CISO Role Shifts from Fear to Growth, says Check Point & IDC

A Check Point & IDC study finds that CISOs are moving from a fear-based security mindset towards growth, to align security with business development goals

CISOs are undergoing a strategic shift, with security decision-makers moving from a stance of fear to a growth mindset, in efforts to align cybersecurity strategies with business goals. 

Called “The Changing Role of the CISO”, the survey looks at the understanding between Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and how they can amplify security and business productivity.

The survey was conducted as part of a collaboration between Check Point Software Technologies, an AI-powered, cloud-delivered cybersecurity platform provider, and IDC. It highlights concerns over economic slowdown and budget constraints, but how CISOs are becoming increasingly business aware.

Evolving to suit a digitally transformed era

With the global business landscape changing on account of new technologies like AI, cybersecurity and quantum computing continuing to advance, company executives are having to work fast to keep up with fast-paced trends.

The survey indicates that there is currently a significant evolution for the CISO role, moving from a more traditional role to strategic business enablers. It highlights how CISOs are not just security leaders, but also at the crux of driving business innovation and growth.

These findings come in the midst of widespread economic pressures in a world wrestling with rapid technological change.

“The results underscore the importance of strategic collaboration between CISOs and CIOs, highlighting the need for a unified approach to cybersecurity that aligns with broader business objectives,” says Frank Dickson, Group Vice President of Security and Trust at IDC. “Check Point's commitment to pioneering cybersecurity solutions supports this evolution, enabling organisations to navigate these challenges successfully.” 

The survey reveals key insights concerning economic and budgetary pressures, with CISOs facing demand to deliver effective cybersecurity without compromising on business growth initiatives. As organisations are looking to modernise IT infrastructures as a foundation for digital transformation, Check Point and IDC found there is a need for security strategies that support, rather than hinder, progress.

Despite such fast-paced growth, a trust gap remains in the cybersecurity landscape, with a majority of businesses and customers expressing concerns about technology being used unethically. With this in mind, Check Point and IDC cite in their survey a transformation towards security as a business enabler - shifting away from fear-based security postures towards growth-oriented strategies.

This evolution is supported by Check Point's emphasis on simplifying and consolidating security solutions to address cost and management inefficiencies effectively. As a result, organisations will be able to harness new technologies more effectively and scale up.

Modernising IT to meet new security challenges

The survey also highlights the complex dynamics between CIOs and CISOs, as some aspects of their job roles diverge from each other. Whilst 94% of CIOs express satisfaction with CISO functions, there is a need for better collaboration to align IT and security priorities when it comes to digital initiatives.

Likewise, the survey argues for a focus on modernising IT to meet new security challenges, with 65% of organisations planning to allocate 1-9% of their IT and security budgets to generative AI (Gen AI) in the next 18 months. 

Recent research reveals that most businesses are keen to disrupt their industries with the power of Gen AI, but only a small proportion currently feel they have the right technology to support AI adoption.

This investment reflects the critical role of CISOs in steering IT modernisation to achieve better business outcomes and highlights the importance of environmental sustainability in these efforts. 

Despite economic concerns, the survey does reveal that organisations remain in growth mode and are focusing on significant and fast growth through digital initiatives. This indicates a pivotal shift for security teams, enabling them to capitalise on digital initiatives and business expansions.

Kristin Owens, VP Corporate Marketing at Check Point Software Technologies, comments: “The survey illuminates the evolving landscape where economic concerns, digital transformation, and the need for greater security efficacy converge. It reaffirms Check Point's commitment to supporting CISOs through advanced cybersecurity solutions that enable business growth and resilience.”


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