The importance of ensuring an organization assigns the right people to protect itself is becoming more apparent with the continuous rise of security threats and cyberattacks. Recent trends and cybersecurity statistics from Riskbased revealed that over four billion business records were exposed in the opening half of last year.
Additionally, industry experts predict that the cybersecurity damage is expected to reach the $6 trillion mark by 2021, which is more than the losses caused by drug trafficking. This is primarily because of the higher levels of internet connectivity between businesses and insufficient enterprise-wide security.
Moreover, the increase in cyberattacks can also be attributed to the growing interest of stolen credentials within the dark web. Statistics further indicate that the global impact of cybercrime has surged past $3 trillion, making it more profitable than the global trade in heroin, cocaine, and marijuana combined.
This is why organizations are now spending an extensive amount of resources in the hopes of staving off cyberattacks that could potentially ruin their operations. Numbers show that global spending on cybersecurity services will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively over the five years from 2017 to 2021.
Unfortunately, Cybersecurity Ventures reported that while organizations continue to spend more financial resources on security, they usually often spend it in shady areas. A 2017 Thales Data Threat report indicated that 26 percent of organizations experienced a data breach despite spending a significant amount of money in cybersecurity.
More often than not, organizations spend their money on the same solutions that have worked for them in the past but are not necessarily most effective in preventing emerging threats. This is why every business needs to opt for a virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCiso) to establish and manage a security plan that will put them in a better position as threats continue to evolve.
In general, vCisos are outsourced security providers or practitioners who offer their expertise and insight into an organization continuously. They usually lead staff in establishing a comprehensive strategy for the protection of the enterprise information assets while ensuring business continuity more economically.
A vCiso service provider will be responsible for determining how information security affects legal requirements as well to ensure that the organization complies with internal and external policies. Unlike the typical Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), a vCiso provider enables businesses to save high costs in their cybersecurity spending without jeopardizing the overall safety of their IT environment.
In most cases, opting for CISO services can costs an organization up to $250,000 per year, depending on the experience and expertise of an individual. On the contrary, vCiso services businesses with the same level of knowledge as they would expect from a full-time CISO without the steep investment of executive compensation and their associated benefits package.
vCiso service providers provide immediate value as well because their experience and skills working with multiple organizations can give organizations complete flexibility to align their security initiatives with business goals. They are typically well-versed to a broad range of enterprise networks and understand the unique challenges and threats of different organizations.
Other than that, a vCiso provider also limits turnover rates by providing proven methodologies that help guarantee that expertise is sustained during the transition of new employees. While different vCisos offer unique skill sets, a considerable amount should be able to cover a plethora of tasks that include tactical and strategic operations.
These security professionals are usually at the forefront of helping an organization pull together standards, guidelines, and security policies, which could entail anything from coming to grips with PCI-DSS or HIPAA compliance to remaining on top of vendor risk assessment. What is more, vCiso service providers also help organizations procure solutions, remediate incidents, set security strategies, and establish foundations in place for ISO 9001 and 27001 compliance.
Plus, the demand for vCisos has never been more significant with the range of new cybersecurity standards that organizations have to follow. Common regulatory standards like HIPAA and PCI-DSS are now joined by bold and modern privacy and security regulations like the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which changes how consumers view the company’s responsibility to safeguard data.
While a significant part of GDPR is out of the vCiso’s control, these security professionals can usually perform a data protection impact evaluation on your data systems and provide expert opinions required to reach compliance. By complying with the regulatory standards mentioned above, businesses can create a lasting relationship with their stakeholders and clients as well as avoid hefty penalties or bad press that could be detrimental to the reputation of the organization.
Another service that vCisos could bring is to help organizations with setting up a bring-your-own-device policy and enforcement or even supervising the relationship between the board and its stakeholders about security matters. More specifically, a vCiso service provider’s role is to provide expert security guidance through the following aspects.
- Understanding and managing the strategy and business environment of an organization
- Performing threat assessments and strategy updates in real-time to combat emerging threats
- Anticipating compliance and security challenges
- Managing analyst, mid-level, and engineering teams
- Detection, triage, restitution, and assessment of threats
- Lead security pieces of training and awareness
- Conduct security architectural review and health check
- Develop and review security policies and ensure security governance
- Provide reasonable key performance indicators and write comprehensive security reports that are easy to understand.
In other words, a vCiso service provider can shoulder strategic responsibilities and allow you to assign your in-house team to urgent revenue-generating matters. Plus, vCisos usually do not need any extensive training and can ring up the curtain on, therefore, reducing onboarding time and ensuring maximum productivity.
