Jess Burn, Senior Analyst

Show Notes:

Security teams have always had hiring and staffing challenges, but the pandemic and “great resignation” have brought those challenges to a new level. In the US alone, there are currently 715,000 open positions in the field as more workers shift roles to improve their personal position. In this episode, Senior Analyst Jess Burn walks through the key factors behind these trends and provides practical guidance on what CISOs can do to improve their organization’s standing.

From the outset, Burns is adamant that succession planning isn’t simply a strategy to replace your CISO or an executive team member who walks away. True retention and succession planning should prepare your org for the loss of key employees at all levels, because when a key employee walks out the door, all of their institutional knowledge goes with them — a scary thought for many security teams. (Burns refers to the overreliance on key employees as the “all roads lead to Bob” scenario, which can create major vulnerabilities if vacancies aren’t filled effectively).

“This is about building a bench,” she says, “making sure that for every person who might leave due to retirement or attrition or promotion, there’s someone who’s ready and waiting in the wings.”

Burn goes on to provide detailed guidance for security leaders trying to avoid the dreaded knowledge drain. From training tips to assessments to job descriptions and recruitment strategies, Burn reviews the most important steps to building out your security team’s bench.

Later in the episode, Burn describes the value of having a BISO — business information security officer — in your organization, both for business reasons and for succession planning. She also provides some of the common mistakes that security orgs make when it comes to talent management.

To learn more about this topic, check out Burn’s sessions at Forrester’s upcoming Security & Risk event, November 8–9 in Washington, D.C., and virtually.