The 3 Hard Truths for Every Cybersecurity Leader

Recently, I had the honor of speaking with Iren Reznikov, a powerhouse cybersecurity investor who currently leads a $100M fund at S Ventures, investing in dynamic startups such as Noetic Cyber™ that are redefining the cybersecurity space. Security leaders and disruptors like Iren Reznikov are crucial in guiding organizations through the navigating organizations through the intricate maze of challenges and opportunities within the cybersecurity landscape.

Throughout our discussion, Iren shed light on a few hard-hitting realities that demand the attention of every security leader.

Security Leaders Must Confront These Hard Truths

Truth #1: Reactive Security Measures Aren’t Enough

In the cat-and-mouse game of cybersecurity, the reactive nature of security measures means that organizations are forced to play catch-up with attackers. The ongoing incident response cycle diverts valuable resources and attention away from proactive threat mitigation and strategic planning.

Reactive security measures are exacerbated by the lack of integration and contextual threat intelligence across security tools. In fact, over half of DevSecOps professionals agree the primary challenge in implementing a “shift-left” strategy is the lack of integrated security tools. Another 45% agree the lack of a common view of applications and assets across security and IT teams causes a major delay in vulnerability patching.

“Organizations are using tons of tools across their environments and are leveraging threat intelligence. But as we’re seeing more and more companies, although they have tons of security tools that are deployed within their environment, they’re still not able to catch up with the kind of attacks that are being relayed upon them.”

– Iren Reznikov, Noetic Cyber™ Advisory Board

Truth #2: The Struggle to Demonstrate ROI Continues

One of the major challenges facing security leaders is the inability to demonstrate meaningful return on investment (ROI) for cybersecurity tools and initiatives. Unlike traditional business investments which can be measured in concrete metrics such as increased revenue or decreased expenses, the success of cybersecurity investments is usually gauged by the absence of incidents—a concept that can be challenging to translate into monetary terms.

Without evidence of cost savings or revenue generation directly attributable to the investment, stakeholders may struggle to perceive its value. Consequently, security initiatives are frequently viewed as a cost center rather than a value-add—and over half (54%) of CISOs in the US and UK agree their boards do not provide enough funding for critical initiatives.

Truth #3: The Cybersecurity Skills Gap Widens

Compounding these challenges is the persistent cybersecurity workforce shortage. This is not a recent phenomenon, but rather a systemic issue that has plagued the industry for years. The worst may not be over, as the World Economic Forum indicates the global talent shortage could reach 85 million workers by 2030.

In the face of this challenge, security leaders must embrace ingenuity and resourcefulness to build and sustain a resilient cybersecurity workforce.

The challenges of reactivity, returns, and resources are significant but manageable. They drive innovation and change in cybersecurity. Instead of adding more tools, Iren advises security leaders to optimize their current investments, so they work together effectively.

Noetic’s Role in Addressing Cybersecurity Challenges

Noetic is uniquely positioned to address many of these challenges. The Noetic platform gathers a 360-degree view of the entire security environment, ensuring that security investments are deployed correctly, and gaps are closed. This comprehensive visibility empowers CISOs and security teams to reduce risks and implement a continuous approach to threat and exposure management by enabling key security initiatives.

Prioritize Security Efforts Based on Impact

At its core, the Noetic platform aggregates security data and threat intelligence from existing tools and databases, providing security teams with a thorough understanding of the organization’s assets, potential exposures, and existing security measures. This comprehensive view allows organizations to inform strategic decisions, aligning security efforts with business goals and risk tolerance.

Foster Strong Internal and External Communication

Effective communication within the security team and among other stakeholders is crucial. As Iren Reznikov emphasized, “…products that will be able to create a platform for better communication across the security team will win in the next 2 to 3 years.” The Noetic platform excels in this area by translating technical security data into clear, concise reports enriched with business-relevant insights. This enables CISOs to quickly find answers to board-level questions and positions them to better justify and demonstrate the value of their security investments in the long run.

Bridge the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage with Automation

With the ongoing shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, automation is a vital tool in maintaining effective security operations. Automated workflows in Noetic ensure that asset data is continuously updated and distributed, and increasingly end-to-end remediation such as scanning new machines or deploying missing agents can be automated too. This frees up skilled professionals to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.

The journey towards effective cybersecurity leadership is paved with uncomfortable truths. Yet, it is through confronting these realities and embracing innovation that security leaders can pave the way towards a safer and more secure future. Listen to the full podcast with Iren Reznikov to gain further insights into the evolving cybersecurity landscape and the path forward for security leaders.

Securing the Future, Episode 3 (41 min.)

About Iren Reznikov: Iren leads a $100 million fund at S Ventures, investing in dynamic startups that are redefining the cybersecurity space, including Noetic Cyber™. Yet, Iren’s impact extends far beyond boardrooms and investment portfolios. She is a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion in cyber.

Recognizing the untapped potential of underrepresented voices, Iren has made it her mission to champion female-led startups and empower underrepresented founders to thrive in the tech ecosystem. Her efforts serve as role model for those striving to break barriers and shatter stereotypes in cybersecurity.