The First 100 days as CISO with Ashwin Ram
First 100 days as CISO with Ashwin Ram from Checkpoint Software Technologies
In a recent episode of REDD’s Business and Technology Podcast, hosts Jackson Barnes and Brad Ferris sat down with Ashwin Ram, a cybersecurity evangelist from the Office of the CTO at Checkpoint Software Technologies. They discussed the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, the importance of stakeholder engagement for CISOs, and the crucial first 100 days for new CISOs. The following blog covers the topics of their conversation.
Ashwin Ram’s Background
Ashwin Ram started his career as a help desk analyst before moving into senior analyst roles, and eventually working as a professional services consultant at Checkpoint Software Technologies. In his current role as a cybersecurity evangelist, he’s responsible for speaking at conferences, appearing on podcasts, and writing white papers on the topic.
Checkpoint Software Technologies is a powerhouse in the cybersecurity space, providing end-to-end security solutions for network security, cloud security, endpoint security, user security, and email security. The company also offers SOC as a service, incident response capabilities, and crisis management and simulation through tabletop exercises.
The Evolving Threat Landscape and the Role of AI
As cyber threats evolve, so do the methods used to combat them. AI has become a vital tool for cybersecurity, with platforms like Checkpoint Software Technologies using over 40 AI-driven engines for threat intelligence. AI has also become a double-edged sword, with threat actors leveraging AI-generated content for malicious purposes such as creating more convincing phishing emails, weaponised documents, scripts for reverse shell and much more.
The Importance of Stakeholder Engagement for CISOs
Ashwin Ram emphasised the importance of stakeholder engagement for CISOs, as it helps bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders in an organisation. By understanding the business’s priorities and aligning cybersecurity efforts with those objectives, CISOs can gain the support and sponsorship necessary to drive their cybersecurity strategy.
The 100-Day Plan for New CISOs
Ashwin Ram shared the framework provided by the Cyber Leadership Institute, which outlines a 100-day plan for new CISOs. The plan includes:
- Onboarding and understanding the current state of cybersecurity within the organisation.
- Identifying the target state and where the organisation needs to be in terms of cybersecurity.
- Building relationships with key stakeholders and understanding their challenges.
- Identifying the organisation’s crown jewels and critical infrastructure.
Success at the end of the first 100 days can be measured by having a clear understanding of the organisation’s cybersecurity posture, a defined target state, and strong relationships with key stakeholders.
Communicating Cyber Risks to Business Stakeholders
For IT managers and CISOs to effectively communicate cyber risks to business stakeholders, they must be able to translate technical risks into business risks. Understanding the organisation’s revenue-generating processes and highlighting the potential impact of a cyber event can help drive home the importance of investing in cybersecurity measures.
As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it’s crucial for CISOs to have a solid plan in place and prioritise stakeholder engagement. At the same time, organisations need to invest in end-to-end security solutions, such as those offered by Checkpoint Software Technologies, to stay ahead of the curve and minimise cyber risks.
If your business is looking for comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and expert guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the REDD team. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of cybersecurity.
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You can watch our podcast with Ashwin Ram here: