The normal cost for an annual virtual CISO contract is only 34 to 40 percent of the typical industry salary for a full-time information security team. That means even small and mid-sized organizations with limited budgets can save 60 percent by hiring a virtual officer instead.
A virtual CISO allows your internal teams and accompanying resources to focus on day-to-day functions and general operational capabilities instead of worrying about governance, compliance and other issues that fall outside the scope of their technically-oriented backgrounds.
A virtual CISO gives your company access to an expert on the subjects of network, compliance and security — both in strategic direction and tactile implementation. Additionally, your company can reap the benefits of all the knowledge your virtual CISO has gained in their work within multiple environments across a diverse range of industries.
In contrast to the on-boarding that needs to occur for any full-time hire — even in the C-Suite — virtual CISOs are equipped with a daily and ongoing focus on that position’s specific niche functions. That means they’ll require little to no re-education, and guesswork is minimized to reduce wasted time, resources and uncertainty for your organization. A virtual CISO is often able to deliver value more quickly and efficiently than a full-time employee, providing instant gratification for your operations.
Most virtual CISOs have already built a network of relationships with vendors and industry leaders, giving them a head start if problems arise and a plan of action needs to be formulated. Those relationships can give your virtual CISO a holistic perspective that allows them to quickly identify the optimal solutions for any situation, saving you from the frustrating growing pains that often occur when new circumstances come into play.
A full-time, in-house CISO is a big drain on your resources, requiring training, extensive on-boarding, full salaried pay, vacation and many other requirements that come with a full-time position. In contrast, a virtual CISO gives you the latitude to be more strategic with your commitments. Even the length of the vCISO’s contract can be tailored to meet your needs, whether you simply need a short term “fill-in” or a permanent CISO solution, or you simply want to add a support element while your internal resources gain the appropriate experience.
Because they work with a variety of organizations in many industries, virtual CISOs tend to be “vendor neutral,” with no hidden agendas or internal organizational motivations. They’re simply there to do the job and guide your company to the best outcome for any given situation.
Virtual CISOs have a well-practiced instinct for adaptation, allowing them to immediately change their practices to suit your individual business environment. From your organizational needs to your processes and assets, virtual CISOs mold themselves to your company rather than trying to force it into a conceptual box.
Contracting a virtual CISO can immediately strengthen your employee and executive succession plan, giving you a convenient and reliable fallback that will maintain the critical functions of governance, risk management and compliance if your company were to lose a key staff member. That security can reduce stress and make it easier to manage regulatory and client concerns, allowing you to focus on achieving your goals instead of “plugging holes.”
Information security is a fairly stable discipline, since your requirements for managing the safety of your data and informational resources need to stay consistent, even when the projects that data is being used for change over time. Virtual CISOs are a perfect fit in that regard, as they can provide proactive, independent coordination of “change-resistant” programs, like your breach and incident response procedures, even when it comes to including required forensics functions. Since the virtual CISO doesn’t have many other operational roles and doesn’t require much supervision or input from your internal teams, they can work swiftly to maintain your information security regime while your business continues to function with minimal disruption.
In many cases, a virtual CISO is able to offer exactly what you need from the role. When you find a virtual CISO who has extensive experience working within the discipline and can pair it with the breadth of knowledge provided by many different industries, you’ll benefit from that premium knowledge store immediately. At that point, the cost savings provided by a virtual officer are just an added fringe benefit in comparison.
Virtual CISOs are great for small and mid-sized businesses, but any company that’s looking for a specific skillset and doesn’t require a full-time employee should consider the virtual alternative to an in-house hire. Contact Garland Heart today to find out how a virtual CISO can boost your capabilities and cut your costs.