What is a vCISO?

Data breaches plague organizations of all sizes. Unfortunately, statistics indicate cybercriminals have no intention of stopping their attacks. Over the last year, the cybersecurity industry has seen a resurgence of malware and increasingly sophisticated ransomware variants. Organizations facing these and other threats need skilled leadership to navigate the current cyber landscape. For many organizations, the right solution is a vCISO.

What is a vCISO?

A chief information security officer, or CISO, is responsible for his organization’s information and data security. Job responsibilities vary, depending on an organization’s needs, but CISOs typically oversee security operations and governance, while keeping up-to-date on current and developing threats. Other responsibilities include annual risk and security assessments, incident response, end-user training, and planning, buying, and installing security hardware and software.

A vCISO, sometimes referred to as a fractional CISO, is an external security professional who fulfills a traditional CISO’s role. vCISOs bring significant knowledge and experience to an organization. They help existing IT staff develop and implement comprehensive security strategies that meet compliance requirements. vCISOs are actively involved with an organization’s board and executive team, as well as regulators and auditors.

Why Hire a vCISO?

A growing number of organizations outsource security initiatives to vCISOs because they can’t afford to hire full-time CISOs. The average CISO earns between $200,000 and $250,000 per year, not including benefits. For companies with limited budgets, a vCISO is an affordable alternative. With a vCISO, you pay only for the hours worked and the services performed.

Other businesses engage vCISOs to fill the cybersecurity talent gap. With information security professionals in short supply, and CISOs in high demand, finding a qualified professional can be a difficult— and lengthy— task. A vCISO can quickly come on board, roll up her sleeves, and get to work.

Other Benefits of Hiring a vCISO

In addition to the practical reasons for turning to a vCISO to help them with their cybersecurity strategy and planning, there are numerous other benefits to hiring a vCISO.

Diverse Set of Skills

Most vCISOs have experience and expertise in a variety of industries. This means they can think outside the box and devise solutions that CISOs who have only worked in one or two industries might not consider.

Seamless Onboarding Experience

Not only does it take time to find a qualified CISO, onboarding is also time-consuming. A vCISO, on the other hand, can get to work right away. This is the perfect solution for organizations that need immediate help— even if the vCISO is just a stop-gap solution. While the company recruits a full-time CISO, a vCISO can tackle critical security and compliance weaknesses. The vCISO can also support the recruiting process and facilitate a smooth transition away from outsourcing.

Ability to Work Remotely

Unlike a CISO, who must be local, a vCISO can work from anywhere. This not only eliminates relocation expenses, it also expands the candidate pool, making more— and better— talent available. Don’t shy away from hiring non-local resources, either. vCISOs have the tools and experience to fill a CISO’s shoes competently, efficiently, and cost-effectively.

Learn How a vCISO Can Help Your Organization

As data breaches and cybersecurity incidents continue to rise, organizations need strong information security strategies, processes, and, most importantly, skilled leadership. A vCISO can build a best-in-class security program from the ground up, review and improve on existing processes, and lead your organization to a more secure future.

To learn more how a vCISO can help your organization, contact Securance Consulting today.