Want to Be a CISO? Know This First.

Alan Levine, CISO for Alcoa (retired)
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From the outside looking in, the CISO career appears pretty glamorous: lots of responsibility, lots of influence, and lots of technology. The reality unfortunately is quite different. Sure, there’s lots of responsibility, however, there’s also an overabundance of other, less glamorous elements: stress, long days, surprises (seldom the good kind), and so much accountability that you’ll either lose your job or your passion for the job. It’s little surprise therefore that the average CISO tenure is between two and four years. But don’t be discouraged. In the words of the great Jimmy Dugan, coach of the Rockford Peaches in the movie A League of Their Own, “it’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

I recently sat down with Alan Levine, the long-time CISO for Alcoa, to discuss some of the lessons he’s learned in his career. In this video, Alan shares some valuable advice for aspiring and newly-minted CISOs.

CISO Perspectives is a complimentary resource for cybersecurity professionals featuring insightful viewpoints, best practices, and sage career advice from a cross section of CISOs. These videos and blogs are proudly offered by Accellion, the leader in secure email and secure file sharing for mitigating third party cyber risk.


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