CISO Leadership Perspectives

CISO Views on 2020 Priorities & Challenges
October 2020

COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on businesses and organizations around the world in 2020. Business leaders have had to rethink products, processes, supply chains, security, and workforce and business models. They accelerated digital transformation -- if they hadn’t already -- as a survival strategy. 

In the midst of this disruption, C-level leaders connected virtually with their peers in Evanta communities to share ideas and collaborate on rebounding and leading their teams through the crisis. They offered their perspectives in one major survey and several pulse surveys, enabling us to compile and share sentiments among all CISO peer communities. 

Here, we explore the topics that are driving conversations among the most influential CISOs in the world. 


Mission Critical Priorities

Despite the upheaval of 2020, CISOs remain focused on these top 5 priorities for the second half of the year.

In early 2020 before the pandemic, CISOs’ priorities were similar. Cloud security was already top of mind, along with controlling user access. 

  1. All Things Cloud (system migration, architecture, strategy, data, security, etc.)
  2. Access (controlling user access, implementing a Zero-Trust posture, improving IAM, etc.)
  3. Communicating Risk (quantifying and sharing metrics in business terms)

Their planned business spending and investments are in areas that address their top priorities.

For their top priority of cloud security, CISOs cited specific goals in our survey. Here is a sample of what they set out for their teams and organizations to pursue:

  • Build future proof strategy and architecture
  • Protecting organization’s data and infrastructure
  • Standardizing how cloud environments are created and managed
  • Implementing a cloud-first strategy
  • Developing a unified strategy

CISOs also told us what challenges they anticipated when it comes to driving toward those goals. Here is what they cited as cloud security challenges in their organizations:

  • Aligning the architecture and security frameworks
  • Keeping team skills up-to-date
  • Obtaining the right cloud security subject matter expertise
  • Difficulty in supporting multiple vendors globally
  • Deferring security to a later stage of some solutions


CISO Profile

A snapshot of what security leaders are thinking about going into the 4th quarter of 2020.

As business leaders head into 2021, there is continued uncertainty around the pandemic, the economic impacts, and the organizational effects of the distributed, remote workforce. To join conversations with fellow CISOs on these topics and more, find your local CISO community or view the calendar for upcoming opportunities to connect virtually with your peers.


Mission Critical Priorities are taken from Evanta’s proprietary Leadership Perspective Survey of 2020. 
CISO Profile results are taken from Evanta’s monthly pulse surveys conducted from April-August 2020.


by CISOs, for CISOs

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