Choosing a Virtual CISO or CISO as a Service?

What is vCISO?

vCISO (virtual information security officer) is a new type of C-level security executive aimed at helping enterprises improve their cybersecurity programs and achieve compliance. It’s a role intended to prevent or defend against cybercrime, and critical data breaches as the number of such attacks continues to rise. Cybersecurity threats exist in every corner of the big wide world, and cybercriminals are already coming up with new ways to attack businesses. For example, the latest Log4J critical vulnerability is being exploited in the wild, as you read this. This is why it’s more important than ever to protect your business against these threats — but that’s easier said than done.

A vCISO ( Virtual Chief Information Security Officer) is a C-level security leader that works with your management, IT, and security teams to develop a strategy for eliminating any possible data breaches or intrusion attempts. A vCISO is an external experienced professional that provides ongoing assistance in many cybersecurity areas, including risk assessment and strategizing, technical support, internal education, organization restructuring — and many others.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. It can be easy for information security to take a back seat in the hustle and bustle of running a business. A cyberattack could cost your company millions — leading to damaged reputation, fines from the government, and in some cases even lawsuits from customers.

Working with a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) means having an experienced expert in your corner to help you build and execute a cybersecurity program to combat cyberattacks at every level.

“A top vCISO knows how to deliver their knowledge and experience effectively,whilet developing a security-positive culture within an organisation. Education is key, at all levels, and elevating existing talent often provides the fastest results.” — said Cathal Judge, founder of CISO AG.

A full-time CISO or a vCISO? Which do you choose?

The global information security market is expected to reach USD 167.12 billion by 2025, according to the latest study by Grand View Research Inc. An increase in data breaches, changing IT infrastructure, and the trend of outsourcing IT security are three factors driving this growth.

The truth is that cyberattacks have hit businesses of all sizes. Yet, many companies lack the resources to deal with such threats effectively. The bigger you are in terms of revenue, employees, or customers base, the more likely you are to be a target of hackers.

You need a security expert on board to keep their systems safe and secure but don’t have an in-house professional to do so.

A need for skilled C-level security talent — but not enough people qualified to fill all the jobs — is making in-house CISOs one of the hottest positions in the cybersecurity talent market today.

Solving the CISO Shortage

Skilled and experienced chief information security officers (CISOs) are costly and difficult to find. With the rising demand for CISOs, more organizations are looking to hire them, but it can be hard to find the right person. High-level CISO candidates are in short supply, which means there’s fierce competition for the best ones.

There are many conflicting opinions when it comes to CISOs vs. vCISOs. A full-time CISO is more expensive but more hands-on. However, a vCISO allows security team members to grow their skills and can be more economical in the short term for companies.

Value of a vCISO for Your Organization

What if your business could get the cybersecurity assistance it needs when it needs? Should you manage cyber security in-house or through an outside provider? An on-demand virtual CISO (vCISO) is a cutting-edge expert in security who works with you as your business grows and your security requirements change.

And when you do find one, they’re often too expensive. So what if your business could get cybersecurity assistance from a world-class expert when it needs it? That’s where a vCISO comes in.

This means that organizations that need to fill that critical role might have to turn to an on-demand virtual CISO (vCISO). Then you can focus on your business operations while the vCISO handles your information security needs.

4 Benefits of Hiring a Virtual CISO

1. Cost Efficiency

The current market for Chief Information Security Officers is competitive, and the demand for qualified candidates is outpacing supply. If you’re looking to hire a full-time CISO, you may be surprised by the cost. It’s estimated that a well-rated, full-time CISO can command six-figure salaries and stay in the role for only a few years. Instead of hiring someone at this price point, you can hire a vCISO, which costs 30-40% less. A vCISO can start working immediately and requires significantly less onboarding costs than a full-time hire — no benefits or payroll required.

Virtual Chief Information Security Officers are expertly trained and highly experienced professionals who are usually able to start working immediately and require significantly less onboarding costs than a full-time hire — no benefits or payroll. A virtual CISO offers a much more affordable option for your business –  they charge a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time CISO and remove the risk associated with training up a new employee.

2. The Flexibility of vCISO Services

Major companies worldwide are using vCISO’s services to outsource their cybersecurity and compliance needs – because they trust that they’ll get top-quality results without having to invest heavily in the talent themselves. Their relationships with our team are built on trust and managed remotely, allowing them to cut down on overhead without being held back by long-term financial commitments or hiring bottlenecks.

