You can’t overemphasize the importance of cybersecurity leadership in your organization. All over the globe, news stories about data security breaches are on the rise. With cybercrime being on the increase, it is pertinent to put the cybersecurity of your organization in effective hands. Today, many websites containing restricted data are getting hacked by cybercriminals.
A 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report predicts cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion every year by 2021. It also stated that these cybercrime costs include the destruction of companies’ data, fraud, hacked financial and personal information, and embezzlement. As a result of this, new government regulations and policies are being implemented on a constant basis. Organizations and individuals are also expected to protect their personal and companies’ data at all costs.
As advised by Cybersecurity ventures, failure to protect your company against cybersecurity breach can have disastrous damages on the reputation of the progress of your organization. Yet, many businesses and organizations struggle with hiring an in-house, full-time chief information security officer (vCISO) due to budget constraints.
Have you considered hiring a virtual chief information security officer (vCISO)? A vCISO is an excellent virtual security resource your organization can opt for to secure and protect data, assets, and customers. Find out why your organization needs a virtual chief information security officer in this helpful article. Read on to learn more.
Who is a vCISO?
A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (VCISO) is a third-party individual that performs the same duties as an organization’s in-house Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Employing the services of a vCISO is more cost-effective than employing an in-house security executive. Asides this, vCISOs are also often more experienced in the cybersecurity industry.
A vCISO functions as the security leader for an organization and handles the security affairs of an organization either for a short-term contract or a long-term engagement.
Such individuals have the responsibility of formulating a cybersecurity blueprint for an organization. They also provide strategic security guidelines and lead the implementation of an organization’s security efforts.
Core Tasks Handled By a vCISO
Specific duties handled by vCISOs will vary depending on job requirements and contract agreement. Although vCISOs work independently, they will report to top company leadership. There are several tasks a vCISO performs; however, the ten tasks listed below are the most important ones.
- Direct and approve the framework of security systems.
- Ensure that contingency, disaster recovery and business continuity plans are tested and put in place.
- Review and approve security policies, controls, and cyber incident response planning.
- Provide materials for the security awareness, training and education of in-house security team members.
- Act as an advisor for security risk management and control, as well as incident response based on their expertise.
- Review and/or assist with the development of strategies, standard practices, and procedures for cybersecurity.
- Perform compliance-based assessments of various security functions.
- Provide expertise on regulatory and statutory requirements as they relate to security.
- Provide timely and detailed reports of information security and risk-management processes to top organization officials.
- Communicate best practices of cybersecurity to the organization and updating the security strategy with new technologies.
Benefits Of Hiring A Virtual Chief Information Security (vCISO)
There is no brainer in the fact that a virtual information security officer can help protect your company’s customer data, financial information, and database from the raging security breaches happening around the world every day.
Here are the benefits of hiring a vCISO in your organization:
1. Expertise and Core Competencies
vCISOs are individuals who have ten or more years of experience and expertise in cybersecurity. Usually, they have worked with and in various industries as security leaders and have amassed a variety of industry-recognized certifications.
This expertise is what a vCISO brings to the table when employed. A good vCISO will also come with already established relationships with other security experts, vendors, and industry leaders that will help them perform at their best.
With hands-on experience, they are able to make security decisions that will help your company’s progress. vCISOs also act as mentors to your security team and assist in the implementation and execution of security strategies.
Today, cybersecurity specialists often negotiate six-figure salaries, and a host of other benefits, because of the high demand for their services. If you’re lucky enough to find a professional cybersecurity expert, organizations are expected to pay premium costs for whatever services an in-house CISO is to render.
In fact, according to data culled from Payscale, in the month of February 2019, the median annual salary of a CISO was between $107k and $265k, while base pay was around $105k and $225k (excluding bonuses and profit-sharing earnings). However, this pay depends on where your company is based. It may even cost more to find the right person with the right skill set who is ready immediately to start the job.
With that being said, a number of organizations may not have this budget or even need a full-time CISO. For vCISOs, cut out the cost of benefits plus the process of going through any full onboarding requirements, which saves you time and resources. Most importantly, you only pay for what you need, because vCISOs work on a per-hour retainer basis.
3. Reduced Business Risk and Flexibility to Work on Projects as Needed
Whatever the size of your company, regulatory requirements, as well as risks involved, the role of a vCISO is scalable and adjustable. An average vCISO has a vast network of professionals and experts, so they can expand their team, if necessary, depending on the security needs of your company. But for a full-time CISO, you are locked in a long-term commitment and payroll costs, they will always be on staff, whether providing value or just business needs.
The operation of a virtual chief security officer is dynamic, based on various needs of the organization. Depending on whatever commitment agreed upon, a vCISO’s commitment ends when his work in your organization is complete. Also, the time commitment of a vCISO can vary from just a couple of hours in a week or more, depending on the amount of work needed to be done.
If more work is to be done, vCISOs tap into their network of relationships and scale. Recruiting and training your own team for more work is extremely expensive and time-demanding.
4. Improving Your In-House Team
With a vCISO handling the strategic responsibilities of your company’s cybersecurity affairs, you are now free to fully utilize your in-house team. The vCISO may decide to train your security team members on proper implementation and execution of whatever strategies he has developed. You can go ahead to allocate budget to train them in-house or allocate it for much-needed improvements in your company.
As the virtual chief information security officer handles the heavy lifting, in-house security staff can identify their strengths and weaknesses as they assist the vCISO in whatever capacity a vCISO requires. Hiring a vCISO can also help free up the workload of some of the in-house team, which will enable them to take on other duties.
5. Objective Independence
The main objective of a vCISO is to provide you whatever is agreed upon. No more, no less. They are independent of your team and your security; hence, they function with a high level of commitment and responsibility. Virtual CISOs are not burdened by company bureaucracy or office protocols, which means they get their work done on time and efficiently. As employees hired on a contract basis, they are not bound by factors that may hinder their productivity.
There are a lot of Virtual Chief Information Security Officers (vCISOs) out there to make a choice from, which means deciding who to hire may be burdensome. Besides, how do you decipher which vCISO offers the most professional services? You don’t want to go through that hassle. RSI security, as the leading cybersecurity company in the country, offers excellent vCISO services. Our vCISOs provide well-trusted services with a deep understanding of the cybersecurity needs of your organization. We will help you get the best vCISO services available out there, and ensure that your organization is up-to-date with the most modern cybersecurity information. Let’s help your organization achieve risk-management success. Learn more about the vCISO services we offer here.