CISO: Future-proof your information security with continuous learning

Written by
Maria Svanberg
Reading time
3 min

The importance of proactivity and continuous learning is crucial for keeping up with the latest developments in information security. At the same time, it is necessary to make mistakes and learn from one's weaknesses in order to conduct ongoing improvement work in the organization. Here is how you, as a CISO, should think to future-proof your information security.

The human strength for information security

Human natural and often positive traits can become potential weaknesses in information security. Our willingness to help, for example, can unwittingly facilitate unauthorized access, while our curiosity and social nature may lead us to inadvertently reveal sensitive information or interact with malicious software.

Continuous learning and improvement in information security are therefore crucial to provide the entire organization with the knowledge and tools required to proactively identify and manage security risks. By enhancing employees' ability to act securely, they become not the weakest link, but a critical part of the security strategy and an important piece in a strong security culture.

The CISO's role in continuous learning

Many organizations face challenges in engaging the entire operation in the process. Often, the CISO is occupied with operational tasks and detailed questions that limit involvement in the daily lives of employees. To strengthen the organization, it is your responsibility to drive learning about information security, by always being curious, open, and letting your work be permeated by a desire to assist your colleagues. Here are three important areas to focus on for success:

Lead the way through personal engagement and openness, and by creating a culture where security is an integral part of all business processes.

Education and awareness
Advocate for continuous learning and development in cybersecurity through training, certifications, and conferences. Don't forget to “walk the talk” – speaking directly with employees is just as important.

Communication and collaboration
Bridge the gap between technical and non-technical roles by communicating security concepts in an understandable way and promoting collaboration across departmental lines. Work proactively to build strong relationships with other department heads and integrate a security mindset into all areas of operation.

Stratsys_Göteborg_2022-42 (1)

5 simple security measures for every employee

By establishing a minimum level of culture and security awareness, and outlining what each employee can do on their own, you maintain learning throughout the organization.

  1. Ask if in doubt. Encourage employees to seek help when they are unsure about how to handle information or situations. This prevents mistakes and incidents.
  2. Be cautious with links. Teach the importance of being skeptical of unexpected links or offers that seem too good to be true, which are common in phishing attempts.
  3. Handle information respectfully. Remind employees to handle all information they come into contact with the utmost care and respect.
  4. Value discretion. Emphasize the importance of not discussing sensitive information in inappropriate settings.
  5. Be critical of sources. Encourage source criticism and ensure that information comes from reliable sources.

Educate yourself across multiple areas

At the same time, you should keep yourself updated with the latest developments and technical advancements or new threats in the security field. Listen to employee concerns, collaborate with other CISOs, participate in industry events, take selected courses, earn certifications, and be active in public debates and professional networks. Also, consult with other specialists about their views on the field – lawyers, developers, and SaaS providers have insights that are valuable to your organization. It's also important not only to listen but also to be willing to talk about your challenges to evolve.

Recommended resources for skills development

How innovation and risk are connected

As a CISO, you should be prepared to invest in multiple ways to promote both innovation and security within your organization. Both aspects go hand in hand – but it requires knowledge, willingness, and the courage to say "yes" instead of the more comfortable "no" that maintains the status quo. With an understanding of the consequences that come with new technology, you can encourage innovation in the organization without compromising security.

Being involved in the innovation processes as a CISO is crucial so that innovators don't have to think about security in the early stages. Make sure to be present from the start and have the space to explore application areas, legislation, and maturity to create optimal conditions for the innovators to be successful.

Your commitment is crucial to creating a secure environment where new ideas can be tested safely, ethically, and responsibly.

By testing on a small scale and encouraging a fast, iterative development process, it is also possible to handle challenges before they cause consequences. Your commitment is crucial to creating a secure environment where new ideas can be tested safely, ethically, and responsibly.

A common evaluation of progress and mistakes

Continuous evaluation is also important for the ongoing learning in the organization. The goal is to dare to challenge oneself to understand what can be done more effectively and differently – but also to see how others work and challenge themselves. Learning from one’s mistakes is perhaps the most important aspect for rapid development. Look at the incidents that occur and examine routines, technology, and work methods to make adjustments where needed. By also daring to talk openly and insightfully about any attacks that have occurred, you show that you are aware of your known vulnerabilities and are constantly looking for new ones. Being honest and pragmatic about the work will take you far.


Do you want to know more about how Stratsys can help you in your information security work? Read more about our product Information security & privacy or contact us directly.