3. Breadth and Depth of vCISO Expertise

Because your vCISO is often at the forefront of innovation and continuously adapting to new and evolving security standards, they will be able to provide your organization with the best today’s technology. A vCISO being independent can serve as a change agent in your company. Hiring a vCISO is a great way to ensure that you have access to as many resources as possible, including industry experts with more specific skill sets. Such experts can act as an extension when it’s needed, providing comprehensive security guidance to your organization and giving you the best chance of preventing or recovering from cyberattacks.

4. Independence

vCISOs are unique, and they share the skills of a C-level executive and the knowledge of a security expert. As external security consultants, vCISOs are an essential ingredient for the success of your cyber security. Because a vCISO is not part of the company, they have no bias and will be able to provide a fresh perspective on your organization’s security needs.

They are an independent set of eyes on your team and your business environment, which means they can find vulnerabilities and weaknesses before attackers do — allowing you to improve your cybersecurity posture before any incidents happen. They also work to fix any existing issues that your team may not be aware of, potentially stopping costly breaches in their tracks.

A virtual CISO will provide you with expert strategic advice and insight as they come from outside the organization and have plenty of experience dealing with security threats, so they aren’t stuck with “how we’ve always done it.” They’re professional experts who aren’t burdened by office politics or agendas — they have to get the job done right and done right the first time. A vCISO can benefit anyone who wants to save time and money on their cybersecurity capabilities.

vCISO Role and Responsibilities

The vCISO serves as a liaison between the business and technology departments. The responsibilities of a vCISO are diverse, they include driving information security education within the company, recommending best practices to prevent security incidents and protect against external threats, and examining internal systems and processes to create actionable plans that build upon the strengths of existing systems while also improving upon the cybersecurity weaknesses.

Not only can a vCISO design and build a complete security framework for a company, but they can also draw up and enforce appropriate policies and procedures. With an eye for compliance and security, they can ensure that everything runs smoothly — all while serving as a go-to resource for the management team.

In a nutshell, the vCISO would be in charge of a wide range of cybersecurity aspects. A vCISO can help you prepare to meet regulatory compliance requirements and cybersecurity standards such as HIPAAPCI DSSISO 27001ISO 9001NIST SP 800-53NIST SP 800-171, and others.

  • Identifying your business-critical assets for risk assessment analysis
  • Developing your organization’s cybersecurity strategy
  • Building a cybersecurity plan and program (mid-term, short-term)
  • Building a Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) program
  • Maintaining overall security operations
  • Assessing people, including managing personnel, contractors, and vendors
  • Building and executing staff cybersecurity & compliance training strategy
  • Security policies, guidelines, and standards
  • HIPAA or PCI compliance
  • Vendor risk assessment
  • Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy and enforcement
  • Security strategy procurement
  • Incident response plan and incident remediation
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Implementation of a security awareness program.

CISO as a Service

CISO-as-a-Service is an expert engagement model that centralizes cybersecurity management and facilitates collaboration between in-house IT and cybersecurity teams. It makes it easier for businesses to comply with GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.

CISO-as-a-Service brings businesses and cybersecurity programs to the next level. It allows enterprises to strengthen their cybersecurity program they also manage regulatory compliance. It is an essential component that every organization should invest in — it will enable clear, more efficient communication between the C-suite and the IT department, allowing leaders to trust their cybersecurity protection.

CISO-as-a-Service takes all of the work, heartache, and headache out of creating a high-quality cybersecurity program for your business. It’s an essential and critical investment for the enterprise to evaluate and strengthen the effectiveness of its cybersecurity program—and meet ever-changing regulatory compliance demands from governing bodies around the world.

Virtual CISO or CISO as a Service Offered by CISO AG

Your security needs are complex, but working with an experienced cybersecurity team is simple. When you partner with CISO AG, we do the heavy lifting for your team with CISO-as-a-Service engagement. CISO AG provides a holistic, client-focused approach to cybersecurity so that you can dedicate your energy to your core business.

Both vCISO and CISO-as-a-Service give you access to years of our expertise. Our diverse team of experts in various cybersecurity domains will help you identify your critical information assets, whether on-premise or in the cloud, build out a solid and consistent cyber defense system, and achieve compliance with industry regulations across the globe.

CISO AG extends your team, which means we continuously work hard to keep you fully protected. While our rates are very affordable, we don’t cut corners on quality. Our clients come first — we’ll be there around the clock to protect you from cyber threats of all kinds.

If you’d like to learn more about how our vCISO package or CISO-as-a-Service can benefit your company, feel free to drop us a line at: today.