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Top 10 Benefits of a Virtual CISO
No company can afford to underestimate the importance of airtight cybersecurity.
Cyber-criminals continue to develop evermore sophisticated ways to attack organizations and exploit weaknesses. Global corporations invest heavily in protecting theirs and their clients’ assets, and even smaller enterprises should do the same.
Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) can make a monumental difference to an organization’s defence against risks. They are responsible for handling cybersecurity, creating strategies to reinforce systems against the most cutting-edge external threats. They need to ensure that all essential policies and procedures are in place to reduce the organization’s vulnerability.
However, bringing an in-house CISO into your office may not be viable if you lack the space and / or available funds.
Virtual CISOs are an effective, affordable alternative for businesses of all sizes, from tiny startups to international chains. Here are 10 key benefits of hiring one for your company.
1. Low-Cost Expertise
First and foremost, hiring a virtual CISO tends to be far cheaper than employing one full-time.
There are no overheads attached, no benefits to consider, no overtime or sick pay. You don’t have to pay them even when they’re sitting at their desk with nothing to do. You essentially reap all the rewards of bringing an invaluable asset into your organization without paying for anything other than their best work.
2. VCISOs Offer More Diverse Knowledge
Most virtual CISOs will possess a wealth of industry experience, having worked with numerous clients across varied sectors.
They are constantly implementing strategies to protect businesses of different sizes against changing threats, gaining valuable knowledge they can apply to your company’s security needs.
This is much more effective and reassuring than hiring a full-time, in-house CISO who may have only worked within one business environment during their career.
3. A Tighter Focus for Better Value
Your virtual CISO specializes in cybersecurity and keeping systems continually protected, developing strategies to reinforce your infrastructure. This is their core focus, their day-to-day commitment.
This is in sharp contrast to bringing an IT specialist into your company who will no doubt be expected to help other employees regain access to their computer, recover forgotten passwords, and remove low-threat malware after someone downloads something they shouldn’t.
You pay for your virtual CISO’s security expertise only, and their time is dedicated to it entirely without less-important distractions.
4. Less Disruption to Everyday Tasks
Hiring a virtual CISO will free up your employees, allowing them the time to focus on their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities without worrying about compliance or related technical issues.
This helps to ensure every department concentrates on their respective goals, free of security-related worries or tasks beyond their technical knowledge.
5. Invaluable Flexibility
Hiring a virtual CISO offers far greater flexibility than a full-time, in-house employee.
For a start, you don’t have to find a place within your company and budget for a new long-term worker. The additional costs that come with that (salary, insurance etc.) are of no concern either.
Furthermore, though, virtual CISOs will generally create tailored services for your exact needs. Perhaps you only want to hire them for a few months to see how it improves your security before committing to a multi-year arrangement. Maybe you’re planning to train your own IT specialists but need the virtual CISO to protect your company in the meantime.
Bringing a virtual CISO aboard in either of these situations is much more preferable to hiring a full-time employee and letting them go once you feel they have served their purpose.
6. Bespoke Service for your Business
Virtual CISOs are familiar with adapting to suit different companies with unique needs. While a CISO with experience within one or two businesses may be stuck in their ways and expect you to work around them, virtual specialists are happy to offer more bespoke services.
They will provide the ideal solutions for your company and processes.
7. Vital Industry Contacts
Virtual CISOs are more likely to have wide-ranging industry contacts from across their career. They tend to maintain relationships with fellow cybersecurity specialists, gain exclusive information on emerging threats, and build networks of useful connections.
Such contacts mean they will be able to learn more and gain additional support if they encounter a technical issue they haven’t seen before, enabling them to get a handle on the situation with minimal delay.
This might involve making a phone call to a thought leader or a contact on the front line of cyber-crime – solutions that in-house employees with little experience may be unable to offer.
8. Independent Expertise without Bias
In-house CISOs may be susceptible to the same distractions, petty arguments, and office politics as the rest of your workforce. This can lead them to lose focus on the task at hand and potentially develop their own agendas.
Maintaining the highest levels of security could seem less important to a disgruntled employee who feels they aren’t getting the respect they deserve. Virtual CISOs, though, tend to be completely neutral, channeling all their energy into protecting your company no matter what.
9. Minimal Disruption to your Organization
Your virtual CISO can work independently and without supervision. They will no doubt need to learn about your business and your operations, but they certainly don’t require any training or input.
They will be able to work quickly and efficiently, identifying potential vulnerabilities and updating your system for the utmost protection. Your business will be able to continue as normal without any of the time-consuming training or administrative duties involved with hiring a new full-time employee.
10. Ongoing Commitment and Quality
A CISO working as part of your in-house team will end up leaving you at one time or another, whether they are headhunted by a competitor or simply want a change. This can leave you without their expertise if you wait too long to bring a new specialist aboard, and means you have to start afresh again.
You can enjoy greater continuity and seamless service with a virtual CISO. Even if the person(s) assigned to your business leaves the company you hire, there will be no disruption – you may not even realize a change has occurred at all.
Do you have questions about working with a virtual CISO? Our expert team is here to answer them!
5 Ways a Cyber Security Consultant Can Help Your Business
Businesses are constantly burdened with the risk of security breeches. Learn how working with a cyber security consultant can alleviate those headaches.
Think only large corporations get targeted? Think again.
In 43% of cyber security events, a small business was actually targeted.
In the event of a cyber attack, your small to medium sized business (SME) could experience multi-million dollar losses in financial, operational and data breaches, as well as, reputation damage. The average SME -- even one with insurance -- would take quite a blow from this type of attack.
A cyber security consultant can help you both prevent attacks and better manage attacks that occur to protect you and your customers.
Let's explore how.
Supplementing In-House Capabilities
The skill and scope of cyber attacks is ever-increasing. Even organized crime is getting in on the action.
As regulators work to keep pace with burgeoning events, even a dedicated department, team or individual may struggle to keep up. They may be bogged down with operations.
A cyber security consultant stays up-to-date. They can get a panoramic view of your organization and its vulnerabilities. They can help keep your business safer.
A cyber security consultant will go in depth to identify weaknesses in your systems and processes.
Have you safely integrated cloud storage into your systems? How strong are your encryptions? Can transferred data be intercepted?
And potentially the most elusive of all must be addressed. How are you protecting yourself in the event of inevitable human error?
Despite your best efforts to keep systems secure, could you see any of these scenarios happening in your organization? Someone:
A consultant can help you prevent attacks, including those that result from human error or ill-intent.
Data breaches happen. This may be the last thing you want to hear a consultant say. But we'd be dishonest if we said otherwise. And we're not telling you anything that you don't know already.
The difference between $10 thousand in losses and $200 million is largely based on how your organization has invested in the risk management of security breaches.
Through risk management you can put systems in place to spot an attack sooner and limit its scope. Without a consultant, you may not be doing all you should to mitigate damage.
Cyber security consultants help you protect your customers/clients. Without them, you don't have a business.
By taking the additional steps of bringing in cyber security consultants, you demonstrate that you care about protecting those who've helped you become what you are today.
That's good for business and your customers.
Cyber security consultants know how to handle the heat of an event. They're accessible and ready to help you execute your plan to mitigate damage, comply with regulation and keep your company safe.
Get the Right Cyber Security Consultant
A consultant will help you fill in the gaps in your own security plan and develop a plan to both prevent attacks and reduce damage. For more information on how our cyber security consultants can help your company, contact us today.
Steve E. Driz, I.S.P., ITCP