Chief Information Security Officer interview questions - Tough questions for CISOs and CSOs

The tough questions to ask a Chief Security Officer or Chief Information Security in an interview


"There are a dozen or so," Cowperthwaite said, which are likely to include, "recruiters, hiring executive, peers, direct reports and line of business executives.

"In most cases, candidates' knowledge of security is taken for granted, so their ability to fit the culture and lead the business are going to be the critical areas."

2016 Chief Information Security Officer interview questions

Chief Technology Officer at security vendor Trend Micro, Raimund Genes, added his thoughts also, believing that it is the CISO's responsibility to influence vendors by not accepting design flaws which undermine security and thus proactively shaping the market:

  • How will you use your buying power to force vendors to deliver more secure systems or software?

Chief Security Officer at Code42 Rick Orloff, also the Chief Privacy Offcier and a Vice President at the organisation, also offered his thoughts on questions for CISOs covering business strategy and stakeholder management. The former eBay CISO and Apple Senior Director of Information Security posed the following for CISOs in 2016:

  • How do you balance the need for technical security solutions with the potential friction it can create in the business?
  • How do you align the business with the need for security solutions?
  • What is your approach to stakeholder management?
  • How do you know if your security strategy and solutions are failing?
  • How will you know if we have a breach or data leak?
  • What is the process you will use to determine an overarching strategy and budgetary requirements?
  • How can you help our business grow?

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