SEC releases list of attributes of successful security leaders

The Security Executive Council announced this week that it has identified a list of attributes this it says are common to successful security executives.

According to a statement, the list of attributes were developed as a result of the council’s Goals, Objectives & Strategic Plans project, which consisted of interviews with 28 Tier 1 security executives discussing industry best practices.

The nine attributes of a successful security leader include:

- Has created a robust internal awareness program for Security including formal marketing and communication initiatives
- Ensures that senior management knows what security is and does
- Has a walk-and-talk mentality—regularly talks to senior business leaders about their issues and how security can help
- Converses in business risk terminology, not “security”
- Understands his or her corporate culture and adapts to it
- Is well respected and never reacts by exploiting fear, uncertainty and doubt
- Has security program goals that mirror the company’s business goals
- Has top-level support from day one
- Sees security's role as a bridging facilitator or coordinator across all functions

"The interviewees that articulated all or most of the nine highly developed security leader attributes stood out as recognized industry leaders with strong and often innovative programs," said Kathleen Kotwica, EVP and chief knowledge strategist for the council. "While they had different leadership styles, we found it of note that they all gravitated to similar ways of moving Security forward in their organization."

To learn more about the Tier 1 Security Leader program, visit: