Chief Information Security Officer

Discipline: IT

Sector: Central Government

Location: London / East Kilbride

Type: Permanent

Date posted: 07/07/2022

Start: ASAP

Duration: Permanent

Salary: Up to £120,000 per annum


The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are seeking a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) on a permanent basis.

The FCDO’s enduring purpose as a department is “to lead the Government’s diplomatic, development and consular work around the world”. We employ more than 17,000 staff in 168 countries, across our diplomatic and development offices worldwide, including in 280 overseas Embassies and High Commissions.  Our UK-based staff work in our headquarters: King Charles Street, London and Abercrombie House, East Kilbride, and we also have staff based in Milton Keynes.

This role reports to the Chief Digital and Information Officer (CDIO) and will be a member of the Information and Digital Directorate (IDD) senior leadership team, supporting the CDIO with the collective leadership of the Directorate.

As CISO you will support the safe and secure delivery of UK Foreign Policy and Development aims, playing your part in major global events.  You will lead the FCDO’s operational cyber security effort, working with a team of information management and cyber security professionals to provide support, advice, challenge, assurance and continual improvement to the Department on information and cyber risk and the protection of FCDO’s data, infrastructure and assets both in the UK and our overseas network.

You will be responsible for:

  • Team, collective and professional leadership, including supporting the development of specialist skills in FCDO;
  • Establishing governance, building knowledge and networks within FCDO and with our partners across government;
  • Leading and communicating on information security with senior stakeholders, helping to inform and enable risk owners to fulfil their role;
  • Developing and deploying role-appropriate advice and risk-mitigation guidance for all FCDO staff and partners on our platform;
  • Setting policy direction and developing FCDO’s information and cyber security strategy;
  • Developing and enhancing our information security management framework and working with colleagues to develop and agree technology standards;
  • Leading continuous assessment of vulnerabilities to ensure policies are deployed, revised and overseen effectively.

Applicants should demonstrate their skills and experience against the following essential criteria in your CV and supporting statement:

  • Demonstrable and practical experience at a senior level, in public or private sector, of working in a combination of risk management, information security and IT roles;
  • Proven ability to understand complex user and technology needs and provide contextualised security advice or direction to allow those needs to be met securely through operational security arrangements;
  • Demonstrable experience of setting standards and the development of procedures that deliver end-to-end, tightly monitored environments including in complex organisations;
  • Experience of leading transformation programmes inside/outside government, ideally featuring an international dimension;
  • Awareness and understanding of modern, industry standard security issues and processes, HMG security frameworks and knowledge of common information security management frameworks;
  • Understanding of supply chain risks and implications e.g. awareness of software supply chain challenges;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, interpersonal and collaborative skills, and the ability to communicate information security and risk-related concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences at all levels, ranging from board members to technical specialists.
  • Specific security technology and understanding. Knowledge of system architectures.  Threat awareness.  Ability to understand the risk impact of vulnerabilities on existing and future designs and systems and to identify how easy or difficult it will be to exploit these vulnerabilities.
  • Strong and effective communication with both technical and non-technical teams (security architect). Understand security concepts to be credible and comfortable when engaging with security technologists.  Communicating in a language that is appropriate to audience. Ability to respond to challenge.
  • Analysis – Ability to visualise, articulate and solve complex problems and concepts by interrogating and using data or intelligence to formulate and influence plans; to interpret complex business and technical issues; to identify and recognise a viable solution or control; to understand and link complex and diverse sets of information to inform the response and approach, for example identifying vulnerabilities and their impact.
  • The successful candidate would be expected to build and maintain effective working relationships and networks and to represent the UK with like-minded international Government partners to foster co-operation on Cyber Security.

Desirable criteria includes prior experience as Head of Security/CISO; experience managing tight resource constraints and conflicting priories; and a professional security management certification (e.g. CISSP, CISM, CISA or similar).

Applicants will also demonstrate the following Behaviours, which you will be assessed against if Shortlisted:

  • Leadership
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Changing and improving
  • Delivering at pace
  • Engaging internationally

Click here to view a comprehensive candidate pack.

To apply, applicants must provide a tailored CV, supporting statement (up to 1,250 words) explaining how your suitability for the role and a completed diversity monitoring form.

The application deadline is Monday 1st August at 9:00am.

Applications must be sent to

This role is available from FCDO’s London or East Kilbride offices. It may be possible to be based in one of FCDO’s other UK locations, and this can be discussed at interview.

If successful you must hold, or be willing to obtain, security clearance to DV level. All offers of appointment will be subject to achieving DV level clearance.

We want the modern FCDO to reflect the very best of 21st century Britain. We encourage applications from all suitably qualified applicants, irrespective of background or circumstances.

Register Interest

33 King Street, St. James’s,
London, SW1Y 6RJ

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