Signs you need vCiso Services
The need for vCisos is becoming more apparent across many industries, including insurance, marketing, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and technology. Usually, organizations opt for vCiso services in the hopes of solving two problems, which include time and money. Besides that, here are signs your organization needs vCiso services from RSI Security.
1. Customers Tell You
Customers are getting smarter than ever with the evolution of technology. Their connection to extensive amounts of data enables them to weigh all their options before deciding to do business with an organization.
This is why businesses need to opt for a vCiso to put the customers’ minds at ease. The vCiso service provider can implement a cybersecurity program that highlights your organization’s security and ensure that excellent penetration test results, security reports, or even Soc 2 certifications are put in the best possible light to drive more leads.
vCiso service providers usually provide cost-effective tools that will enable your business to answer the most challenging security questions from customers. This is because the firm has the appropriate industry-specific protections and information in a place that is necessary to be credible in a highly-regulated business environment.
While your technical security personnel might be able to tackle some of the current security issues, a vCiso service provider is more than likely to be able to address all of them at once. Plus, vCisos are also armed with strong customer and management skills that are essential in breaking down technical concepts into digestible and understandable language for customers and stakeholders to understand.
2. Continuous Demand from Mergers and Acquisitions
An experienced vCiso service provider will minimize the risk inherent in the process involving a mergers and acquisitions deal. It is worth noting that the dirty laundry of cybersecurity can often stop or radically change the terms of an acquisition. Opting for a vCiso service provider help ensures that the security of your organization is in order so that an acquisition or merger can move forward smoothly.
On the flip side, if you are acquiring a business, you need to make sure you understand all the risks of the organization you are purchasing. A vCiso can perform threat assessments and provide you with expert insights that could help you make an educated decision.
3. Regulators Require It
There are standards and regulations such as the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Cybersecurity Regulation, which require organizations to have a qualified CISO in their team. If regulators need you to hire a CISO, but a full-time employee is too logistically challenging or expensive to put in place immediately, a vCiso might meet the requirements of your regulators quickly.
A vCiso service provider can also lighten the regulatory burden and make the organization appear better to an extensive range of outsiders. By opting for vCiso services, organizations can have a comprehensive look at the big picture and put together a detailed plan for cybersecurity and guarantee its implementation.
They also work on the development of a comprehensive strategy, threat assessment, and prevention. These security professionals also manage all the relevant teams, evaluate the structure of the organization, and remediate all threats related to business operations.
Furthermore, vCiso service providers also offer an excellent resource to make sure that everything is provided for in terms of auditing, compliance, risk management, data protection, cybersecurity, and operations protection.
What to Look for a vCiso Service Provider?
Finding a vCiso service provider is not an easy task, but with more business leaders realizing the value of having an executive-level information security position and cybersecurity laws like the NYDFS requiring it, finding a qualified individual is paramount. After all, a vCiso helps fill the gaps during a planned data security policy review and ensures that the enterprise maintains its competitiveness in the market.
Excellent vCiso service providers typically have a superb combination of technical and business skills that allow for competent guidance and contributions with both the executive and IT management. A top-notch vCiso should be able to translate technical strategies and challenges into business terms promptly.
Technically-speaking, vCisos should have specialized certifications such as Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) among others. They also need to have memberships from forums like CISO, ISSA, OWASP, and ISACA to ensure credibility further.
A great vCiso service provider should also be able to understand that they have to allow the organization to do what they need to do in a reasonably safe way. Top-class vCisos align their programs with the purpose and mission values of the organization to assure that business leaders are culturally aware and can make educated decisions under pressure.
vCiso service providers should also be able to prioritize and evaluate appropriate chattels that need to be protected. They must be able to convey those threats in terms that boards can have a complete idea of where to allocate the necessary resources.
It is also the role of a vCiso service provider to recognize and employ the right controls to prepare or respond to incidents. More than anything else, a vCiso provider must possess excellent communication skills so that they can provide easy-to-digest comprehensive reports and ensure that the board of directors fully understand information security.
Combining this skill with the traits mentioned above, a vCiso service provider can leverage their expertise in building lasting relationships with the executives. Over time, their connection with the board can turn into something more open, frank, and honest.
This will subsequently result in the board putting more into trust requests, strategies, and suggestions made by a vCiso service provider. While this does not happen overnight, an excellent vCiso needs to be patient and have the right personality that will enable your organization to establish trust in the long run.
While there is no universal standard for hiring a vCiso, finding someone who is up to speed on the latest best practices with experience in penetration testing, risks assessments, and other vital services are essential in drafting a strategic security plan.
Organizations with access to personal consumer information or regulated industries are the best candidates for a vCiso. Do not wait until a breach occurs and talk to an expert at RSI Security today to find out the best option for your organization.