CISO salaries top €1m as cyber attacks fuel demand for experts on boards

May 22, 2017 | City A.M.

Salaries for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) at top European firms have topped €1m (£850,000) as the threat of data breaches grows.

A rise in the number of cyber-attacks in the past five years has made the role of cyber-security experts increasingly important in the boardroom, according to global executive search firm DHR International.

CISOs at the very top end can now expect to receive €1m pay packets, while those working in listed small and medium European companies are typically being paid a minimum of €200,000 (£171,000).

Gert Stürzebecher, partner at DHR International, commented: “CEOs have started to lose their jobs over data breaches and the financial impact of some individual data breaches now runs into the tens or hundreds of millions of euros.

“An issue as serious as that gets its own seat at the board.”

New EU regulations coming into full effect in May 2018 will mean the CISO’s role is likely to grow in importance.

The General Data Protection Regulation, as well as the directive on Security of Network and Information Systems, will change the way companies implement security procedures, mitigate against attacks and report on breaches.

The new regulations also make lax security more expensive. Any company that suffers a data breach will face a fine of up to €20m (£17.2m) or four percent of their annual global turnover, compared to a maximum existing penalty of £500,000.