Security is a critical concern for organizations in about every industry because of its complexity and fast evolvement. Threats and vulnerabilities to the protection of information are increasing, and businesses continue to struggle with the evolving security regulations and landscape.
Unfortunately, data breaches and security incidents are becoming commonplace in business today. According to Forbes, there have been 300 data breaches that involved the theft of 100,000 or more records over the past ten years.
Related statistics further revealed that 43 percent of cyberattacks target small and medium-sized businesses. Interestingly, about 60 percent of small businesses that are victims of data breaches go out of business within six months. A report by Fundera indicated that cybercrime costs small and medium organizations more than $2.2 million annually.
This is primarily because smaller organizations do not have the financial resources necessary to appoint a full-time chief information security officer (CISO) to oversee their cybersecurity plan. A Bitglass study revealed that 38 percent of Fortune 500 companies do not have CISO, which demonstrates a lack of lasing commitment to cybersecurity.
Additionally, the study added that 52 percent of these organizations do not have any language on their websites about how they protect the data of clients and partners. As data breaches continue to cost organizations millions, decrease stock prices, harm a myriad of stakeholders, and incite executive turnover, the need to appoint relevant leadership to prioritize proper cybersecurity is becoming more apparent.
Perhaps one of the most cost-effective ways to begin a proactive approach to cybersecurity is to opt for a professional vCiso service. Similar to a typical CISO, a vCiso service provider guides the executive team on how the company needs to adhere to security requirements to do business in the industry.
Nevertheless, choosing a vCiso helps the organization stave off the steep salary of an executive and their benefits without undermining the level of services provided. By opting for a vCiso service provider, organizations can have entry to immediate talent to minimize cybersecurity vulnerabilities and remediate the adverse effects.
Unlike CISOs who are always in need of training, vCiso service providers keep themselves updated with progressive advancements in the technology sphere to ensure that they are in pace with emerging threats. Plus, vCiso also provides businesses to choose the appropriate service level from its wide range of offerings and terminate the relationship at any phase if their needs are not reached.
Moreover, vCiso service providers also need lesser time to get acquainted with a particular setting because of their extensive experience in various industry sectors. This helps your organization become more exposed to opportunities that are not available to CISOs who are usually limited to isolated verticals.
The security information gathered by a vCiso from each different business landscape is a sign of continuous growth and top-notch expertise in tackling new threats. Usually, they collect complete knowledge of the risk tolerance, business model, and company objects before establishing an appropriate strategy for a particular environment.
These security professionals also understand business information and the crucial data the company is trying to protect. They usually view business operations from security versus risk perspective and employ controls to reduce risk and business disruptions.
Usually, organizations that consider the services of a vCiso need supplemental expertise to fill gaps in their data security program. They may also need an advisor that could help them navigate the sophisticated environment of cybersecurity and ensure that they can scale as their business grows.
Security vulnerabilities have been much more aggressive in the past few years. Only 157 data breaches with at least 85 million total records exposed were reported in the U.S. roughly 15 years ago, but it had sharply increased to 1,579 in 2017.
The role of a vCiso grows in importance with every incident, vulnerability, and security breach that occurs. More specifically, the virtual CISO responsibilities include the following:
Determine Proper Security Frameworks
Security frameworks are established to assist organizations in bolstering their security posture. These frameworks provide business partners and their IT security with a baseline that makes it quicker to report improvements and a standard set of practices to follow.
Initially, the vCiso assesses the organization to come up with a series of agreed, documented, and understood policies, processes, and procedures that define how information is managed. This helps lower risks and vulnerability and increases the confidence of your customers and stakeholders in a digitally-connected environment.
At present, there are approximately 250 unique security frameworks used worldwide and developed to suit an extensive range of sectors and businesses. Among the most common security frameworks used by organizations are the International Standards Organization (ISO), Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT), and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Other than common frameworks, there are also a plethora of industry-specific standards regulations like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), and the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Adopting these security frameworks will help organizations achieve full compliance and avoid bad press due to data breaches. vCiso service providers also ensure that your business avoids hefty penalties that could cripple its financial stability and return on investments.
Establish Strategy and Implementation of Information Security
Organizations in the digital age can no longer depend on disconnected security tools to avoid emerging security threats. The establishment of a multidimensional and proactive strategy for securing information and your organization’s IT infrastructure is becoming more common in creating a sound cybersecurity strategy.
More often than not, a seasoned vCiso service provider will begin the process by performing threat assessment to define, recognize, and classify the security holes in the infrastructure of an organization. This process may also require the knowledge in collecting the data and creating a detailed vulnerability evaluation that will serve as a guide to the implementation of effective countermeasures that can tackle a growing threat landscape.
