• October 12, 2023
  • Catagory Security

Augment Your Security Expertise with a vCISO

By : Justin Folkerts

Small and medium-sized businesses rarely have a large C-suite, let alone an exec dedicated to security, but a virtual chief information security office (vCISO) is an affordable way to bolster your ability to deal with cybersecurity threats.

Tapping the expertise of a vCISO can complement your IT team, which is likely a small group of people who wear many different hats. As a part-time consultant with full-time security experience, a vCISO can work with you, usually via your managed service provider (MSP), and has a dedicated focus on improving and managing your cybersecurity.

An MSP with a focus on security will always start their engagement with a security assessment, and that’s where an vCISO can first step into their part-time role. The assessment by your MSP will help it find the right person to manage security in the context of your business, including your existing expertise and skills.

What makes a vCISO an affordable option for smaller, leaner organizations is that you can purchase their time based on your business needs. You may pay them hourly, or for a set number of days a week or month – like cloud services, a vCISO can scale their availability up or down as needed. They can be on-site or virtual, or a mix of both.

No matter how many hours they work, a vCISO always brings with them a great deal of cybersecurity expertise as well as knowledge from across different industries, which they can apply to the realities of your business. You get a fresh set of eyes assessing your security posture through the lens of risk management. A vCISO will spot issues that may have eluded your IT team because they’re busy in the trenches every day.

By engaging a vCISO, you have access to an experienced executive without the high annual salary of a full-time CISO. Working with your MSP to onboard a vCISO also eliminates all the time and expense of finding someone to take the role. Competing for cybersecurity talent is especially challenging today.

Most of all, a vCISO allows you take a long-term, strategic approach to your security so that you’re always re-evaluating your posture, oversee incidence response and disaster recovery planning, and adjust in response to a dynamic threat landscape.