As businesses become increasingly dependent on technology, the importance of a robust information security system has never been greater. With cyber-attacks and data breaches making headlines on a regular basis, it is essential that companies have a knowledgeable and capable Information Security Manager (ISM) to mitigate the risks. This manager must have both technical and soft skills to be successful. In this article, we look at what those skills are and why they are so essential.

Technical skills

Central to the role of an ISM is the need for technical knowledge and experience in information security. This includes understanding current security threats, assessing and managing vulnerabilities, and implementing and managing security solutions. Staying informed of the latest technologies and best practices is essential, and many ISMs choose certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) to demonstrate their expertise.

Communication skills.

An ISM must be able to effectively communicate complex security concepts to both technical and non-technical stakeholders. This includes the ability to present findings and recommendations to senior management in a clear and concise manner, and the ability to lead effective information security discussions with a wide range of stakeholders. Excellent communication skills also help build trust and credibility with employees and stakeholders, making it easier to implement new security measures and respond effectively to incidents.

Risk management skills.

The ISM is responsible for assessing and prioritizing potential security risks and implementing appropriate controls to mitigate those risks. This requires an understanding of risk management methods and the ability to make informed decisions based on available data and resources. The ISM must be able to understand the potential impact of security incidents on the business and develop contingency plans to ensure that the business can continue to operate in the event of a breach.

Leadership skills

In addition to technical and communication skills, an ISM must be a strong leader who can inspire and motivate a security team. This includes the ability to set goals and objectives, delegate tasks effectively, and support and guide team members. A successful ISM must also be able to build and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including customers, partners and vendors.

Business insight

Finally, an ISM must have a good understanding of the business and be able to balance the needs of the business against the requirements of information security. This requires an understanding of the company’s finances, strategy and operations and the ability to make informed decisions based on the impact security measures may have on the business.


In summary, a successful Information Security Manager must possess a unique combination of technical, soft and leadership skills. With cyberattacks and data breaches becoming more common and sophisticated, it is essential that companies have an ISM who is knowledgeable, competent and able to effectively mitigate risk. By combining technical knowledge with excellent communication, risk management, leadership and business insight, the ISM can help ensure the security of a company’s information assets and the success of the company as a whole.

Learn more about interim Information Security Managers

Would you like to know more about what an Information Security Manager can do for you? Please feel free to contact us for more information.