Embarking on the first 90 days as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) involves setting a strategic direction, building relationships, and laying the groundwork for a robust information security program. Here’s a structured outline for your initial three months:

Phase 1: Orientation and Assessment (Days 1-30)

Understand Organizational Context

  • Objective: Immerse yourself in the company’s culture, business model, and strategic goals.
  • Actions:
    • Meet with executive leadership and key department heads.
    • Review business processes, services, and product lines.
    • Understand regulatory and compliance requirements affecting the organization.

Security Program Review

  • Objective: Evaluate the current state of the information security program.
  • Actions:
    • Conduct meetings with the security team to review existing security policies, procedures, and controls.
    • Assess the cybersecurity architecture, incident response plan, and disaster recovery strategies.
    • Review previous security audits, assessments, and incident reports.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Objective: Establish rapport with key stakeholders and understand their security expectations and concerns.
  • Actions:
    • Identify and meet with critical stakeholders across various departments.
    • Communicate your role, objectives, and how you plan to support the business.

Phase 2: Strategy Development and Planning (Days 31-60)

Gap Analysis and Risk Assessment

  • Objective: Identify vulnerabilities, threats, and assess risk levels.
  • Actions:
    • Perform a comprehensive risk assessment to identify critical vulnerabilities and threats.
    • Prioritize risks based on their potential impact on the business.

Strategic Security Roadmap

  • Objective: Develop a strategic plan that aligns with business objectives and addresses identified risks.
  • Actions:
    • Define short-term and long-term security goals.
    • Develop a security roadmap with clear milestones, initiatives, and resource requirements.

Team and Resource Evaluation

  • Objective: Ensure the security team is structured and equipped to execute the strategic plan.
  • Actions:
    • Assess the skills, roles, and structure of the current security team.
    • Identify gaps and plan for recruitment, training, or outsourcing as needed.

Phase 3: Implementation and Execution (Days 61-90)

Initiate Key Projects

  • Objective: Launch critical security projects that address immediate risks and demonstrate quick wins.
  • Actions:
    • Prioritize projects based on risk, impact, and feasibility.
    • Begin implementation of critical security controls, awareness programs, or technology upgrades.

Policy and Process Development

  • Objective: Strengthen the security framework with updated policies and efficient processes.
  • Actions:
    • Review and update security policies and procedures.
    • Implement best practices for security operations, incident management, and compliance monitoring.

Engagement and Communication

  • Objective: Foster a culture of security awareness and maintain open communication with stakeholders.
  • Actions:
    • Launch security awareness programs and training for employees.
    • Regularly update stakeholders on security initiatives, progress, and incidents.

Review and Adjust

  • Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of the initial actions and adjust the strategy as needed.
  • Actions:
    • Conduct a review of the implemented security measures and projects.
    • Gather feedback from stakeholders and the security team to refine the strategic plan.


  • Initial Security Assessment Report
  • Strategic Security Roadmap
  • Risk Assessment and Prioritization Document
  • Updated Security Policies and Procedures
  • Status Reports on Key Security Projects
  • 90-Day Review Presentation with Adjustments

This plan aims to establish a solid foundation for your role as CISO, aligning the security strategy with business goals, addressing critical vulnerabilities, and building a resilient security culture.