50 CISOs to watch

Vikram Kapoor, Co-Founder, CTOJanuary 10, 20234 min read

Abstract architectural photo shot from the ground. Features a lot of modern windows and steel.

The role of CISO is one of the most important in any organization, and one that holds some of the most significant responsibilities: keeping people and sensitive data safe and secure. Security has been a board-level conversation for a while now –– a direct result of the importance it plays for businesses of all shapes and sizes, especially as they shift to more digital and cloud-first strategies. CISOs and security leaders are not only some of the most vital players in a business, but also face many unique challenges. A CISO’s sole responsibility is not just to address security threats and vulnerabilities — the reality is that their role is much more complex. Many are building security programs from scratch while also ensuring their business complies with the appropriate regulations and standards. They’re trying to hire the best employees and find the right technology to supplement their team’s efforts. And as security remains a board-level conversation for business, leaders expect even more of CISOs.

“The job of CISOs has greatly expanded over the past few years, and will continue to do so. CISOs are already in charge of ensuring business compliance, hiring the right people, implementing strong threat management, and getting vulnerabilities under control,” says Ulfar Erlingsson, Lacework Chief Architect. “Increasingly, CEOs and boards are giving CISOs an even larger mandate, and asking them to drive the probability of intrusions, data exfiltration, ransomware, etc., to effectively zero.”

While this digital disruption in the cloud has increased businesses’ ability to innovate at scale, it’s also created the ever-changing challenge of keeping the cloud safe. For this reason, we are thankful for all the security leaders out there working hard to elevate the safety and innovation of businesses everywhere.

The impact they have shouldn’t go unnoticed — which is why we’re thrilled to announce our inaugural list of 50 CISOs to watch. These individuals have demonstrated outstanding leadership and are transforming industries worldwide with their technical capabilities, interpersonal skills, and security vision and execution. Each has carved their own unique path to their current roles as CISOs and security leaders, and while their areas of expertise may differ, the common thread they share is a passion for protecting the things that matter: people and data.

The criteria we used to select these 50 leaders was based on a few core ideas – these leaders are forward thinking in how they solve tomorrow’s security challenges today. This future-leaning mindset includes a clear focus on emerging technologies — like the cloud, Kubernetes, and serverless — and ensures that shifting left has its intended effect: making data even more secure. These leaders also carve the way by teaching others, demanding a lot of their security providers and serving as role models in their field. Additionally these leaders stay close to the market as it matures and understand that technologies like cloud native protection platforms (CNAPP) can elevate their cloud security posture and enable innovation at scale. These CISOs demonstrate real leadership and the resilience it takes to lead not just in security, but in business for companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation.

Join us in congratulating them.

Here are the 50 CISOs to keep an eye on in 2023:


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