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Why Consider Leveraging a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO)? 

By Charlie Wood, on August 30th, 2022

This article was written by Charlie Wood, CISA, CRISC, PCI QSA, CISM, Executive Vice President, FoxPointe Solutions

Cyberattacks and data security breaches continue to grow at a record pace year after year. Gone are the days where you only had to worry about an attack if you had sensitive data like personally identifiable information (PII) or credit card data. Threat actors now see the value in attacking every business with ransomware. If it is valuable to you, then it is valuable to cyber criminals because they know you will pay to get your systems back up and running.

According to recent surveys, over 60% of cybersecurity professionals saw an increase in cyberattacks and security breaches related to the pandemic. In order to defend against these attacks, businesses must take proactive steps to remain safe and secure. A key area of need and support is a CISO. Some of the key benefits of a CISO are discussed below.

Cost Reduction and Stability

A chief information security officer (CISO) is a critical component of organizations’ risk management program. They are there to assess, monitor, report and consult on the process of managing information risk, whether it’s a cyber control, a cyberattack, data leakage or security breach. The responsibilities of this position are critical and mandated by some laws and regulations because these security experts work to protect companies against cyberthreats.

Primarily due to turnover and rising costs, some organizations are turning to vCISO’s. A vCISO is an outsourced, highly experienced information security practitioner with audit, reporting, assessment, and executive-level experience who can offer their deep expertise and cross industry insight to a financial institution on an ongoing (typically part-time) basis, sometimes far surpassing the skillset and expertise of a conventional CISO. Engaging a vCISO allows any company the flexibility to obtain deep industry and overall information security experience and knowledge for a fraction of the cost.

On-Demand Expertise to Facilitate Growth and Security

A vCISO works closely with Senior Management to establish a well-communicated information security strategy and roadmap, one that meets mandatory State and Federal laws and regulations. Most importantly, a vCISO can provide companies with unbiased strategic and operational leadership on security controls and technologies, which includes:

  • Guidelines, Controls, And Standards
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Cyber Risk and Incident Management
  • Vendor Risk Management
  • Cyber Infrastructure Planning
  • Business Continuity
  • Database Security Management

Since vCISOs are already experts, it saves companies ramp-up time and related expenditures. Additionally, organizations are able to eliminate the cost of benefits and full-time employee onboarding requirements, as well as the possible revolving door of personnel transition. Organizations can instead allocate their internal resources more effectively, add some needed capital to the bottom line and utilize employees in roles supporting your goals enabling them to take on other priority tasks.

The right vCISO can provide a business with quality executive-level information security experts who actively collaborate with Executive Management to make reasonable and effective decisions on the businesses needs in data security, privacy, and compliance requirements. A seasoned vCISO will have had the advantage of working with many companies struggling with a variety of challenges. They bring that knowledge base to communicate which policies, procedures, and technologies are best for solving companies’ specific goals. Overall, the main objective of a vCISO is to help make better business protection choices, act as a bridge for data protections reporting and support long-term framework for information security goals to protect organizations from the ever-evolving threat landscape.

If you need further guidance or have any questions on this topic, we’re here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our trusted experts to discuss your specific situation.

This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.

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Written By

Charlie Wood April 2020
Charlie Wood
Practice Lead, FoxPointe Solutions

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