Four Reasons Your Company Needs a vCISO
Our world and work are powered by data.
To make use of that data, each of us is reliant on technology, from the computers where we answer emails to the phones we keep in our pockets. However, as our reliance on (and the complexity of!) these systems and data increase, our risks grow with them.
Confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of data are essential to the success of a company, yet many firms simply do not have the resources necessary. To address these three dimensions drives many firms to seek outside help. Read on to learn exactly what a vCISO is and discover how they can support the security needs of your business.
What is a vCISO?
A virtual CISO, or vCISO, is an experienced executive with a proven track record in building, growing, and refining security programs. In contrast to a full-time leader, the vCISO provides years of cybersecurity management experience to clients on a part-time basis. This is a perfect solution for companies who are not ready to bring on a full-time CISO or Director of Security, yet recognize the need to better manage and protect their systems and data. The part-time relationship allows organizations to blend security work into their everyday responsibilities and become more aware of how to protect systems and data.
By partnering with a vCISO, businesses can leverage the leadership required to tackle their security priorities without becoming buried in a deluge of work. vCISOs create a roadmap that identifies a business’s most significant issues and provide the tools to remedy them. They can support the execution of major projects ranging from revamping workstation management to redefining identity and access management policies.
At [redacted], our vCISOs provide clients with 20 hours of dedicated support each month. We find that to be a perfect balance: ample time to make meaningful progress without swamping your team in work.
So, what kind of businesses are vCISOs a good fit for? Let’s take a closer look.
Four Reasons to Hire a vCISO
With a constantly evolving threat landscape, there’s no shortage of reasons to seek the support of a vCISO. Here are four of the most common.
1. You’ve Suffered a Security Event
It’s always best to take a proactive approach toward your business’s cybersecurity stance. But many leaders fall into the trap of believing a security breach won’t happen to them––until it does.
If your business has fallen victim to a security event, whether that’s a ransomware attack, business email compromise, intellectual property theft, or some other attack, you can’t afford to stop at incident response. The vulnerabilities and control gaps attackers exploited may still be present, and the process failures which allowed these gaps to exist in the first place need to be addressed.
A vCISO augments your organization with an executive who understands the controls and processes required to reduce the likelihood and impact of future attacks. Working across the company, a seasoned security leader partners with an organization’s executives to identify high-risk areas and build processes and controls to strengthen corporate defense.
2. The Business Has Reached a Funding or Growth Milestone
For high-growth startups, reaching certain funding milestones is often cause to reevaluate cybersecurity needs and consider hiring a vCISO.
After a Series B or Series C round, investors expect that the business is taking steps to protect its internal systems and proprietary data. Cyber attacks can have devastating effects, in every sense: financial, legal, operational, and reputational. With so much at stake, protecting your business becomes non-negotiable.
For non-venture-backed businesses, certain growth milestones, such as a major new partnership, often prompt leaders to reflect on their security position and make investments in upgrading their protection.
3. In Preparation for an Expansion to a New Vertical or Market
Expansion into new verticals or new markets is an exciting time for companies, but these expansions often come with new risks and regulatory requirements which may be overlooked. Partnering with a vCISO prior to expansion can simultaneously help lay the groundwork required for compliance and improve existing protections of data and systems. This is a particular concern when entering highly-regulated industries such as healthcare or financial services.
Expansion into a new geographic market may also require a new approach to data management and security to ensure the business is in compliance with the regulatory requirements of the market. Typical scenarios here include expanding into European markets, where the businesses are subject to GDPR, or even a domestic expansion into California, where businesses are bound by CCPA regulations.
In these types of situations, it’s advisable for businesses to partner with a vCISO with experience successfully navigating the requirements of this new regulatory landscape.
4. Engaging in M&A Activities
If a firm is looking to merge with a partner or acquire a competitor, cybersecurity should be a major factor in its considerations. Operational, technical, and even financial risks can be exacerbated by inadequate planning, and the delicate act of connecting two or more previously disparate networks can open new avenues of attack for criminals and other malicious actors.
A comprehensive evaluation of the security of both networks is a precursor to any successful merger. That demands the skills of an experienced cybersecurity leader who can look beyond the surface, assess risks inherent in both technologies and processes for each company, and help plan for the resolution of any major issues prior to or as part of the merger of IT operations.
World-Class vCISO Services with [redacted]
While the reasons above are not an exhaustive list, the fact you’ve read this far probably means you’re considering hiring a vCISO.. It’s quite simple: If you think it’s time to invest in cybersecurity, then it’s time. There’s simply no sense in waiting. Fortunately, we’ve got just the solution.
At [redacted], our vCISO service enables you to build a security program that’s customized to the needs of your organization. We’re not prescriptive or rigid in our approach: The goal is to build an enduring security infrastructure that lasts long beyond the term of our partnership.
We see investing in cybersecurity as a competitive advantage––not just an insurance policy. That’s why we focus on giving your team the tools required to make cybersecurity a growth enabler for your business.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with our security experts today.
Ryan Jamieson leads the Advisory Team and brings to each engagement over twenty years of experience in technology and risk management across multiple industries, including entertainment, defense, financial services, and public accounting. With a history of building security programs from scratch, Ryan looks to embed security and risk awareness into the culture of the company and create sustainable control environments that preserve business agility.
Ryan joined [redacted] in 2021 from EY where he worked to strengthen the internal control environment protecting the most sensitive data for thousands of clients across the globe. Prior to EY, Ryan built the security program at Take-Two Interactive, parent company to Rockstar Games and 2K Games, served as the BISO for North American operations at RTL Group, and spent nearly seven years protecting cardmembers and their data at American Express.