Overseeing a vCISO - Translating Information Security to Business Risk

Most experts agree that the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role is a business necessity in today's cyber-risky environment. According to a Deloitte 2021 survey, companies listed security, privacy, demonstrating compliance, and improving efficiency and cyber-intelligence as key business drivers.
Despite the growing requirement, not every company has a full-time CISO. According to a Fall 2021 survey by Navisite, 49%of small, mid-sized, and large enterprises do not employ a full-time CISO. Sometimes companies find themselves between full-time CISOs. Other times it just makes business sense to leverage the advantages of an expert virtual CISO service as a permanent solution. According to the IDG 2021 Security Priorities Study, 62% of organizations plan to outsource some or all their IT security functions in 2022.
A virtual CISO is ready and available when you need them at significantly less cost than hiring a full-time CISO or an internal cybersecurity team.

The vCISO Hiring Trend

Are you shopping for vCISO services? If so, you are in good company. vCISOs are becoming popular across many industries, including technology, marketing, insurance, retail, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Demand for virtual CISO services is flourishing for several reasons:
  • CISOs are in high demandWith the rise in cyberattacks, data breaches, ransomware, laws, and regulations, Cybersecurity concerns have moved to the forefront.
  • CI$Os are expensive Every organization needs a CISO, but not every one of them can afford one. A vCISO service allows you to only pay for the services you need when you need them.
  • vCISOs

    1. Bring experienceTruvantisbrings combined decades of expert leadership in cybersecurity, privacy law, and compliance programs.
    2. They can be anywhereRather than needing to hire someone or pay for a candidate to move, the vCISO works from just about anywhere. They are giving organizations flexibility and exposure to higher quality services.
    3. Offer a consumption-based option vCISO is an operational expense. Youpayonlyfor the services you want when you need them. 

Tasks Managed by vCISOs 

While the specific tasks handled by vCISOs will vary, they typically report to top company leadership.

  • Directing privacy and security policies 
  • Managing compliance and audit exercises 
  • Managing and leading IT security teams 
  • Conducting risk assessments and executing a plan to manage risk 
  • Overseeing vendor risk management 
  • Providing threat intelligence  
  • Helping leadership balance risk appetite with budget 
  • Leading cyber risk conversations with external stakeholders, especially sales 
  • Leading incident response 

Virtual CISOs provide companies with qualified security experts without increasing payroll headcount. A vCISO can solve many of your security, privacy, and compliance challenges by assessing your threat landscape and driving a cost-effective risk management program. 

Truvantis logoTruvantis – Virtual CISO 

Is your company ready for the cyber-threats, Privacy Laws, and compliance requirements in 2022: A vCISO can help you conquer: 
  • Risk Management 
  • Compliance 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Data privacy and 
  • Sales support. 


Five Advantages of hiring a VCISO

  1. A vCISO is Less Expensive Than Hiring a Full-time CISO

    CISOs are hard to find, expensive, and don't stick around. With a vCISO, you don't have to worry about hiring and retaining staff. You can budget a vCISO service as an operational expense.
  2. Flexibility Expertise and Core Competency 

    A vCISO service brings a team of diversified risk management, cybersecurity, data privacy, and compliance specialists. vCISO squads are adaptable and elastic.  
  3. vCISO Can Provide General and Niche Expertise

    Having a vCISO on board can strengthen your risk management program by balancing requirements with the organization's risk appetite. Companies hire vCISOs to help avoid non-compliance penalties with privacy laws and industry regulations.   
  4. Optimize your Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Compliance Practice

    You get reduced business risk and the flexibility to work on projects as needed. Engaging a vCISO for a short-term relationship poses little risk. When the project is complete, your commitment ends.

    Improve your in-house team. A vCISO can manage strategic responsibilities and guide your in-house staff with training and mentoring. A vCISO also allows you to free up your in-house team's workload, enabling them to focus on things like product development.  
  5. Objective Independence 

    You need the best advice possible. A vCISO provides an objective evaluation to your team. They aren't stuck with "how we've always done it" or burdened by office politics.  

Managing Your vCISO Service  

After choosing the right partner, you are responsible for getting the most value from your new vCISO. 

Establish to Whom the vCISO Reports  

Information security governance should be the responsibility of the board of directors and senior executives. If an organization agrees with this statement, the CISO position should be reporting to the CEO, General Counsel, or the Board. 

It's pertinent for you to establish a relationship between your company's stakeholders, the vCISO, and the decision-makers responsible for the risk management budget. Clear communication between the vCISO, stakeholders, C-suite, and the board is vital to success. 

Set up Routine Status Reviews 

During these status reviews, review performance metrics, track progress toward your goals, and remove roadblocks. Set up quarterly strategy sessions to define new benchmarks and goals. 

Translating IT Security to Business Risk 

Traditionally, the CISO position evolved from the IT environment where IT technologists, by default, were responsible for the fundamentals of IT security of the information system. Generally, IT technologists lack interest in the entire business transitions of the organization.  

When the CISO reports to leadership, they also should not be talking about the nitty-gritty details of cyber security. They should be translating IT geek speak into the language of business risk needed by top-level decision-makers. Armed with the CISO's data, leadership can make informed decisions regarding acceptable risk and the security program budget.  

From IT Security to Business Risk Management 

Transforming the CISO role from the technical to the business side is based on the rapid change of business rules dictated by various and complex regulatory compliance requirements. Classic examples are the EU General Directive Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), where emerging modern laws increase legal liability risk. 

Companiesare looking for technical leadership expertise and business skills from their CISO or vCISO. According toPwC's 2021 Global Digital Trust Insights report, companies are increasingly looking for: 

  • Analytical Skills (47%), 
  • Communication Skills (43%), 
  • Creativity (42%), and 
  • Critical Thinking Skills (42%). 

Executive Summary 

Cybersecurity is at the forefront of strategic planning in 2022. The current threat landscape has evolved the CISO/vCISO role from IT security to business risk management. Demand for vCISO services is escalating as more companies understand the advantages a vCISO offers.  

More companies are outsourcing to a vCISO because a single internal resource is often not sufficient in breadth and depth to address everything required by the role. 

  • Risk 
  • Compliance 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Privacy 
  • Business focus 
  • Sales support 

If you decide to bring in the platform of expertise that a vCISO can bring, make sure you are getting a team, not just an independent contractor. You need a program with a proactive structure and a methodology, not just a reactive behavior. But most of all, make sure that when you talk to them, they speak the language of business leaders and not execution details like AV, ZTA, CASB, and all the other acronyms. A great vCISO is your trusted business advisor – not your IT guy. 

Need a Strategic Partner? Trust Truvantis   

Stop hunting. You've found the right vendor.We've built cybersecurity, data privacy, and compliance programs for big and small companies— just read our testimonials. 

Truvantis customers trust our full panel of diverse, experienced staff. Our team comprises senior-level professionals with decades of strategizing and executing cybersecurity, data privacy, and compliance initiatives. 

Contact us today to set up a chat. We're here to take the stress off your shoulders by quickly, cost-efficiently reducing your risks. 


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