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Survey: Role for ISMs Grows

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. -- The role of information security managers is rapidly changing to focus on business needs instead of technology, according to a recent survey of more than 1,400 Certified Information Security Managers (CISMs) in 83 countries by ISACA, an association of more than 75,000 IT governance professionals worldwide. The Information Security Career Progression Survey Results showed that information security managers experiencing significant career momentum are closely aligned with business goals and priorities. The full survey is available as a complimentary download from and

According to the survey, the career growth pattern among CISMs is clear as they continue to move up into management ranks and acquire more business-focused responsibilities. When asked what their next career step will be, 40.6 percent of respondents said that they intend to step into an executive management role, 40.6 percent intend to step into a chief information security officer (CISO) role and 27.1 percent see themselves in a chief security officer (CSO) role.

The survey also revealed that the top five most common activities performed by information security managers in their current positions are risk management, security program management, data security, policy creation, and maintenance and regulatory compliance.

The role of information security management is quickly evolving to direct the use of technology to solve or prevent business problems instead of being a purely technical specialization,” said Lynn Lawton, CISA, FBCS CITP, FCA, FIIA, PIIA, international president of ISACA. “It is encouraging to see that CISMs are taking increased responsibility for business functions such as risk management, governance and architecture. These activities help protect the value that information provides to enterprises around the world.”