As businesses grow, their cybersecurity needs become more complex. Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), in particular, tend to require an IT upgrade, which may not always be the case with big enterprises. But although SMBs and big enterprises have differing IT security needs, one thing they have in common is that both could use the services of a virtual chief information officer (vCISO). A vCISO is a versatile and adaptable cybersecurity service that can be scaled to meet the needs of any company, including SMBs with considerably less complex cybersecurity needs.
In this blog, we will discuss what a vCISO is and what they can offer to businesses of all sizes.
What is a vCISO?
A vCISO is a security professional or a team of professionals who remotely provides guidance and advice on all things cybersecurity. They can help you assess your current security posture, identify gaps, and develop a plan to close those gaps. They also stay up to date on the latest threats and trends so they can advise you on how to best protect your data and systems. Additionally, they can help you navigate the complex world of cybersecurity regulations.
A vCISO is a great addition to your company because they can provide guidance on which security solutions are right for your business. Unlike hiring an in-house expert, hiring a vCISO means you won't have to spend on staff training, salaries, and benefits, contributing to more operational savings.
What adaptable and scalable cybersecurity solutions do vCISOs offer?
As businesses look for ways to gain an edge, many are turning to vCISOs for help. Here are some areas where vCISOs can help businesses of all sizes.
Creating a cybersecurity plan
A vCISO can help you create a cybersecurity plan that is tailored to your business. For instance, SMBs might have a bigger cybersecurity risk than larger enterprises because they don’t have the budget to hire and fund a whole IT department. A vCISO can help these businesses assess their security risks and develop a plan that’s within their budget that will allow them to protect themselves from potential threats. A vCISO can also review and update security policies and procedures, as well as make recommendations for replacing or upgrading current security tools and systems.
A vCISO can also help bigger businesses with a completely unique set of cybersecurity needs. Large companies tend to have an in-house IT department, so a vCISO would often take on a different approach with them, such as by providing expert guidance and support to the companies' current cybersecurity management systems.
Whatever the size of your business, a vCISO will develop strategies that factor in short-term and long-term cybersecurity goals, as well as plan how to best allocate your resources to achieve those goals.
Conducting employee awareness training
A vCISO can also help you train your employees on how to best protect themselves and your business data from cyberthreats. Whether you have 10, 100, or 1,000 employees, a vCISO will work with you to identify your employees’ cybersecurity awareness needs. They can then help develop a plan to address these needs by considering the size of your organization, the industry you're in, and the specific cybersecurity risks you face.
A vCISO can also provide support and guidance to employees after the training is over by helping them troubleshoot problems and providing additional resources as needed.
What’s more, a vCISO can help you measure the effectiveness of your employee cybersecurity awareness training program. They can track metrics, such as employee engagement and completion rates, and make suggestions for improvement.
When it comes to protecting personal, sensitive, or confidential data to meet industry regulations, having a dedicated cybersecurity expert on staff can be critical. However, finding and hiring the right person for the job can be challenging – and expensive. For SMBs that don’t have the expertise or financial capacity to implement compliance requirements on their own, a vCISO can help suggest and implement programs that will make compliance much more manageable.
For bigger companies, a vCISO can serve as an objective third party when it comes to making decisions about security posture. This objectivity is invaluable in making tough decisions about cybersecurity investments or programs that can make or break compliance. And since vCISOs are not beholden to a single vendor or solution, you can always count on them to have your company’s best interests at heart.
Preparing businesses for the future
Having access to a broader pool of expertise allows your company to be up to date with the latest in cybersecurity. Whether you’re a small business trying to grow or an industry leader wanting to maintain your advantage, you can benefit from a vCISO’s expert guidance and support on specific security issues and investments. Your vCISO partner can inform you which cyberthreats you should be most worried about and how you can protect your company from them.
And because vCISOs often involve a team of experts, they are much more capable of monitoring your systems. This is because there will always be someone available to look after your security, even if a member of the vCISO team takes a day off. Having more eyes on a project also means you get a much closer and more detailed inspection of your company’s cybersecurity needs, allowing vCISOs better insight when planning for future actions. This is especially critical for SMBs that may not have the capacity to maintain their systems, much less implement safeguards for new and emerging threats.
If you're looking to improve your organization's cybersecurity, consider working with a vCISO from a trusted expert like Charles IT. Learn how our vCISO support can make a difference in protecting your organization from cyberthreats and other risks. Talk to an expert now!