Why You Need to Be a Translator

In this episode of Life of a CISO, I explain the importance of being a translator if you want to become an effective CISO.

As strange as this may sound, the world has enough cybersecurity geniuses.

There are plenty of IT engineers who have dedicated their lives to technical understanding and how to defend organizations against cyber attacks; but not enough cybersecurity professionals can make executives understand the benefits, risks, and costs of security measures. Because they lack this ability to translate, IT engineers unintentionally are seen as business inhibitors, not business enablers.

CISOs need to learn to speak to executives the way executives want to be spoken to.

In this episode:

  • 0:50 There are too few translator
  • 1:39 We have enough geniuses
  • 2:24 How do you fix problems and prevent further problems?
  • 3:50 Why doesn’t the executive team know what the security team knows?
  • 4:42 How often do you speak with executives?
  • 5:40 Do you want to spend time with someone who makes you feel bad?
  • 7:38 The missing ingredient in cybersecurity is world-class CISOs
  • 9:14 Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
  • 10:15 Speak the language of business to enable success
  • 11:05 All executives want to know the risks
  • 13:15 Why you shouldn’t treat people the way you want to be treated
  • 14:21 Treat people the way THEY want to be treated
  • 15:44 Executives’ tolerance for unhelpful CISOs has decreased
  • 19:25 When you get pressured, your true personality comes out
  • 20:22 Cybersecurity is a business enabler
  • 26:03 Are you thinking correctly?