And what are the benefits of having one?
The budget needed to keep a qualified, full-time CISO is beyond what a lot of startups can afford. Security should definitely be a high priority, but it’s not cost-effective to take money out of development, marketing, and sales, to pay for a single role to be filled. In addition to the steep salary, an in-house CISO will require a sizable budget to achieve the points on his or her agenda. Overall, even if you can find a proven CISO who’s available, the costs are simply too high. vCISO services give you immediate access to elite cybersecurity professionals who can bring your business what it needs at a dramatically reduced cost.
What is a vCISO?
A virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) is a team or individual with high-level cybersecurity expertise that you can procure to design and support your security programs. The vCISO works with your existing security management structure to achieve measurable improvements in your security posture, which you can then leverage in attracting new leads and closing new deals.
What does a vCISO do?
An experienced vCISO will start with an analysis of your existing security system. This evaluation identifies weaknesses in the system and gives the vCISO a foundation to start from. From there, the vCISO will work with your management and technical teams to address cybersecurity challenges and achieve compliance. If existing practices are outdated or ineffective, your vCISO will direct your in-house information security teams and engage with executive management to set new privacy and security policies and standards. He or she will also carry out risk assessments to determine the strength of your operational security.
What does a vCISO not do?
A vCISO is not a cybersecurity program manager. They do not implement and execute your cybersecurity system or any of its functions. Your vCISO is a top-tier cybersecurity professional who is engaged to assess your cybersecurity system and design solutions for any inadequacies that might be making your business or your clients vulnerable, inhibiting business growth, or preventing compliance.
The Benefits of vCISO
The primary and most obvious benefit of working with a vCISO is the unbeatable expertise you’ll be able to leverage to increase the value of your company with better cybersecurity and certified compliance. Security is too important to be managed as a secondary role by the CTO or VP R&D. Your clients and prospects expect a higher level of prioritization for your security procedures and programs. Independent cybersecurity experts are familiar with the challenges of managing information security across a wide range of sectors and industries.
The ability to carry out assessments, analyses, and communication remotely dramatically reduces the cost of CISO services compared to hiring and training an in-house CISO. The average salary of a CISO in the U.S. is $229,480 with benefits. Avoiding that expense enables you to optimize your cybersecurity program while making a decent return via increased leads and sales.
The experience and expertise of your vCISO enable him or her to get familiar with your system more quickly and begin directing improvements to your programs and procedures much faster than what could be achieved with in-house team training. The speed of vCISO services improved ROI with reduced startup times and reduced time to compliance.
Increase Team Value
Your teams will work closely with your vCISO, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and experience that will continue to provide value to your company long after your vCISO service arrangement ends. Your vCISO can also identify weaknesses within your team where more training might be needed. Throughout your service arrangement with your vCISO, your in-house team will have additional time to spend on other tasks.
Is vCISO right for your business?
If you’re a startup without an in-house, specialized cybersecurity team, an established business that struggles to obtain or maintain security compliance certifications, or if you need to be able to prove to your clients and prospects that you take security seriously, a vCISO could be the best solution for optimizing your security practices. Engage a vCISO service if you require security, but you don’t have either the time or the money to establish professional-level cybersecurity programs and practices on your own.
Industries That Commonly Utilize vCISO
Any business that deals with client or customer information should have a level of cybersecurity that is adequate for the type of information. A vCISO can help you determine the appropriate strength of your security and the path to achieving and maintaining that strength, along with any certifications required in your industry.