Exploring Discrepancies in CISO Job Advertisements: A Comparative Content Analysis



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This study presents a qualitative content analysis of public job advertisements for the position of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in both the DACH area (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and the United States of America. The analysis comprises a representative sample of recent public job advertisements collected over a period of three months. The primary objectives of the research are twofold.

Firstly, the study compares the roles, responsibilities, resources, and duties outlined in the job advertisements with the actual requirements derived from contemporary security best practices, such as ISO/IEC 27001. By evaluating this alignment, we aim to ascertain any potential discrepancies between the advertised expectations and the industry’s current security standards.

Secondly, we investigate potential regional variations in CISO job descriptions, taking into account cultural, legal, and organizational differences between the DACH region and the United States. Understanding these distinctions could provide insights into the specific demands and preferences of each region concerning information security management.

The ultimate goal of this research is to identify any adverse impact that might arise from discrepancies between the requirements set forth by organizations in job advertisements and the actual best practices. By shedding light on these potential mismatches, we hope to contribute to the enhancement of information security recruitment and practices, thereby fortifying companies’ security management efforts.

Leonhard Kurthen


Daniel Fall

Daniel Fall is a Managing Partner at difesa with a focus on compliance and risk management in the context of information security.