Cyber Security leadership evolution

cyber security leadership
Senior management at the C-level more often appoints a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who takes a place in the management team or reports directly to it. However, the CISO is often a person with a technical  background. In terms of technical expertise, these individuals are often very competent but usually lack the right skills  to be able to stand their ground at the management level. This research focuses on the continuous evolution of CISO leadership and the necessary skills to become and remain successful.


Research on CISO Leadership
Initially, it will be investigated how the (Cyber) Security message should be 'sold' at the management level and which 'Soft Skills' are suitable for this in an international context.

Research on Measurability
Research how CISO Leadership can be made measurable. From the measurement model, indicators and levels can then be specified, where a basic level (for example, per industry or organization size) can also be defined.

Research on Influencing Factors
Research which factors, mainly psychological and sociological, have an influence on 'CISO Leadership' in view of international cultures.

Design of a guide to support educators, trainers & coaches which can be used in the development of new training material in relation to the role of the CISO and personal leadership.

Effect Assessment

Test whether the specified guide is actually successful. The guide being developed will be tested in practice in this phase. An important question here is whether CISOs actually perform better, at the management level, after being specifically educated, trained, or coached on 'CISO Leadership'. The guide will be tested with a number of educators and relations.


Publications, Articles, Guidelines, and a Book that addresses the soft skills of the CISO in the context of business management communication.


01 September 2023 - 01 September 2030


A combination of research in the context of a PhD. combined with additional (partial) research within the HU by additional researchers, graduates, and commercial/public stakeholders.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups

Any questions or want to collaborate?