Bridging the gap between CISOs

Facing the challenges of new cybersecurity and privacy laws, a sharp increase in cybersecurity litigation, and the ceaseless evolution of ransomware and cyberthreats, the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has become critical to maintaining business operations and managing risk. According to researchers, there is an all-time low in CISO unemployment rates while the job growth rate is 11%. Given that 40% of CISOs stay in one job for less than two years, it’s likely that most companies will face untimely gaps between CISOs.  


  • Unemployment rate 2010 5.32% 2018 2.37% 
  • Job growth 11% 
  • 40% stay in one job for less than two years 

How can a business maintain vital cybersecurity and privacy risk management when they are between CISOs? The answer is to hire a virtual CISO or CISO as a Service (CaaS). A capable vCISO service will build and operate a unique security program to manage cyber-risk to meet your cybersecurity goals and satisfy legal and contractual requirements.

What is a Virtual CISO? 

What is a CISO 

The CISO is an executive-level officer responsible for maintaining the security and privacy of the enterprise information system. The role includes creating and managing procedures and policies designed to protect communications, systems, and assets from internal and external threats. In addition, they are tasked with anticipating, assessing, and actively managing new and emerging cyber-threats and orchestrating the response to data breaches and other security incidents.

The CISO works with stakeholders across the organization to align security initiatives with business objectives and manage the risks various security threats pose to the organization. They must also ensure the organization maintains compliance with the rapidly changing legal and contractual landscape.

Virtual CISO Services 

A virtual CISO (vCISO) service can help bridge the gap when a company is between CISOs or a permanent solution. Given the increasing evolution of the threat landscape and the shortage of qualified experts, many organizations find it safer and more cost-effective to outsource the CISO role. According to IDG’s 2021 Security Priorities Study,  62% of organizations plan to outsource IT security functions in 2022. Organizations often outsource evaluation services, such as pen testing, risk assessments, and security audits. Outsourced operations include monitoring of the network, endpoint, and cloud, and security analytics. In 2022 more organizations are expected to outsource behavior monitoring/analysis and security awareness training 

  • According to IDG, in 2021, 44% of security incidents involved employees falling victim to phishing or other non-malicious violations of security policy. 

Benefits of Hiring a vCISO 

When a CISO leaves, many organizations find they do not have the internal bandwidth or expertise to develop and manage risk and cybersecurity operations independently. Working with an experienced consultant and vCISO service can streamline your cybersecurity and risk management process. Benefits of a qualified vCISO include:

  1. Focus – you know how to run your business. Let Truvantis manage your cybersecurity risk. Deploying Truvantis’ vCISO service is faster and more effective than the more difficult task of learning how to find and coach a CISO.
  2. Industry insight: An experienced vCISO has worked across multiple organizations in various markets. They are in a unique position to understand industry trends, changes in best practices.
  3. Experience with a variety of situations: There will be times that you come across problems you’ve never dealt with before. An experienced vCISO has dealt with various cyber-threat and regulatory cases and knows how to adapt your organization according to industry best practices. vCISO services can bring the power of an entire specialized team of experts.
  4. Diverse perspective: A vCISO comes into an organization with diverse perspectives, knowledge of what works, and without a ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ response.
  5. Potentially more effective at a reduced cost: CISOs are expensive and difficult to hire. Hiring a vCISO can enhance the organization’s cybersecurity posture without hiring a full-time employee.
  6. Continuous external validation: An organization can sometimes get so engrossed in its thoughts and approach that it loses sight of the bigger picture. A vCISO provides that critical external validation when examining the information management system.

When CISOs Leave the Company

Losing a CISO is not uncommon. They get bored, are in high demand, and want to move on in their careers. Unfortunately, that leaves a gap, and finding a new qualified CISO is challenging. Use a vCISO to bridge that gap, keep your business operating at full speed and make sure your sales team doesn’t hit a speed bump of unsatisfied cybersecurity requirements.

How to Hire a vCISO 

Finding the exemplary vCISO service is no trivial task itself. Before selecting a vCISO, an organization should list its requirements based on cybersecurity objectives and requirements. Next, look for a vCISO with a corresponding track record and proven success.

What to look for in a vCISO Service 


A qualified vCISO team gives you the same high level of expertise, services, and benefits of seasoned, highly certified CISO, but at a fraction of the cost. Look for a vCISO cybersecurity team with decades of expert experience in tech security and business risk management.

Industry Leadership

In addition to experience, look for industry leadership. Industry leaders are security professionals who have made and continue to make significant contributions in the cybersecurity space through industry organizations and the broader security profession.

Risk-based cybersecurity program 

A risk management approach is the basis of an effective cybersecurity program. There is no such thing as perfect security. A risk management approach identifies vulnerabilities in the information management system, scores them according to priority, and weighs cost against business advantages. Effective risk management means acting proactively rather than reactively, thus reducing the possibility of a risk occurring and its potential impact.

Focuses on the underlying business objectives

A good vCISO understands that your needs can sometimes be more focused on sales than security risk, and that’s no problem. The vCISO needs to be able to address your practical business needs versus obsessing over perfect security. A risk management approach is helpful in that it appropriately weighs the cost of security controls against the threat and, most notably, the business benefits of managing, avoiding, or accepting certain cybersecurity risks.

Able to handle privacy as well as security if you need it

In addition to cybersecurity threats, most businesses today are subject to multiple consumer privacy regulations, for example, GDPR, HIPAA, CPRA, and other state, federal and international laws. Therefore, reliable privacy management depends upon a solid cybersecurity framework. A good vCISO service can help you build a centralized cybersecurity and data privacy program to satisfy your risk management program and comply with the complex matrix of consumer privacy laws.

What to avoid

Avoid one-person operations which may lack depth and scalability. Beware of people just using your company as a career steppingstone to get a CISO title so they can apply for a position elsewhere. Watch out for online solutions which may create all the necessary document templates but do not have the leverage and expertise to drive the successful implementation of your cybersecurity and privacy program.


Given the rise in cyber-risk, the role of CISO has become vital to continuing business operations. However, when an organization is without a full-time CISO, a vCISO can backfill the gap or be a permanent safe, and cost-effective solution. Truvantis offers world-class vCISO services customized to the scope and objectives of your organization.

Contact Truvantis now for a vCISO consultation.

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