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Forrester Examines The CISO's Evolving Role In Fortune 500 Companies
December 7, 2017

Forrester today released research that examines the evolving role of the chief information security officer (CISO) in Fortune 500 companies.

The findings reveal a gender crisis in cybersecurity, a growing number of CISOs having an MBA, and how tenure impacts the CISO’s opportunities in Fortune 500 firms. Highlights from the research include:

  • Men hold 87% of CISO roles. The staggering contrast suggests major industry issues with welcoming, developing, and promoting female cybersecurity talent.

  • Among Fortune 500 companies, 45% have an MBA, demonstrating the growing need for CISOs to understand, speak, and think in business terms, despite technology backgrounds.

  • Only 11% of Fortune 500 CISOs list a military background, with only 4% previously employed by law enforcement.

  • Fortune 500 CISOs have longer-than-expected tenure at four years, which is plenty of time to strategize, develop plans, execute, and look ahead to the next step in their career path.

  • Securing the role of CISO proves to be difficult for long-standing employees. Some 59% of CISOs were external hires, with that number jumping to 64% in Fortune 100 companies.

  • While Fortune 100 companies are reluctant to hire rookie CISOs, Fortune 500 companies are much more interested in individuals who are new to the role, with rookies making up two-thirds of Fortune 500 CISOs.

Click here for more information, and please contact us if you'd like a copy of this report.

About Forrester

Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 500,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.


Jennifer Isabella
VP, Marketing
Forrester Research, Inc.

Tel. 617-613-6132



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