Cybersecurity, once almost exclusively limited to IT companies, has now become a necessity for businesses across all industries. After all, every business retains sensitive information in its electronic company files. To say nothing of the pervasive threat of data breaches, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the absolute necessity of a committed security team. As a result, many businesses are actively engaging CISOs.

A CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) encompasses a wide range of tactical and strategic tasks pertaining to security. They formulate and implement security policies, standards, and guidelines. However, with an average salary of a CISO commanding approximately $233,000.00 annually, not every business has the budget to hire one full-time.

Moreover, depending on the nature and size of the organization, you may not have enough active security initiatives to require an in-house CISO. It does not mean you should not engage them on a part-time basis, if possible.

Who Is a vCISO?

A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) is responsible for helping an organization protect its infrastructure, data, and people, including its customers. This top security expert formulates a holistic cybersecurity program by working with the organization’s management and technical teams.

A vCISO combines client knowledge and industry experience to provide cybersecurity advice and build a strategy that delivers compliance, protection, governance, and reporting.

For all small and medium-scale businesses unable to afford a full-time Security Officer, a vCISO can help bridge the gap. A virtual CISO could be a cost-effective solution to ensure your business gets the core cybersecurity protection it needs.

How Can a vCISO Benefit a Business?

Managing cybersecurity is not a one-man show. However, having some outside firepower can significantly enhance your existing cybersecurity model. Normally, organizations choose to put existing mid-level technical managers in charge of security; others consider partnering with staffing agencies to find IT managers.

The problem is that a technical manager has his or her own job responsibilities to meet and cannot influence senior management to implement wholesale security best practices.

A vCISO, on the other hand, can prove to be a valuable singular addition to the team. This senior member is responsible for establishing and maintaining the security vision and strategy of the enterprise. Although large organizations have full-time CISOs, mid-range companies can greatly benefit from virtual CISOs.

Let’s look at some ways a vCISO can benefit a business:

Improve Decision-Making

A virtual CISO can offer insight into the cybersecurity risks a business is faced with and so influence senior management to make data-driven decisions in order to mitigate long-term risks. In other words, these individuals encourage the business to focus on more than the financial risks associated with cybersecurity and less on the immediate issues that arise from unforeseen problems.

Benefit From Deep Experience

vCISOs have deep experience in designing, implementing, and managing security programs. In conjunction with their knowledge of various different industries and personal connection with vendors and other security professionals, these experts can provide extremely worthwhile and timely advice to any business.

Implement and Plan Policy

While an IT department normally has the tech stack to manage the day-to-day cybersecurity needs of a business, they lack the time and training to formulate a strategy, create policies and manage/monitor risks. Here, a vCISO can bridge the gap between knowledge and technologies to create, plan and implement security controls.

Boost Efficiencies

A vCISO can reduce the burden of full-time resources by performing activities such as penetration testing, scanning vulnerabilities, and developing employee training and awareness programs. They can create efficiencies across the enterprise. Other than doing the heavy lifting, vCISOs can also guide your in-house staff as they identify strengths and weaknesses within your team and offer mentorship.

Meet Regulatory Compliance

A vCISO can help to unravel the intricacies of compliance. From creating a brand-new compliance program to fine-tuning the existing policies, they have the skills and expertise to perform both jobs.

A Cost-Effective Solution to Meet Security Needs

Finding a CISO that’s a perfect fit for your business is a task in itself. You might have to stretch and revise your talent acquisition strategy framework to find the right resource. But once you do, onboarding this candidate full-time requires a significant outlay of the company budget. On the other hand, a vCISO can reduce the payroll implications dramatically.

Most companies have their immediate and urgent security measures covered; in general, they often need a bit more assistance to cover any gaps, such as gathering security policies, standards, and guidelines in advance of a risk assessment. A virtual CISO can bridge this gap effectively.


vCISOs are becoming a must-have requirement of organizations of every scope and scale. A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer could be a brilliant solution for enhancing the security infrastructure of your organization and freeing up the capacity of your in-house team to perform their usual responsibilities. Working with a staffing agency comprised of a team of IT and mortgage recruiters can help you find and source these experts.

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