Gartner for Cybersecurity Leaders

Gartner for CISOs helps you reframe your role, align your security strategy to business objectives and build programs that balance protection with the needs of the organization.

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4 Ways to Achieve Secure Employee Behaviors

Legacy approaches delivering curriculum-based, awareness-centric programs are no longer effective. CISOs must embrace a human-centric approach to drive secure, risk-informed decision making. Take action with 4 key strategies to minimize risk exposure.

Map your cybersecurity programs

Best practice demands a systematic approach for information security programs. Identify, plan, communicate, manage, iterate and govern your program with a Gartner roadmap.

Focus cybersecurity on business outcomes

Cybersecurity is a business priority, not a set of technology tactics, so every cybersecurity leader must (re)frame cybersecurity strategy as a value driver, not a cost line. But are your team’s capabilities mature enough? Use the Gartner IT Score for Security & Risk Management to spot what to prioritize and where and how to improve.

Experience IT Security and Risk Management conferences

Join your peers for the unveiling of the latest insights at Gartner conferences.

Security and risk questions Gartner can help answer

Much like their CIO counterparts, information security experts operating as chief information security officers (CISOs) will need to evolve with their roles as the C-suite digitally upskills. 


  • Delegating tactical or “hands-on” cybersecurity work or risk mitigation to staff or other business leaders to focus on strategic oversight and implementation of information risk security planning. 
  • As the digital dexterity of the CISO’s and CIO’s C-suite counterparts increases, cybersecurity experts are evolving to orchestrate more strategic distributed digital initiatives. 


  • Information risk and security leadership becoming a distributed C-suite responsibility, not just those of IT management. This has led to senior leaders outside of IT increasingly hiring their own technology talent and actively shaping digital strategy, to test and scale digital business ideas.
  • Management of digital foundations, including cross-cutting platforms, integration and talent coordination. As decision making becomes more distributed, CISOs and CIOs will have to focus on architecting and managing cross-cutting platforms (e.g., development environments, customer experience, analytics and integration capabilities) and foster common ways of working across distributed fusion teams. 

As with many key business functions, effective cybersecurity professionals need to hold strong relationships with non-IT stakeholders. The influence of the chief information security officer needs to be understood, respected and adhered to, so cultivating rapport with management and executives who are responsible for decision making and implementing security risk strategies is vital. 

While experience in their current role, experience in their current industry and high industry regulations are keys to successful CISO output, the effectiveness of an organization’s CISO can be determined by their ability to execute against a set of four outcomes: 

  1. Functional leadership. As the leader of the information security function, CISO leadership is imperative in meeting security objectives.

  2. Information security service delivery. With virtually every business capability today enabled by technology, CISOs must not only protect their organization, but also help it meet its objectives through delivery of quality services that support business objectives.

  3. Scaled governance. Distributed decision making has expanded the volume and variety of information risk decisions that cyber risk experts need to support, so a successful CISO will need to be able to scale governance to meet the demand and increase cooperation with information security recommendations. 

  4. Enterprise responsiveness. In addition to ensuring governance, CISOs must cultivate an environment where decision makers understand and care about information security and consider security implications in their decision making. They must champion the importance of information risk and cybersecurity effectively.

Security leaders, including the CIO and CISO, need to lead their organizations through digital transformation, but importantly, also need to deliver value throughout that process. Keys to delivering value to the business include:

  • Identifying and defining the organization’s appetite for risk through collaboration with business leaders/executives/non-IT decision makers
  • Continually driving business discussions on the evolving digital landscape to stay ahead of potential threats
  • Ensuring business decision makers are aware of current and potential future security risks to the organization
  • Proactively engaging in sourcing, implementing and scaling emerging technologies
  • Designing and implementing a strategic succession plan
  • Delegating tactical activities to staff or other stakeholders to reallocate their own time toward strategic planning

Gartner delivers actionable, objective insight to CISOs and their teams to drive faster, smarter decisions and achieve their mission-critical priorities.

Access proven cybersecurity research across disciplines and industries anytime. 

Get one-on-one guidance from Gartner experts on your cybersecurity mission-critical priorities.

Make confident decisions using our cybersecurity benchmarks and diagnostic tools.

Connect directly with cybersecurity leaders and peers to discuss your key issues and common initiatives.

Drive stronger performance on your mission-critical priorities.