A CIO’s Security Checklist: 5 Actions ‘To Do’ Now

A decade back being purely technical was enough for CIOs to get their jobs done. However, with today’s ever-evolving technology, a CIO must lead a company’s digital transformation, not lag behind it. Is your IT team up to speed? Check out our “CIO Security Checklist” to find out. In it, you’ll learn ways to keep your company’s technology up-to-date and secure.

When it comes to digital security, here’s what every CIO must do:

1. Stay informed.

CIOs are always on top of new threats. How do they do it? They constantly seek information and they listen.

Here’s a partial list of places where CIOs gather info:

  • Customer meetings
  • Company planning meetings
  • Business growth meetings
  • C-Suite planning meetings
  • Business strategy meetings
  • Board meetings

2. Maintain the “test and correct” cycle.

CIOs keep their companies prepared to fight any threat. They work in close quarters with CISOs and business partners to ensure that their cybersecurity prevention and response plan is ready at any given time. CIOs also regularly test their strategy so they can make iterations that will meet evolving security needs.

Another responsibility is planning. CIOs keep the response and recovery team in the loop, to make sure that all crisis-related communications are handled with absolute precision.

3. Re-evaluate cloud strategy.

Here are some reasons why CIOs adopt cloud computing:

  • Faster time to value
  • No upfront capital costs
  • Accelerated innovation
  • Reduction in operational costs
  • Ease with integration
  • Potential for more revenue and opportunities
  • Extensive technical resources are not required
  • Better customer engagement
  • Security and compliance

If you’re planning to migrate your business, here’s a tip: Don’t become overly dependent on a single cloud server.

Instead, look for cloud infrastructure with servers within multiple regions. This allows for scalability to accommodate rapidly changing loads and will help you avoid downtime.

4. Regularly evaluate analytics strategy.

To increase business innovation and improve communication, CIOs use analytics. They start by benchmarking where they stand compared with their competitors. To position themselves as the best in their industry, CIOs must evaluate what they do, and find ways to improve that.

By analyzing their steps, CIOs can create better roadmaps to success.

5. Organize, prioritize, and utilize.

To help you determine your top priorities, we’ve organized two lists.

1.) Personal change priorities are used to:

  • Improve change leadership and management.
  • Increase customer engagement.
  • Drive innovation in IT departments.
  • Enable organizational and strategic alignment.
  • Help managers utilize data.
  • Allow and improve digital accessibility.

2.) Organizational change priorities are used to:

  • Implement cybersecurity protocols.
  • Comply with data protection regulations.
  • Reduce tech debt and save time.
  • Leverage data analytics.
  • Increase digital data footprints.
  • Boost DevSecOps and automation.
  • Digitize the supply chain system.

So far, so good?

Next, here’s a CIO checklist of considerations for evaluating an organization’s data security.

IT Security Checklist for CIOs

1. Business-based solutions


  • Are access protocols in place for specific users?

Data Recovery and Security

  • How frequently do you backup your data?

Data Transmission

  • Do you transmit data to third parties?
  • If yes, is the data encrypted?

2. Governance

Corporate Security Plan (Access Control and Passwords)

  • How frequently do you want users to change their passwords?

Business Continuity Plan

  • Do you have a disaster recovery plan?
  • If yes, do you review and update it regularly?

QA/QI and Auditing

  • Do you perform random security audits in your enterprise?

IT Steering Committee

  • Do you have an IT steering committee?
  • Do you have a PMO or approval process for projects?

Data Residency requirements

  • Does your cloud backup provider have multiple data centers across the globe?

Maintenance and Downtime Policies

  • Do you schedule downtime for updates and patches?
  • Do you have a preset process for critical security updates?

Security Training

  • Do you have an onboarding process for recruits?
  • Do you require staff security training on GDPR, HIPPA, CCPA competencies?

3. Physical Security

Access Control

  • Do you track everyone who accesses the onsite server room (MDF, IDF, etc.)?

Physical Device

  • Do public devices have a logout time?
  • Do private devices have privacy screens?
  • Do devices in private locations require a login?
  • Do your private devices have auto logout?

4. Infrastructure

Offsite and Onsite Servers

  • Are you certain you’re using the right encryption method?
  • Do you know everyone who accesses your offsite servers (as well as onsite)?


  • Are you using a commercial-grade firewall?
  • Do you use up-to-date methods for blocking malicious websites?

5. Mobility

Wireless vs. Wired Voice and Data Communications

  • Does your company issue cell phones to your employees?
  • Do you have an MDM?
  • Can you remotely erase a device?
  • Is your phone system VoIP?
  • If you answered yes, is it cloud-based?

Switches of Voice and Data

  • Is your switching PoE?
  • Is it connected to a firewall?

If you answered “no” to 2 or more of the checkboxes, it’s a good idea to speak with an enterprise-level security expert. You may be surprised to learn that many security solutions can be implemented with out-of-the-box identity and access management software.

If you answered yes to most of our CIO Security Checklist, we hope that you feel more confident about your organization’s IT security. Keep up the good work and always keep informed.

CyberSecurity Enthusiast, interested in latest digital trends, reader, hiker. I’m available at https://www.quora.com/profile/Laura-Nutt-5