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Chief Security Officer
Chief Security Officer means what it sounds like: The CSO is the executive
responsible for the organization's entire security posture, both physical
The title Chief Security Officer (CSO) was first used principally inside the
information technology function to designate the person responsible for
IT security. At many companies, the term CSO is still used in this way.
CISO, for Chief Information Security Officer, is perhaps a more accurate
description of this position, and today the CISO title is becoming more
prevalent for leaders with an exclusive info security focus.
Leader of the “Corporate Security"
The CSO title is also used at some companies to describe the leader of the
"corporate security" function, which includes the physical security and
safety of employees, facilities and assets. More commonly, this person
holds a title such as Vice President or Director of Corporate Security.
Historically, corporate security and information security have been
handled by separate (and sometimes feuding) departments.
Forms of Security
The merging all forms of security under a single organizational umbrella
has been a controversial approach at times. At a tactical level, technology
is being infused into physical security tools, which are increasingly
database-driven and network-delivered. At a practical level, CSOs say
a holistically managed security function can deliver better security at
lower cost. On the other hand, CSOs without a broad skill base can find it
challenging to overcome organizational inertia and politics to deliver on
The CSO will oversee and coordinate security efforts across the company,
including information technology, human resources, communications,
legal, facilities management and other groups, and will identify security
initiatives and standards. The candidate's direct reports will include the
chief information security officer and the director of corporate security