Cybersecurity is an increasing concern for several businesses. With time, more and more companies are hiring Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to strengthen their security strategies and add to their Executive team. In fact, businesses are allocating more funds towards their cybersecurity budget each year. However, small and mid-sized organizations cannot always afford to hire a full-time CISO.

Therefore, organizations are now hiring virtual CISO (vCISO), also known as fractional CISO, experts to cut costs while still having a leader focusing on information security.

What is a virtual Chief Information Security Officer?

Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) refers to a security practitioner who helps organizations develop and manage their information security program. They put their years of industry and cybersecurity experience to use. Some high-level vCISOs also help formulate the security strategy for their clients.

However, hiring a vCISO does not mean you do not also need internal security staff; your internal staff can report to and work with the vCISO to develop a solid security program.

Virtual CISOs may also be responsible for presenting the organization’s state of information security to the Board of Directors, auditors, executive team, or other stakeholders. Their other roles and responsibilities may include managing:

  • Initiatives affecting information practices
  • Analyzing third parties with access to organizational data
  • Information security planning and management activities
  • Security risk management activities
  • Organizational and management structure
  • Mentoring the security team or security practitioners in the organization
  • Establishing corporate-wide security training
  • Coordination of audits by regulators or customers
  • Additional CISO tasks defined in a Statement of Work (SOW)

Benefits of hiring a vCISO

1. Expertise and core competencies – vCIOs usually have decades of experience and knowledge in cybersecurity. They are most likely to have served in multiple industries as security heads and hold various industry-recognized certifications. When hired, they bring their expertise with them.

Moreover, a good vCISO is likely to have strong relationships with other security experts, industry leaders, partners, and vendors. These additional resources may help you enhance your cyber security program.

They can be an excellent mentor to your internal security team, enhancing your company’s progress to become more cyber resilient.

2. Cost-effectiveness – Cybersecurity executives usually demand salaries well into the six figures due to the high demand for their services and lack of experienced professionals to fill those gaps. You may have to pay premium costs for whatever services the executives have to offer. The total salary also depends on the location of your company. Moreover, if you want the specialist to start the job immediately, you may see an increase in expenses.

However, your organization may not be able to afford or need a full-time CISO. In such cases, you should hire a vCISO as it will reduce costs as well as save you time and resources by eliminating the onboarding process. Moreover, you would have to pay for only what your organization needs.

3. Improving your in-house team – While a vCISO handles the strategic responsibilities of your company’s cybersecurity tasks, you can fully utilize your in-house staff. The vCISO may even train your security team to formulate and implement solid cybersecurity strategies.

Moreover, while the vCISO would be handling all the complex strategic tasks, your security staff can work among themselves by identifying their strengths and weaknesses or taking on other duties. Your in-house team must assist the vCISO in every job and try to gain knowledge as much as possible.

About CyberFore Systems

Hiring a virtual CISO can help you develop and strengthen the cybersecurity program of your institution. At CyberFore Systems, we offer various cybersecurity solutions, virtual CISO being one of them. Our clients choose us because of our excellent reputation in the market and the skilled experts on our team. Contact us at (832) 592-3854 or fill out our contact form for more information.