New research has revealed that 14% of CISOs have the desired traits for cyber expert board positions. IANS Research, Artico Search and The CAP Group recently released its CISO as Board Directors - CISO Board Readiness Analysis, a collaborative research study that evaluates the qualifications of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) across the Russell 1000 Index against five key traits of credible candidates for cyber expert board positions. The study found that 14% of R1000 CISOs stand out as potential board director candidates.

New SEC rule changes are expected to require public companies to formally disclose the cybersecurity expertise of the board. On most boards, cyber understanding is insufficient. Recent research by The CAP Group revealed that 90% of Russell 3000 companies lack a single board director with cybersecurity expertise, illustrating a significant cyber expert supply-side gap.

The CISO Board Readiness report identifies key traits of credible board candidates, analyzes CISO board readiness and provides recommendations for companies considering CISOs for board roles. To determine the essential Board traits of a Cyber Board Director, the research team examined the profiles of CISOs who currently hold corporate directorships. The analysis identified five overarching traits:  

  • Infosec tenure 
  • Cross-functional expertise 
  • Ability to scale 
  • Advanced education 
  • Diversity

Other key findings

  • Approximately 6% of R1000 CISOs have first-hand corporate board director experience. 
  • Another 14% of R1000 CISOs represent a strong candidate pool for board service. 
  • Roughly half of R1000 CISOs might be viable candidates for joining boards.  
  • Half of the viable CISO candidates are female or from an underrepresented group, providing an opportunity to add diversity and cyber expertise in a single candidate.