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Book Review: Modern Management and Leadership: Best Practice Essentials with CISO/CSO Applications

Modern Management and Leadership: Best Practice Essentials with CISO/CSO Applications. By Mark Tarallo. CRC Press;; 222 Pages; $49.95 


The role of a chief security officer (CSO) is a demanding one that often comes with significant stress. For the new CSO, they often have a brief period, typically the first 100 days, to set their security processes and technologies on an effective path. Often the best way to do that is to use collective wisdom and tactical and strategic advice to ensure those first 100 days are not their last 100 days.  

In Modern Management and Leadership, Best Practice Essentials with CISO/CSO Applications, author Mark Tarallo has written a valuable guide to help a CSO be successful in their role.  

The author’s goal is to help CSOs consistently perform at the highest level as a manager—and fulfill their potential as a leader—as they move forward in the dynamic and changing IT field. With a focus on practical advice, Tarallo gives the reader a playbook they can use to navigate their journey.  

The book deals with a lot of the challenges that CSOs face, from onboarding to dealing with difficult employees, problems with the executive board, and much more.  

Perhaps the most important chapter is about helping IT teams avoid burnout. Career stress and burnout is as common among information security professionals as it is among professionals in other high-stress fields. But finding support and information on dealing with infosec career burnout is difficult because resources and knowledge are scant. 

The book defines the symptoms and organizational conditions about burnout, how to detect it, and preventative measures. And in their role as a CSO, one of the key strategies Tarallo details is for security leaders to take preventative measures so team members are less likely to feel burned out and depleted. A number of effective preventative measures are also provided for the reader.  

Modern Management and Leadership is an effective guide that the new or veteran CSO can use to ensure their tenure is effective and productive. No CSO can go at it alone, and this is a book they can use to help them along the way.  


Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP, CISM, CISA, is a New York City-based senior information security manager with Tapad, and he has more than 20 years of industry experience in information systems security and privacy. His areas of expertise are in risk management and mitigation, security and privacy regulatory issues, design and implementation of systems security, encryption, cryptography, and security policy development. He wrote Computer Security—20 Things Every Employee Should Know.