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When to Hire a vCISO: 3 Signs You Should Invest in Virtual CISO Consulting Services

Posted by Ty Hollins on Jun 1, 2021 10:58:25 AM

A virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) can bring both strategic and operational leadership on security to companies that can't afford a full-time person in an executive cybersecurity role. In the midst of today’s industry-wide shortage of skilled security workers, vCISO could be the best option for finding and retaining critical security leadership. 

Although there is clear value in hiring a vCISO, the investment can be costly and labor-intensive. There are several factors informing when to hire a vCISO, and checking a few key indicators could provide a little clarity into your organization's operational needs and capabilities.

Signs You Should Hire a vCISO

If you don't have an in-house Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), you're likely lacking strategic security guidance, which could put your organization at risk of a data breach. Assess your organization for signs that CISO as a service could be a good fit.

1: You don't have the budget to hire a full-time CISO employee

As an executive-level position, a CISO can be a costly investment. Budgetary constraints may be the first consideration as your company starts shopping options for protecting your information assets and technology. Compared to a full-time CISO, virtual CISOs are typically a lesser expense to your organization. 

Besides saving some money, choosing a virtual CISO over an in-house resource could give you access to higher quality resources. Excellent CISOs can be hard to find and require six-figure salaries. vCISO resources, on the other hand, are estimated to cost 30-40% as much as in-house resources, and they are available on-demand!

2: You don’t have time to train a new CISO

Bringing a new employee up to speed can take up valuable time and money. Especially in fast-paced or fluid business environments, it can be difficult to onboard and instill confidence in new employees. Virtual CISOs, on the other hand, can hit the ground running. 

Their expertise lies in their ability to quickly comprehend and attack information security issues in a plethora of business situations. These dynamic resources are immediately effective because they require very little orientation. Their breadth of experience allows them to more quickly adapt to your environment. They work in so many industries with so many companies. No matter your business, they’ve seen it before. They see organizations succeed and fail, then share those lessons with you.

3: You have security compliance needs

While different vCISOs offer different skill sets, you should choose a consultant with the tactical or strategic skills that align with your organization’s unique governance, risk management and compliance needs. ProCircular’s vCISO experts can guide you towards compliance and help optimize your security investments. They can help your team develop security policies, guidelines, and standards. 

We create customized workshops to help industry leaders wrap their arms around anything from CMMC, HIPAA, or PCI compliance to vendor risk management. Whatever your organization’s needs, a dedicated vCISO can help you understand and plan to meet regulatory compliance standards

What Types of Organizations Need a vCISO?

SMBs will likely see the most benefit from working with a vCISO. Very small businesses may need to make strategic investments with higher growth returns. Larger businesses likely have enough security concerns to warrant an in-house CISO. vCISO has the greatest returns for companies that are established enough to have some formally documented and enforced policies and procedures. 

The value of vCISO comes from the expert guidance they supply. A vCISO is not the best option for erecting initial security programs or maintaining effective security programs. They will, however, use their experience and tools to help refine, integrate, and optimize security for organizations that need support. Businesses that have adequate resources but lack security leadership should strongly consider contracting CISO as a service. 

ProCircular’s vCISO service will help your organization make rapid improvements. ProCircular delivers security-related insight directly to executives, providing expert advice and guidance to inform strategic business decisions.

How to Choose a CISO Service

Due to the nature of vCISO, the program is only as strong as its consultant. ProCircular’s experts have years of experience advising security across various industries and types of businesses. While weighing the various options for Virtual CISO consulting services, look for consultants that have experience in your business industry as well as similar business industries. 

With this in mind, try to speak with other players in the industry and heed their professional recommendations. Your vCISO must work with employees across all levels and segments of the organization. It is important to find a resource that is well-suited for your unique company culture.

Virtual CISO vs. CISO as a Service

vCISO, virtual CISO consulting services, CISO as a service, and fractional CISO all refer to the same practice of contracting outside consultants to advise information security development. The cost is typically based on a subscription or per-use model that can be customized to your organizational or compliance needs. 

ProCircular’s vCISO service includes a dedicated security resource and access to a team with a deep body of knowledge. One individual will spearhead your efforts and bring in subject matter experts to advise in whichever area needs the most attention. Whether compliance, policy, disaster recovery, or incident response, your dedicated CISO will enable you to get your arms around your cybersecurity efforts.

Trusted Security Guidance from the vCISOs at ProCircular

ProCircular’s trusted vCISO specialists have been successfully advising various types of organizations for years. This experience guides their conversations with you and helps them identify the most critical opportunities for security improvement. Their top priority is to hear your concerns and walk you through potential solutions or mitigations. To learn more about virtual CISO consulting services or meet our experts, reach out to our cybersecurity team or call 844-95-SECUR! 

Topics: Cybersecurity, vCISO

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