By establishing and implementing strategies and policies, vCiso can reflect the risk appetite of top-level management and serve to create a connected security mindset within an organization. The primary objective when drafting an information security policy is to give relevant direction and value to the members within an organization.
In most cases, information security policies are drafted for topics such as change management, acceptable use of company chattels, access controls, personnel security, physical access, and passwords. Through this process, a vCiso service provider can provide a clear outline of the responsibilities of every employee concerning cybersecurity.
What is more, vCiso service providers can also explain how policy exceptions are managed to avoid risks. They also review and update security policies to ensure that it can still combat evolving threats and ensure complete safety of the organization’s infrastructure.
Define Security Budgets and Communicate Goals
Another essential responsibility of a vCiso is to optimize the allocation of financial resources to ensure that organizations can maximize their return on security investment. Initially, the vCiso service provider will thoroughly examine the data, systems, and other business assets that are valuable and potentially in danger of cyberattacks.
The findings of the evaluation will serve as the foundational guide to the goals and budget recommendations of the security programs. The general models can assist vCiso service providers in creating priorities and recognize gaps particular to specific organizations.
vCisos also work with executives and board of directors to ensure that the security budget is directly aligned with the goals and objectives of the business. This goes beyond maintaining regulatory compliance and protecting business information, but instead, tackles the available opportunities to use security funding to bolster revenue and accomplish enhanced productivity and risk mitigation.
These vCiso service providers also need to ensure that technical concepts are communicated effectively to members of the organization for proper guidance and complete understanding. This helps members who have no background regarding information security to not only get up to speed with the latest threats but also pose questions that could further enhance the cybersecurity initiatives of the organization.
Furthermore, vCisos help organizations define the acceptable level of risks in their infrastructure to make it easier to prioritize and tackle urgent security issues. They are usually characterized based on probability and the impact of a particular risk in the daily operations of your business.
Review and Change Current Internal Security Controls
vCiso service providers perform security control reviews as well to guarantee that the security risks are appropriately managed. Reviews help acquire a quality-assured process to strengthen implementation, recognize gaps in the current security infrastructure, and, more importantly, provide the necessary recommendations to fulfill the requirement of a secured system.
During the review, the vCiso typically classify controls to multiple categories, particularly detective, preventive, and corrective controls. Each specific command assumes a critical role in responding and minimizing the extent of damage of every attack to the infrastructure of an organization.
Reviewing internal security controls does not only ensure compliance, but it will also help organizations ensure that their security is not being compromised unknowingly. It also assists you in finding out the loopholes within your infrastructure so that you can invest in only those security devices, which are of high priority for the network, thus, reducing overhead.
Reviews are also essential in enhancing the business relationship with clients and stakeholders as it shows them that the security of their information is your main priority. More than anything else, it enables you to keep an eye on the most innovative methods of attacks as well so that you can find the necessary solutions to evade these threats.
Conduct Electronic Discovery and Digital Forensic Investigations
As businesses and individuals continue to rely on various digital means to store their information, having a vCiso to ensure the security of these data is paramount. Unlike any other security professional, a vCiso from RSI Security go beyond what is required as they not only collect and identify data but also analyze, preserve, and report information that is critical to the cybersecurity plan of the organization.
By performing an electronic discovery procedure, a vCiso can make it easier for business personnel to access the necessary information utilized by a business or an individual through file storage and program managers. This is incredibly useful when the information needed involves easily accessible files like databases, documents, and emails.
Aside from electronic discovery, vCiso service providers can also take an in-depth look at business data through a digital forensics investigation. Among the data that can be recovered using digital forensics include wiping software, deleted information, or even hidden files.
Hypothesize Future Compliance and Security Changes
Change is constant in a highly-regulated environment. Almost every year, some public policy changes could directly affect how a particular organization should run its operations.
Among the virtual CISO responsibilities is to be flexible enough to anticipate compliance and security changes and ensure the effective restructuring and implementation of strategies. By increasing their involvement of change through a willingness to taking in new data, business leaders can gain a distinct advantage over their competitors who tend to isolate themselves.
Generally, the vCiso service provider will perform the necessary evaluations to ensure that the organization is aware of their current situation and understand the required changes needed to stay compliant with government regulations. By complying with these standards, organizations are not only able to avoid emerging threats but also promote a lasting relationship with their customers and business partners.
Bringing in a vCiso that has the expertise with your organization style, the marketplace, and tools as the organization changes can take businesses into greater heights. They come with a wealth of knowledge and have a lot of experience with security, which makes it easier for them to hit the ground running the moment they are signed up.
Having a strong vCiso is an essential task in an overall strategy to protect business and critical information effectively. Get in touch with an expert at RSI Security today and find out what they can do to keep your organization secure.