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The CISO Role: Top Salary for Top Security

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By: jrinehard

July 10, 2017

Ransomware attacks and data breaches are everywhere now, and it's only intensifying. With this comes a need for better security, but it seems that security professionals are tougher to attract and keep than ever before. This reason alone may help explain why top-tier salaries are on the rise. Now we’re seeing more recognition for the need to hire a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to develop an information security strategy.

In the recent past, we have seen security breaches that have given light to the overwhelming need for better information security awareness anywhere from the average run of the mill employee to the C-Suite.

So what do you need to know about the grand scope of a CISO and the salary tied to this highly needed position? Let's break it down.

What Does a CISO Do?

The most common job titles for the CISO position include CISO, director of information security, director of information technology and director of information technology security.

CISOs typically report to top management and perform a range of duties. They are expected to correctly interpret enterprise security standards information. Once this is done, they can then develop and execute information security standards and procedures. CISOs must ensure that all information systems are functional and secure.

Aside from obtaining a bachelor's degree to enter this field, CISOs must have a minimum of 12 years of experience. Managing the technical requirements of IT security as well as keeping pace with highly advanced cyber challenges is not an easy task for CISOs who must make decisions at an executive level every day. As a result, highly skilled CISOs can get their salary demands met based on the complexity of what they do within their organization.

The Demand for CISO

The demand for CISO-chief information security officers in the U.S. is rising, and so are the salaries of these increasingly imperative executives. The average compensation range for CISOs starts at $105,456 and peaks at around $252,955; the median salary for a U.S. CISO is $153,788, according to

The annual salary for the job title CISO will vary depending on their years of experience and level of education as well as the industry, size of the company, and the location of the company and can exceed these figures easily.

How Do I Start?

With the extremely high-demand for CISOs, it's no wonder that many people have become interested in looking into and obtaining a CISO certification. EC-Council's CCISO training will prepare information security leaders with the skills, knowledge, and ability to defend organizations from cyber attacks by combining the technical skills and application of knowledge for current and aspiring CISOs.

Training Structure: (60 percent hands-on, 40 percent lecture)

Application of technical skills in real-time is the key to this training. EC-Council's CCISO training will provide candidates with the most up-to-date information they will need to progress in their career.

CCISO Training will prepare you in the following ways:

  • CCISO training teaches individuals how to execute security management principles from an executive management perspective to develop the necessary strategies to protect their businesses.
  • CCISO training will prepare CISOs with the skills, knowledge, and ability to defend organizations from cyber-attacks.
  • Attaining a CCISO certification will distinguish successful graduates from other security professionals in their field.
  • CISOs will learn to define, execute, manage and maintain an information security governance program and understand the enterprise program behind it.
  • The Certification will demonstrate to prospective employers that CISOs understand the key components of protecting the organization they work for.
  • Training will demonstrate that certified CISOs have proven knowledge and experience to plan and oversee Cyber Security for an entire corporation.
  • CCISO training is ideal because the information presented will be the most relevant to their career paths.
  • CCISO equips information security leaders with the most effective resources to defend organizations from cyber breaches.
  • CCISOs understand that their information security decisions often have a direct impact on their organization's efficiency, cost, and expansion.

It takes several years of experience in this field to gain the understanding of concepts, practices, and procedures in order to make the right choices to accomplish the company's IT security goals. Last but not least, a CISO must have exceptional leadership skills in order to succeed in this role. They need to be able to lead by example when interacting with others and be able to think out of the box at the drop of a hat. Does this sound like you?

As the position of a CISO continues to sky rocket in C-Suite discussions and IT departments, the intensifying need for CISOs with both technology and business know-how is increasing in demand everywhere you look.

Interested in learning more about becoming CISO certified? We'll provide you with more course info Directly to your Inbox on the certification and training process.

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