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How to become a Chief Risk Officer? – Overview and Skills

A Chief Risk Officer (CRO) is responsible for assessing the risk mitigation capabilities of their organization and sharing their recommendations with the stakeholders. They work closely with the top management and monitor the regulatory policies governing business operations. CRO is a C-suite executive who leads their organization’s enterprise risk management (ERM) program and prevents business compliance risks. Along with managing business risks, CROs’ various responsibilities include managing and overseeing IT security, IS audits, cybersecurity threat prevention, and internal corporate activities.

Chief Risk Officer

Role of a Chief Risk Officer

The chief risk officer of an organization creates the risk management strategy and monitors its implementation. As a result, ensuring business continuity through adequate disaster recovery planning, preventing cybersecurity attacks, and aligning the organization’s business operations with the appropriate governance policies. Thus, these professionals manage and mitigate the four primary risk categories organizations face–strategic, operational, compliance, and reputational risks.

Chief Risk Officer Responsibilities

In ERM, the CRO guides the enterprise’s risk mitigation strategy and ensures its proper implementation. They communicate and collaborate with the organization’s stakeholders and key risk management professionals to secure the required financial and physical resources to make the ERM initiative successful. Therefore, large-scale organizations and business enterprises usually have a CRO to manage and monitor their risk management activities.

Here are the primary roles and responsibilities of a CRO:

  • Creating the risk management strategy by analyzing the technical, regulatory, and competitive risks through risk maps.
  • Aligning risk management strategy’s progress with the organizational objectives.
  • Implementing the risk mitigation plan and ensuring its success through regular tracking and reporting.
  • Sharing the risk mitigation strategy’s success with the organization’s executives and board members.
  • Evaluating the enterprise’s risk appetite and strategizing the risk tolerance by allocating resources.
  • Analyzing potential risks and promoting growth opportunities by addressing risk factors and business returns.

Requirements to become a CRO

Organizations rely on CROs to sustain their business growth. Thus, CROs must be knowledgeable and experts at their jobs. A chief risk officer’s primary skills are managing and mitigating risks. However, they should have a thorough understanding of the business operations of their organizations to identify and evaluate the risk factors successfully. CROs must prove their technical expertise in information systems auditing and cybersecurity. Also, they must have a strong comprehension of finance and accounting to understand the impact of risks on the organization’s productivity and revenue generation.

CRO Qualifications

Individuals who want to become chief risk officers should start their journey by acquiring a post-graduate degree in business, finance, or economics, followed by a master’s degree in business administration or any relevant field. Since CROs are an executive designation, they must prove their experience by working in the industry for some years. Additionally, they can opt for specialized risk management training to improve their knowledge and skills in identifying and mitigating risks.

ISACA’s risk management. CRO aspirants can register for the CGEIT Certification Training Course to prepare for the examination to earn the CGEIT Certification.


The role of a chief risk officer becomes more prominent with the increasing number of cybersecurity threats being reported but mostly getting unreported. Experts believe organizations of varying sizes and domains would require CROs to manage and mitigate the risk factors and address the governance issues. These talented executives are one of the highest-paid cybersecurity professionals in the world today. According to the online career site Indeed, the annual average salary of a CRO is around $132,008 globally. The job prospects of CROs are on the rise, with the BLS Outlook projecting its growth at 17% from 2020 to 2030. Therefore, aspiring CROs have a bright and promising future ahead.

Posted in IT Governance

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