Gartner Research

Key Behaviors Driving CISO Effectiveness

Published: 26 July 2023


Gartner benchmarked CISOs’ leadership effectiveness to help them discover quick, actionable steps to enhance their performance. This research reports our findings, including the measures of effectiveness, and identifies the factors that differentiate the most effective cybersecurity leaders.

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Key Findings
  • Only 11% of CISOs excel in all four categories of CISO effectiveness.

  • Even top-performing CISOs tend to allocate more valuable resources and time than they would like to “tactical” activities, such as security operations, staff management and project risk assessments.

  • Top-performing CISOs report three times better relationship and interaction cadence with non-IT stakeholders as compared to bottom-performing CISOs.

  • Top-performing CISOs manage stressors and fatigue more effectively than average-performing CISOs.


To boost effectiveness, cybersecurity leaders should:

  • Focus on the future of digital adoption in their enterprises by proactively tackling evolving security norms and securing emerging technologies.

  • Devote more time to strategic planning and

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Tejas Kapoor

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