Published on April 7th, 2021 📆 | 3806 Views ⚑0
What Is A Virtual CISO? Does Your Business Need It?
Virtual CISO is a new trend in the business world. We are working in a digital world where organizations host several TBs of information that is both sensitive and confidential. Due to the value it holds for competitors and cybercriminals, information needs to be protected. For some time now, companies have been hiring for the role of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to establish and maintain the company’s data protection strategies and execute them to protect all the information and assets surrounding the various technologies used by the company. But, owing to remote working, many organizations have now started to shift towards a virtual CISO.
What Is A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer?
A vCISO is a security professional who uses their cybersecurity and industry experience to help businesses develop and manage the execution of the company’s information security program. Virtual CISO also helps in forming the company’s security strategy. The organization’s existing internal security staff will report to work in ordinance with the vCISO and their team to carry on a strong security program. Additionally, a virtual CISO is also expected to present the security strategy to the board, executive teams, auditors, and regulators.
The Role Of A Virtual CISO
In an organization, vCISOs can provide value by helping the overall information security program in the following aspects:
Information security planning and management
Organizational and management structure
Initiatives affecting information practices
Security risk management procedures
Evaluation of third parties with access to the company’s data
Coordination of audits by regulators
The Growing Need For A Virtual CISO
Companies are hiring virtual CISOs because of the amount of data that is being produced during a normal business day. But the growth in demand is due to the following reasons:
1. Cybersecurity is a big concern: With the rise in cyberattacks, data breaches, and cybersecurity threats, organizations are investing more to safeguard their data and intellectual assets. In order to formulate a comprehensive set of regulations, organizations are opting for vCISOs instead of a CISO to eliminate the process of hiring.
2. CISOs are expensive: According to salary reports, CISOs cost companies around $200,000 a year. CISOs are important and not every organization can afford to shell out so much. A virtual CISO allows companies to avoid the expense of hiring one in-house, full-time professional and only pay for the service.
3. Virtual CISOs have more experience: A vCISO has experience in implementing information security programs for diverse clients ranging across industries and business sizes, resulting in improved efficiency and accurate regulations.
4. Virtual CISOs can work from anywhere: Instead of hiring someone locally or paying for their move, vCISOs work as consultants from anywhere, giving the company more flexibility.
5. Virtual CISOs can adhere to the scope: Not every company will need the same information security services. Hence, vCISOs can alter the way they work according to the varying scope of businesses.
Responsibilities Of A Virtual CISO
If you are looking to shift from a CISO to a vCISO or looking for an information security officer for the first time, consider these responsibilities of a vCISO.
Alter the existing strategies: Whether you are replacing your CISO with a virtual one or using the services for the first time, an experienced vCISO can provide valuable insights in reviewing the current cybersecurity strategies.
Develop an efficient cybersecurity program for smaller organizations: Small and medium-sized businesses cannot often afford to hire a full-time CISO. A vCISO does the job and works part-time to provide a mature cybersecurity program that would otherwise not be possible for the business to come up with.
Forming the right budget: A right budget can extend the flexibility of a company and remove unnecessary limitations. A virtual CISO can help organizations of every size by altering their current budgets and identify more ways to efficiently spend it and create a more secure program.
Does Your Business Need A Virtual CISO?
Now that you know the responsibilities and the benefits that a virtual CISO brings to the table, here is a checklist to see if a vCISO is a good fit for your company.
Your company has sensitive information
There’s a limited budget
Your business requires tailor-made information security programs
Your organization requires a specific skill set
If you nodded your head for all the above points, opt for the virtual CISO service. Start off and see if there is a need for internal support from the executive teams or the board. If you find the need for additional support along with the vCISO, then work towards hiring a full-time CISO to complete the work.
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