Hiring a vCISO can strike the right security resource balance as today all organisations handle sensitive information or rely on data that has value to someone, whether it be the data owner or the individuals and organisations the information is about.  We all have an obligation, and often now a regulatory requirement, to keep this data safe and secure.  Many organisations however do not have the required knowledge or people to be able to meet this increasingly important demand.

Having the right people in your team who bring experience of cyber security can no longer be something senior teams avoid investing in.  Bringing in additional senior security resource is on the agenda for many organisations this year.

Bringing a blend of both technical knowledge and real-world business experience from across a number of organisations, a virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) enables a business to have the appropriate mix of technology, processes, policies and people in place to best protect from the risks faced by all organisations.  So let’s take a more detailed look at the core benefits of having a vCISO in your organisation.

The role of a vCISO doesn’t just look at cyber security, it also facilitates growth.  A business that is protected and has dedicated resource ensuring that this protection is up to the job, enables its other functions to operate fully and dedicate themselves to their specialisms.  This ensures that the business runs as well as possible and maximises all opportunities.  We are all easily distracted by our worries and a vCISO can take some of these away allowing your teams to focus on delivery that leads to growth.

Understanding the mindset of cyber criminals takes time and experience, and as the threat landscape changes so quickly having someone in place who is immersed in that world ensures that your organisation is getting the best possible insights.  They will also direct your business in the most appropriate ways towards a cyber security strategy that will protect now and in the future.  This resource is an extension of your leadership and IT teams, which is often not achieved when an internal appointment is made as roles often sit in silos.  The vCISO can sit in multiple teams with more ease than a paid member of staff.

This sort of flexibility is invaluable in the fast moving field of cyber security, and when you couple this with affordability you have two factors that position the vCISO strongly against appointing someone who sits on the payroll full time.  This makes having highly skilled resource available a much more accessible thing for smaller organisations who can benefit from only paying when the vCISO is actually working on something for them.

A vCISO also will often be working within an organisation where there are other cyber and information security professionals who can provide expertise, perspectives and advice that an internal CISO would find harder to access.  The added benefit of working across multiple organisations and industries is of great benefit to your organisation.  This breadth and depth of experience enables the vCISO to ensure your cyber security strategy is matched with the unique needs and challenges of your business.  There is a further advantage of avoiding wasted time, that can often happen when internal teams who are wedded to the business attempt to take an objective view of the business’ risks.

Additionally, a vCISO can quickly assess your organisations position regards any regulatory demands and requirements.  Often this is a faster process for them than an employed CISO as they have a broader understanding of industry regulations having worked in multiple organisations in your sector.

Organisations who engage with a vCISO also gain a reputational benefit as they will be talking to industry bodies, professional organisations and other businesses within your sector.  Here they will be sharing what they can about their work with your organisation, showing how invested you are in ensuring a robust cyber security strategy is in place.

Reviewing the knowledge and capability levels of your incumbent team, whether that be those working in IT and security focused roles, or the wider staff team, will provide a lot of insight in to one of the strongest assets you have in terms of cyber defence.  Not only will a vCISO be able to be more objective in this work, they will also have the experience and skills to move quickly in delivering the required training across the business and also ensuing that core skills and knowledge gaps are filled.

Being from outside the organisation brings with it an additional benefit of being able to cut through any organisational culture barriers and more quickly embed a culture of security.  The main advantages here are focused around getting to a position as quickly as possible where business leaders and employees feel that they can truly own cyber and information security within the organisation, and therefore will be more deeply invested in the development and implementation of the cyber security strategy.

When the security infrastructure is in place and operating where it should be many organisations may not be able to justify the full time resource of an employed CISO, however when a cyber-attack or data breach happens they know they need immediate leadership to navigate the situation and bring the business back to working as it should be.  This is where being able to call on a retained vCISO becomes invaluable.

Soon we will be looking in more detail at the responsibilities of a vCISO and how they can align with your business needs.  If you would like to know more about how CyberScale can support you then take a look at our vCISO service or make contact for an initial conversation with us.