combat modern risks together.

This series will serve as a medium through which the two parties can come together and discuss the importance of cooperation and mutual understanding. Indeed, by elucidating, explaining and illustrating how HR practitioners can get involved in the selection and work of CISOs, the goal of the webinar held on 12 July was to help HR managers better understand the needs of CISOs, or in other words, “demystify” the CISO role.

The webinar was therefore open to the members of ECSO’s HR Community and CISO Community. After welcoming remarks from ECSO, Caroline Vallejo (Project Manager for the Human Resources Department at Orange Cyber Defense) opened the discussion with a speech on the CISO role from an HR perspective, encouraging collaboration between HR executives and CISOs as well as pointing out the unique requirements involved in hiring a CISO, such as the need to hire someone who not only knows IT but also has subskills in business, politics and teaching others. On the CISO side, Yiannis Pavlosoglou (Cybersecurity Executive and Founder of KIBERNA) was invited to share his expert insights, also emphasising that collaboration between HR and CISOs is a prerequisite for a well-functioning organisation. He further highlighted the three questions that any CISO should ask an HR recruiter before accepting a job position:

  • Who does the CISO report to?
  • What is the CISO accountable for?
  • Who is the CISO’s team?

The opening speeches were followed by a Q&A session, allowing the European HR Community members to pose their burning questions to the CISO Community. With a diverse mix of representatives from both Communities present, the conversation flowed seamlessly, nurturing a rich exchange of ideas and in-depth discussions on topics such as hiring, screening and retention strategies as well as data privacy in the HR process. Attending CISOs especially emphasised the need for HR managers to know what kind of profile their ideal CISO should have while also remaining open to the idea of hiring a candidate that may not fulfil all the requirements but who has the same values and goals as the organisation and who is willing to grow professionally through his or her work.

In sum, the success of the webinar points to a future of fruitful collaboration and outcomes. ECSO will continue to provide the European HR Community members with future meetings with CISOs as well as other events dedicated to empowering them with skills, knowledge, awareness and tools that will help them find and nurture talent in cybersecurity.

ECSO’s European HR Community for Cybersecurity is an informal, voluntary and free community open to all HR professionals looking to join forces with fellow experts. To join the European HR Community, please get in touch with Nina Olesen at nina.olesen[at]ecs-org.eu or Arnaud de Vibraye at arnaud.de.vibraye[at]ecs-org.eu. While all HR professionals are welcome, ECSO Member HR executives receive added benefits. Further information on the benefits of ECSO Membership may be found HERE. Finally, to join ECSO’s CISO Community, a community consisting of European Chief Information Security Officers, interested parties may contact Sebastijan Čutura at sebastijan.cutura[at]ecs-org.eu.

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