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Gary Hayslip of SoftBank Discusses the Role of a CISO

Gary Hayslip

Gary Hayslip

29 minutes

May 26, 2024

Gary Hayslip of SoftBank Discusses the Role of a CISO
Interview Highlights

In the fast-paced digital landscape of today, the role of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) has emerged as a linchpin in safeguarding organizations against cyber threats.

In this episode, Gary Hayslip, a seasoned CISO, delved into the evolving nature of this critical role, emphasizing its transition from technical expertise to strategic leadership.

Here, we explore the invaluable insights shared by Hayslip, shedding light on the multifaceted responsibilities and challenges faced by CISOs.


The Dynamic Role of CISOs:

 Hayslip underscores the diverse nature of the CISO role, which varies across different organizations.

No longer confined to the realm of technical expertise, CISOs are now regarded as business executives tasked with managing risks using a combination of technology, processes, and people.

With technology becoming increasingly integrated into businesses, the visibility and significance of the CISO role have soared, necessitating a broader skill set beyond technical prowess.


Reporting Structure and Ethical Concerns:

Traditionally, CISOs often reported to Chief Information Officers (CIOs), raising concerns about conflicts of interest due to the inherent differences in their mandates.

However, Hayslip highlights the importance of integrating CISOs into the executive team, irrespective of their reporting structure, to ensure effective collaboration and alignment of security strategies with broader business objectives.

Moreover, in regulated sectors like finance, separating the reporting lines between security and IT executives is deemed crucial to mitigate ethical risks.


Title and Perceptions:

The significance of the "Chief" title in a CISO's designation cannot be overstated. It symbolizes not only a mark of maturity but also underscores the executive-level responsibilities and accountabilities associated with the role. Externally, the title enhances the organization's credibility and signifies a commitment to cybersecurity at the highest level, thereby instilling confidence among stakeholders.


Cross-Functional Collaboration:

Effective collaboration across diverse departments such as IT, legal, HR, and compliance is paramount for CISOs. Developing strong partnerships and fostering a culture of collaboration enables CISOs to align security strategies with broader organizational goals, ensuring a cohesive approach to risk management.


Navigating Regulatory Demands:

The proliferation of regulatory requirements, particularly in sectors like finance, poses both challenges and opportunities for CISOs. While compliance mandates necessitate rigorous adherence to standards, they also serve as catalysts for innovation and resilience. CISOs must stay abreast of evolving regulations, collaborate with stakeholders, and implement robust frameworks to ensure compliance without stifling innovation.

Integrating AI in Cybersecurity:

Hayslip advocates for a balanced approach to integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in cybersecurity, viewing them as both a risk and an opportunity. While AI offers immense potential in enhancing threat detection and response capabilities, it also introduces new challenges related to ethics, bias, and data privacy. CISOs must develop comprehensive strategies for AI adoption, encompassing policy development, staff training, and risk management protocols.


Advice for Aspiring CISOs and Organizations:

For aspiring CISOs, Hayslip emphasizes the importance of acquiring diverse experiences spanning technology, risk management, and business operations. Cultivating essential soft skills such as strategic thinking, effective communication, and cross-functional collaboration is equally crucial for success in this dynamic role. Additionally, organizations seeking to hire CISOs are urged to focus on candidates' potential for growth and alignment with long-term strategic objectives, rather than rigidly adhering to checklist qualifications.



In an era marked by relentless digital transformation and escalating cyber threats, the role of Chief Information Security Officers has never been more critical. By embracing strategic leadership, fostering cross-functional collaboration, and navigating regulatory complexities, CISOs can effectively safeguard organizations against evolving cyber risks while driving innovation and resilience. With insights from seasoned leaders like Gary Hayslip, the path to success in cybersecurity leadership becomes clearer, paving the way for a more secure digital future.

Official Transcript

100% of fortune 500 companies employed a Cisco are an equivalent role in 2023. If a company is unfamiliar with the role of a C I S O A chief information security officer, it risks lacking the strategic leadership necessary to safeguard its digital assets and infrastructure from increasing sophisticated cyber threats.

This oversight can lead to vulnerabilities and security potentially resulting in significant data breaches, financial losses, and damage to the company's reputation. In an era where cyber resilience is a key component of business continuity.

A Cisco plays a critical role in maintaining trust and confidence among stakeholders, customers and partners by demonstrating a commitment to security. Failure to recognize and empower this role can leave organizations unprepared in the face of potential cyber crises.

Today, we will learn all we need to know about a Cisco from Gary Haislip, Chief Information Security Officer at Softbank Investment Advisors. 

Gary, welcome to the show.


Gary Hayslip: Thank you for having me.

Gary, what is the CISO roll an acronym for Chief Information Security Officer actually do?

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