How CISO roles will change as customer trust becomes imperative

The trust imperative is the next major shift enterprises will encounter.

In 2021, digital transformation no longer counts as innovative; it's a baseline expectation for every enterprise. The trust imperative is the next major shift enterprises will encounter. New market leaders will not solely arise from technology platforms, sophisticated analytics, or sophisticated capital allocations. Instead, consumers and business leaders will increasingly turn to companies they can trust. And trust will move markets. 

At Forrester's upcoming Security & Risk event on November 9–10, I'll deliver a keynote on the CISO's role in the trust imperative. Security leaders will learn why and how the trust imperative requires their full participation. There is no executive role that better aligns with the trust imperative than the CISO. 

As culture, market, and technology shifts bring more disruption and chaos, CISOs will go from being an often ignored role to one of the most crucial people in their organizations. In the keynote, CISOs And The Trust Imperative, I'll explain why that will happen, how to handle it, and what to do about it. Here's a spoiler-filled preview of what I'll discuss in my keynote: 

  • Wait for the trust imperative to arrive with open arms. CISOs, for the entirety of their cybersecurity careers, defended the data employees, customers, and partners entrusted to them. They have lived in a world of trusted users, unauthorized access, and intrusions. Forrester created Zero Trust security — one of the featured tracks at our event — more than a decade ago to reinvent programs and architectures poorly designed to address the challenges we face. 

  • Add to the bottom line by leading trust imperative initiatives. Our sessions in the products and applications security track will highlight how product security helps CISOs link themselves to their firm's revenue goals, but the trust imperative takes that up a notch. Customers will buy from companies that they trust the most. Part of that trust is your company behaving according to the values it espouses. Still, ethical behavior and preventing breaches also factor in to elevate cybersecurity's importance to new levels. 

  • Expect to see "Trust" formally added to your job description. Click around LinkedIn or browse job requirements, and a new trend emerges. Trust stealthily — and formally — snuck into job requirements and became part of your responsibilities. Your peers agree that CISOs should own this.  

And for those who want to know if we'll address the elephant in the room — how the trust imperative and Zero Trust work together and exist simultaneously — well, that's my opener. Challenge accepted! 

To learn more, register for Forrester's Security & Risk event here. 

This post was written by Vice President and Principal Analyst Jeff Pollard, and it originally appeared here.