BR +55 11 3069 3925 | USA +1 469 620 7643

What is the role of a CISO during a cyber attack?

by | May 24, 2023 | BLOG

The CISO plays a crucial role in incident management during cyber attacks as they are responsible for implementing containment and eradication measures. However, it is also their role to detect and prevent threats. Learn more in this article about the responsibilities of a CISO during and after a cyber incident.

During a cyber attack, the role of a CISO is crucial. This is because they are responsible for implementing containment and eradication measures in case of threats. However, before an attack occurs, the CISO plays an important role in vulnerability detection and prevention, as well as being prepared to handle crises and incidents.

According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, the cost of preventing a cyber attack can range from $396,000 to over $1 million, depending on the type of threat. Furthermore, the same report states that over 80% of these resources are allocated to remediate incidents, while less than 20% is dedicated to prevention.

In this context, cybersecurity becomes one of the main concerns for organizations, and the CISO plays a fundamental role in protecting the company’s information and reputation.

In this article, we will explore in detail the functions of a CISO and the measures this professional can take to defend organizations against cybersecurity threats. To facilitate reading, we will divide our content into the following topics:


1. What are the functions and responsibilities of a CISO?

2. What is the role of a CISO during an incident?

3. What should a CISO do after a data breach?

4. About senhasegura (provide additional details about senhasegura)

5. Conclusion


Follow along until the end of the article.


1. What are the functions and responsibilities of a CISO?

The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is the professional responsible for information security in organizations, and their functions and responsibilities are highly important in today’s world with the increasing threat of cyber attacks.

Among the functions of the CISO, we can highlight vulnerability management, disaster recovery, business continuity, data leakage, incident response, crisis management, and cybersecurity operations. Additionally, they must ensure compliance with information security policies and manage the team in the face of potential and actual threats.


2. What is the role of a CISO during an incident?

During an incident, the CISO must lead defensive actions by coordinating the efforts of the cybersecurity team and other relevant departments within the organization.

They must apply measures to contain and eradicate the cyber attack, defining the scope of the incident, assessing the impact and severity, and making necessary decisions to minimize damage and proceed with disaster recovery.

Here are some of the key functions of a CISO in detail:

  • Incident identification: The first step is to identify the nature of the incident, which may involve analyzing system logs, security alerts, or user reports. Once identified, the incident must be classified and prioritized based on its impact on the organization.
  • Response coordination: The CISO is responsible for coordinating the incident response and ensuring that all relevant parties are notified and involved in the process. This includes the information security team, IT, legal, and other key members of the organization.
  • Risk assessment: The professional must also assess the risks associated with the incident and determine the most appropriate course of action. This may include implementing risk mitigation measures such as blocking affected systems or notifying regulatory authorities.
  • Incident mitigation: The CISO must take measures to minimize the effects of the incident, which may involve implementing security patches, resetting passwords, restoring backups, among other actions.
  • Communication with stakeholders: The CISO is responsible for keeping stakeholders informed about the incident and the progress of defensive actions. This may include the executive team, clients, and shareholder groups.
  • Investigation and reporting: The CISO should lead a thorough investigation of the incident and produce a detailed report describing the causes, impact, and actions taken. This report can be used to improve the organization’s cybersecurity processes and prevent future incidents.

It is also important for the professional to maintain calmness and efficiency in managing the incident, minimizing damages, and ensuring business continuity for the organization.

Are you enjoying this post? Join our Newsletter!

Newsletter Blog EN

8 + 14 =

We will send newsletters and promotional emails. By entering my data, I agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use.


3. What should a CISO do after a data breach?

After a data breach, the CISO should initiate an investigative process to understand how the breach occurred and which information was compromised.

Together with their team, they must take measures to remediate the exploited vulnerabilities, notify the relevant authorities and individuals affected by the incident, and implement measures to prevent future incidents while managing the crisis.

