Since I hang out with a lot of CISOs, and understand their pain points, I urge readers to send a “thank you” and “you are the best” message to their CISO. You can’t imagine the pressure and stress they are under to try to protect the company’s data. To get a glimpse of why you need to appreciate your CISO, take a look at Proofpoint’s recently released “2024 Voice of the CISO: Global Insights into CISO challenges, Expectations and Priorities.”

Spoiler alert: the first sentence says, “CISOs are struggling with a jarring mix of challenges…” The statistics are grim but real:

  • Seventy percent of the 1600 CISOs surveyed “feel at risk of a material cyber attack over the next 12 months.”
  • Forty-three percent believe that their organization is “unprepared to cope with a targeted cyber attack in 2024.”
  • Forty-one percent believe that ransomware is the leading threat over the next 12 months, including double and triple extortion threats.
  • Seventy-four percent “consider human error to be their organization’s biggest cyber vulnerability.”
  • A substantial number of organizations in the education, health care, media, leisure, entertainment, financial services, and transport companies have lost data through employee theft.
  • Fifty-four percent of CISOs “believe generative AI poses a risk to their organization.”
  • Eighty-four percent of CISOs believe that “cybersecurity experts should be required at the board level.”
  • Sixty-six percent “believe there are excessive expectations on the CISO/CIO.

The survey shows that CISOs will face unmatched challenges in 2024, and need support from executives, the board, and employees. If you are in any of those categories, be cognizant of the work your CISO is doing, support that work, do your part as a team player, and say “thanks.” Give your CISO a little love after you read this. I am going to right now.