What is a vCISO and does my business need one?

Posted on 06/01/2020

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As cyber crime becomes an increasing concern within the business landscape, it’s more important than ever for organisations to ensure their security is in safe hands. Recruiting a dedicated security professional is not only time-consuming, but can also far exceed the budgets of many businesses. A vCISO offers the perfect solution.

What is a vCISO?

A vCISO – also known as a virtual Chief Information Security Officer – is an external security professional who works as an extension of an organisation’s security resource. They are responsible for managing and implementing cyber risk procedures, defences and compliance standards.

In most cases, working with a vCISO is more cost-effective than hiring an in-house information security department and provides an increased level of protection to minimise the risk of a cyber attack.


What does a vCISO do?

The tasks handled by a vCISO will vary from business to business, depending on your unique requirements. However, a vCISO’s tasks will generally include:

  • Managing and developing security policies, guidelines, procedures and standards
  • Testing and evaluating current protection to make recommendations for improvement
  • Educating and advising executive management and key stakeholders
  • Providing guidance on the appropriate regulatory compliance
  • Running risk assessments to manage ongoing threats
  • Ensuring a comprehensive incident response plan is in place to protect against attacks


Benefits of working with a vCISO

Save on costs

When you calculate the cost of hiring an in-house security professional – including the hiring process, their salary, benefits and development – it can work out pretty steep.

The world of cyber security is fast-paced and keeping a cyber security professionals’ knowledge up-to-date requires huge financial commitment. Without ongoing training and accreditation, your team will quickly fall short of the skills they need to protect your organisation.

By working with a vCISO, this commitment sits with the vCISO’s own employer, so you can rest easy you’re protected from the latest threats and attacks without the full associated costs.

Besides, not all companies need a full-time CISO staff member, so working with a vCISO is a much more suitable option if this is the case.

Expertise at your fingertips

vCISOs have advanced expertise and experience, allowing them to make informed and calculated decisions about your information and security strategy.

They will get to know the ins and outs of your organisation and its requirements, so they can develop a comprehensive defence strategy to detect and mitigate from threats.

In most cases, a vCISO will be working within a Managed Security Service Provider. This means they’ll have access to a team of fellow security experts, offering an extended resource of experience and knowledge when needed.

Plus, they’ll provide that all-important rationale to key stakeholders within your organisation.


With the demands on modern businesses constantly changing, the ability to adapt and respond to changes quickly is critical – especially when it comes to cyber security.

As your business grows and develops, so will your security requirements. A vCISO will develop a thorough understanding of your business and will tailor their service in line with your changing priorities and needs, allowing you to up or down-scale as required.

Objective independence

Although a vCISO will be working closely alongside you, they’ll still be an external source. This means their advice and guidance will be objective, ensuring your organisation’s best interest runs at the core of everything they do.


Is a vCISO right for my business?

As the threats of the cyber world continue to worsen, vCISOs are quickly becoming a popular choice for businesses of all size and sector. From technology and marketing to retail and healthcare, using a vCISO for information security can dramatically improve protection and defence against an attack or breach

As well as saving on time and money, companies using a vCISO are benefiting from advanced protection that is well beyond the realm of their internal security professionals. Bringing in a vCISO can accelerate incident response and other security-related processes to make sure the job is done quickly and effectively.


Why choose Air Sec?

Air Sec’s vCISO and consultancy provides specialist security knowledge and experience to help prevent, detect and mitigate from the very latest modern threats.

To find out more, visit our cyber security consultancy page and contact an expert today.

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