Digital Risk Officer: Move aside CISO, there's a new Executive in town

Next year will see the emergence of digital risk and the Digital Risk Officer (DRO), claims market research firm Gartner.

According to its 2014 CEO and Senior Executive Survey, more than half of CEOs polled will have a senior digital leader role in their organisation by the end of 2015.

DROs will manage risk at an executive level across digital business units, while working directly with colleagues in legal, privacy, compliance, digital marketing, digital sales and digital operations departments.

By 2017, the firm expects a third of large companies using a digital business model will also have a DRO role or equivalent.

“DROs will require a mix of business acumen and understanding with sufficient technical knowledge to assess and make recommendations for appropriately address digital business risk,” claimed Paul Proctor, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

“Many traditional security officers will change their titles to digital risk and security officers, but without material change in their scope, mandate and skills, they will not fulfil this role in its entirety,” he added.

The firm claims that the DRO differ from that of the chief information security officer (CISO) and those in the latter role may continue with similar scope into 2015.

It believes the DRO will report to a senior executive outside the IT department, such as a chief risk officer, chief digital officer or chief operating officer.

“By 2019, the new digital risk concept will become the default approach for technology risk management. DROs will influence governance, oversight and decision making related to digital business,” claimed Proctor.

“This role will explicitly work with non-IT executives in various capacities to better understand digital business risk and facilitate a balance between the need to protect the organisations and the need to run the business,” he added.

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