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As cybersecurity takes the spotlight, it's CIOs' time to shine

In this week's Searchlight from the Fusion CEO/CIO Symposium: It's time top execs pay attention to cybersecurity, plus the latest big hack and more.

MADISON, Wis. -- CIOs, be on your toes. As the number of high-profile hacks grows -- The New York Times, Jeep and Burger King come to mind from just the past few weeks -- the connected world's darkest elements have moved into the spotlight. These current events -- and the presence of security heavyweights like Howard Schmidt, retired cybersecurity coordinator for the Obama Administration -- had folks at this week's Fusion CEO/CIO Symposium talking.

Karen GoulartKaren Goulart

CIOs and chief information security officers have long known the importance of cybersecurity and the need for a strong defense. Now, however, that conversation is making its way to the upper executive echelons, where it's become the topic du jour. It's a little startling but it's also a good thing. Why startling? Well, things must be pretty bad (and they are) if the issue has risen to top of mind among enterprise bigwigs. Why a good thing? Because this is something that should've happened many jours ago -- it needs to be talked about, not just when things pop up in the news, but all the time.

And this isn't just me talking, these are the words of someone who knows whereof she speaks, former White House CIO Theresa Payton. In addition to doling out some sage security advice to Fusion attendees, she told me in a one-on-one interview that she's thrilled to see this conversation making its way to the "top" because that means it's getting the attention it desperately needs.

Check out's own coverage of these topics

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The consumerization of IT and the CIO role

Is managing BYOD a waste of the CIO's time?

That video interview with Payton and more conference coverage, including information and advice from Howard Schmidt, will be coming soon to Until then, this week's Searchlight will tide you over with some cybersecurity news tempered with a bit of bring your own device (BYOD), a twist on the consumerization of IT and more. (Also, look for chats with Payton about compliance and women in IT, coming soon to and

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, Features Writer.

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