Information Security Leaders Handbook

Few years ago, I wrote Information Security Leaders Handbook but it was not listed as a download on this blog. With this post, I would like to put it here and also check the level of interest from InfoSec community for an updated version (Second Edition). Please send your comments at my Twitter handle @rafeeq_rehman or through this blog.

Information Security Leaders Handbook

The objective of this book is to make you a successful information security professional by learning from experience of great leaders in this field. This book is a little dated now but provides core fundamental models in a concise manner. It is easy to read and use in managing information security programs. Most of the chapters accompany visual mind maps, action items, and other visual tools for easy understanding.

Click HERE to download the PDF version of the book.

How is this book organized?

The book covers a set of carefully selected topics. This is to ensure that focus remains on principles that are the most important to the success of a security professional. The topics are arranged in six parts as listed below.

  1. Know The Business – List of topics important for understanding and knowing the business.
  2. Information Security Strategy – Elements of information security strategy, how to create strategy and put it into practice.
  3. Security Operations – Major areas related to running an effective security operations program.
  4. Risk Management – How to assess and manage risk.
  5. Personal Branding – Creating personal brand and establishing credibility to be effective as information security leader.
  6. Appendices – Miscellaneous data points and sources of information.

How to Use This Book?

I suggest that you read one chapter daily, take actions, set goals, and write those actions and goals on the “Goals and Activity Log” page at the end of each chapter. Next day, read another chapter and write the actions and goals with target dates. As you go along, start reading random chapters and keep on reviewing and updating your actions and goals to measure your progress and success.

A Systematic Way of Achieving Excellence

The book provides a systematic and measurable way towards excellence in your job. I have gone to great length to limit each topic to two pages or less. Please use the “Goals and Activity Log” page to record your progress and make the best use of your time. While you go along, record your experiences and share them on the book web site.

Subscribe to Blog for Release Dates and Updates

Please subscribe to this blog to keep yourself updated about the release date of the book. You can use “Follow Blog via Email” link on top-right corner of this page.

Your feedback is very important to me. Please share your thoughts on my Twitter handle at @rafeeq_rehman

Other Useful Links for InfoSec Professionals

DISCLAIMER: All material presented is my own and not of my employer and does not constitute any recommendations, endorsements or professional consultation.

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CISO MindMap 2017 – What Do InfoSec Professional Really Do?

While Ransomware may be the talk of the town these days, many other profound changes are happening in the industry that impact job of information security professionals. Keeping in view these change, I felt a need for updating CISO MindMap. The new and updated CISO MindMap 2017 is attached below. This time, I have highlighted all changes in red color to make it easy for those who have been following this CISO MindMap for some time.

One major change is about IoT, keeping in view that more and more companies see value and are adopting IoT technologies. Lines between IoT, Industrial IoT, and industrial control systems are blurring gradually. Security professionals are being called in to respond to IoT incidents, which are increasing over time. The IoT vendors are in infancy from security perspective in many cases, with lax security controls. I feel there is a need for all organizations to include IoT as an essential part of their overall security operations. With a little research inside their organization, they may be surprised how many IoT technologies are already being used by their businesses that they may not be aware of.

I also believe that InfoSec professionals should make subjects such as artificial intelligence, drones, sharing economy, and data analytics as part of their learning goals. InfoSec is an essential enabler for modern businesses and we, as a community, should be at the forefront of this progress instead of standing in the way.

Last but not the least, InfoSec professionals must keep a better “Customer Experience” as a guiding principle of everything they do. I would recommend taking a short course on “design thinking” methodology that would make people think and act differently and more productively. We must improve our brand!

Like always, feel free to provide your feedback and comments. Also, register on this blog to keep updated. You can also download PDF version of the CISO MindMap.

CISO MindMap

Your feedback is welcomed on my Twitter handle at @rafeeq_rehman

References

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What is Return on Security Investment (ROSI) Anyway?

Credit Pexels

ROSI or Return On Security Investment is simply a way to calculate if a security control is worth implementation or not. For a control to be financially viable, the reduction of risk has to be greater than the cost of implementing security control. Continue reading

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Business Innovation with a Data Driven Approach

Effective use of data has become a key to run modern business, gain enhanced customer insight, improve loyalty, and drive sales.

More and more companies are realizing that a customer-centric and data-driven approach is the only way to compete in this hyper-connected business world.

Continue reading

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Aligning Business Goals with InfoSec Strategy

How do you align yourself with the business you are supporting? What value are you creating? These are the questions that every CISO should be thinking on regular basis. In a typical organization, the CEO has a list of business goals and objectives that trickle down through chain of leadership. Objective for IT leaders are usually derived from CEO’s business objectives to support the organization. Understanding the organizational objectives as well as the personalities of business leaders helps in creating and aligning the information security strategy. Continue reading

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DBIR 2017 – Major Findings of Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report

Credits Pixabay

Verizon is publishing Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) for over 10 years. The latest release is DBIR 2017 which was published on April 27th. This year’s report contains 1935 confirmed data breaches and more than 42000 security incidents. Like always, DBIR 2017 provides great insights about how data breaches are happening, who is behind attacks, and what their motives are. Continue reading

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Three Fundamental Questions for Strategic Decision Making

How to pick the right projects for the next year or the next thing to work on? Recently, this was the major point of discussion in the planning meeting of a non-profit organization. Irrespective of for-profit or non-profit status, all organizations and businesses have to make the same strategic decisions about picking and choosing projects. Continue reading

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Customer Experience: The Missing Pillar of Information Security Programs

Few days back, an information security executive asked for help. He has been struggling with demonstrating “tangible business value” of his information security program. We started our dialog about the company business, revenue sources, key issues, competitors and how he could help his organization turn their customers into their brand advocates. Continue reading

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Building a Successful Security Operations Center Part 3: SOC Budget Calculator

Sometime back I published an article “What it Really Takes to Stand up a SOC”. This included a MindMap showing everything you need to consider while making a decision about establishing an internal Security Operations Center. Take a look at the PDF Download link for this MindMap. Since then, many people have asked questions about estimating budget for standing up an internal SOC. Continue reading

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Five Minutes Overview of IoT Messaging Protocol for CISOs

Although traditional methods of communications like RESTful APIs can be used for IOT communications, MQTT and CoAP are the two major IoT protocols for exchanging messages in IoT networks. This is a quick overview of both of these protocols. Continue reading

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