Next, let’s see in detail the steps that a CISO should take in situations of data breaches:

  • Identify the nature of the data breach: It is essential to immediately determine the nature of the breach in order to understand which information was affected, which systems were compromised, and how the data leakage occurred. This information will be crucial for taking appropriate actions.
  • Isolate the incident: After identifying the cause of the breach, the CISO must isolate the incident to prevent the attack from spreading and causing further damage. Isolating the incident may involve disabling compromised systems, blocking network connections, or restricting access to certain resources.
  • Notify the relevant authorities: In some cases, data breaches constitute a violation of the law. The professional must, therefore, notify the authorities such as the police or privacy regulators, as required by the applicable laws of the country.
  • Assess the impact: The CISO must assess the impact of the breach on the organization, its clients, and partners. This includes determining the type and amount of information affected, the consequences of the incident, the company’s reputation, and the possibility of legal action.
  • Identify mitigation measures: As the responsible party, it is their duty to identify measures to mitigate the damage and prevent future breaches. This may include implementing additional controls, updating systems, and reviewing security policies and procedures.
  • Communicate internally: The individual responsible for information security must communicate with the team members involved in the incident and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is aware of what happened and the measures being taken to resolve the issue.
  • Communicate externally: The CISO also needs to communicate with clients, vendors, business partners, and other affected stakeholders. The communication should be clear, transparent, and provide useful and actionable information.
  • Conduct an investigation: A thorough investigation is necessary to determine the causes of the breach and take steps to prevent future incidents.
  • Review and update the information security policy: The person in charge of information security should review and update the organization’s policy to ensure that it aligns with cybersecurity best practices and that risks are appropriately managed.


Finally, it is important for the CISO to have a proactive approach to improving the organization’s security posture and educating employees about cybersecurity best practices and threat responses.


4. About senhasegura

At senhasegura, our mission is to eliminate privilege abuse in organizations worldwide and help our clients achieve digital sovereignty. We provide privileged access management (PAM) solutions and have a presence in over 55 countries today. We believe that cybersecurity is a fundamental right and are committed to promoting the security, prosperity, and independence of our clients.


5. Conclusion

In this article, you have seen that:

  • The CISO is a professional whose responsibility is to defend, prevent, and mitigate cyber threats and data breaches in an assertive and efficient manner.
  • During an incident, the CISO is responsible for leading the counterattack and identifying the nature of the occurrence.
  • In the event of a breach, the CISO should initiate an investigation, determine which information was compromised, and mitigate the damage.
  • The professional works closely with teams under their direct command and with other departments in the company, such as legal and communications.
  • It is the CISO’s duty to inform authorities and other stakeholders, such as shareholders and customers, about incidents that have occurred.
  • Reviewing and updating the organization’s cybersecurity policies is a responsibility of the CISO.


Did you like our article about the role of a CISO during a cyber attack? Share it with someone who wants to better understand the functions of this professional in a company.

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: Learn about theCloud Computing Options

Understand these solutions to choose the best alternative for your business. For many years, we have been using cloud computing to access files that are not stored on a computer, but on email servers, social network websites, or internet pages, without the need of...

What does a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) do?

A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a high-level professional responsible for the digital security of a company. If you aspire to obtain this position, read our text until the end. In it, we explain more about the profession. With the advancement of...

An overview of essential certifications for CISOs

In the world of cybersecurity, the role of a CISO is crucial in protecting data and sensitive information. To excel in this career, it is necessary to have certain certifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical...

Security Training Best Practices for Privileged Users

It is essential to train privileged users to avoid cyber threats, as they are the primary victims of hackers. Read our article and learn how to do it. Privileged user credentials are among the main targets of cybercriminals since they allow them to access data and...

How to Measure the Success of Your Cyber Awareness Campaign

Human users are more vulnerable to cybercriminals than machines. For this reason, organizations invest - or should invest - in cyber awareness campaigns. If you already have this type of initiative, check out our article and discover if you are achieving your goals....