Losing Your Job as a CISO: Chris Wolski in the New CISO Podcast

Losing Your Job as a CISO: Does the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Extend to the Executive Level?

Published
April 07, 2020

Author
Gerhard Jacobs

Hosted by Exabeam Chief Security Strategist Steve Moore, a former IT security leader himself, The New CISO podcast invites chief information security officers (CISOs) to give us their take on cybersecurity trends, what it takes to lead security teams and what it takes to be a CISO today.

As cybersecurity professionals we’re constantly bombarded with messaging around the skills shortage, and how at some point in the future there’ll be a breaking point where security teams can’t function effectively.

While that can be true from the practitioner’s perspective, what happens when you lose your job as an executive? Does the cybersecurity skills shortage extend higher up too? 

In this episode, Steve speaks to Chris Wolski, who at the time of the recording had been an unemployed CISO for more than eight months. 

Obstacles to getting a cybersecurity job

When we spoke, Chris had applied for 228 jobs, with an average number of applicants for each position at 130. He received a total of 44 automated turndown emails and no answer from 133 companies. Out of that, he got 20 total interviews. Something he noticed looking at even entry-level cybersecurity jobs, however, was that a large number of positions require certain certifications (CISSP, CISA, etc.), but getting those certifications often requires years of experience in infosec…something you’d have to get somewhere, right?

Another barrier he notes is college degrees which, as he points out, a number of individuals currently serving in the US military’s cybersecurity divisions don’t have in order to qualify for some security certifications.

It’s not a very comfortable position for anyone to be in and it’s definitely not something most unemployed executives would easily talk about; but Chris lays it all out for us and shares unique and incredibly valuable strategies – as well as tools and technologies – he leaned on to help him land his next job, which happened to be the Port of Houston, where he is currently the CISO.

Listen to the full episode here.

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