Top 5 Questions a vCISO Get’s Asked

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vciso service

Top five vCISO questions answered

1.  What is a vCISO service? 

A vCISO is a virtual advisory service that allows organisations who do not need or cannot afford a full-time CISO service to benefit from this service or for organisations that would like an impartial voice at the board, supporting their incumbent CISO.

vCISOs can support any organisation in implementing secure change, from the board to the technical level. 

2. Can you help me obtain certification? 

Yes. If your organisation has a goal to reach a particular certification, vCISOs can certainly support this objective. However, your vCISO will naturally ask the question: “Why?” 

For example, your vCISO will need to know whether the certification is for contractual, legal, or regulatory purposes and, knowing this information, will then be able to advise on the process effectively.  

3. How much time will you need from us (the customer)? 

The answer to this question is very much dependent upon the organisation’s aims. Remember, your vCISO enters your organisation without any prior knowledge or, let’s say, ‘baggage’ concerning the company. It’s vitally important to spend time with your vCISO initially and to let them know your business objectives so they can work in partnership with you in meeting this goal.  

4. Can you provide additional support through the vCISO program? 

Absolutely! vCISOs can substitute in other subject matter experts to work on particular projects if and when necessary.  

Organisations benefit hugely from a wealth of knowledge, technical capability, and professional contacts when working alongside a vCISO.  

5. How many days will we need for vCISO support? 

Typically, the amount of time needed from your CISO is worked out at the beginning of the partnership and depends on the organisation’s goals.  

Your vCISO will be able to realistically advise how many days per month are necessary in order to achieve the company’s security objectives.  

What does a vCISO do? 

Just like a CISO, a vCISO’s exact responsibilities vary depending on the needs of the organisation in question. Still, in a nutshell, a vCISO is likely to focus on developing, implementing, and managing the organisation’s information security program, protecting the company’s data and other assets, and overseeing its applications, systems, and technology from a security standpoint.

It’s also the responsibility of the vCISO service to support the business by protecting its value-creation processes and ensuring that its market capability is secured.

Duties may include (but aren’t limited to) the following:

  • Undertaking cyber security assessments to understand specific vulnerabilities organisations are exposed to.
  • Developing and implementing secure processes and systems used to prevent, detect, mitigate, and recover from cyber-attacks.
  • Educating senior leadership teams on security risks and ways to mitigate these. 
  • Writing security processes and procedures to build and drive security strategy.
  • Continuously evaluating and managing the cyber and technology risk posture of the organisation. 
  • Implementing and managing the cyber governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) process.
  • Reporting key metrics and improvements to the senior management team.
  • Developing, justifying, and evaluating cyber security investments.
  • Developing and implementing ongoing security awareness training for employees.
  • Implementing disaster recovery protocols and business continuity plans with business resilience in mind.

What are the benefits of working with a vCISO? 

Working with a vCISO as part of a long-term security strategy delivers many benefits for organisations that wouldn’t otherwise employ a full-time CISO and thus wouldn’t have access to the wealth of experience and knowledge vCISOs bring to the table.  

Combine this with increasing cyber security risks and potential threats involved with, for example, more and more organisations migrating to cloud-based working environments, and it’s not difficult to see why the need to address complex cyber security threats is rising. 

Working with a vCISO can benefit organisations in the following ways:   

By sharing a unique skillset

As well as being a difficult skill to recruit, keep up-to-date, and retain internally, vCISOs have a lot of experience that other people don’t. This means they can help organisations make sound decisions about their information security (including prioritising improvements and budget resources) with much less ramp-up time than other, less qualified individuals might require. Reduced time to begin work means a better return on investment and, most importantly, provides peace of mind for the organisation.  

Having a vCISO on hand means companies can focus on other core business activities safely but can always get in touch about security matters for updates or advice.  

By cross-pollinating intelligence 

Since vCISOs usually work with various and varied customers, they have the added benefit of experience across multiple industries and sectors. This means they can offer organisations richer insights and extensive knowledge from across different fields. 

Remember, vCISOs can leverage cyber security intelligence from the varied customer base, gathering and sharing relevant information, experiences, and preferences with their customers to enrich all organisations they work with.  

By being cost-effective 

Perhaps it goes without saying that outsourcing CISO services is cost-effective compared to the investment in recruitment and skillset required to hire (and keep) a full-time CISO effectively.

Customers of vCISOs benefit from access to knowledge, experience, and up-to-date training they may not otherwise be able to afford or maintain and are not burdened with the task of constantly up-skilling their CISO themselves, as the cyber security industry requires. 

By being flexible 

Unlike a full-time employee, vCISOs can be engaged for short-term projects or one-off consulting jobs, allowing organisations to get the job done without any overheads or risk (not to mention recruitment resources) other than contracting out services when needed. 

Furthermore, should the organisation require additional work on top of the initial engagement, vCISOs can scale up quickly (or bring in other experts if necessary) with minimal customer involvement. 

By offering training and mentoring  

As extremely experienced and knowledgeable professionals, vCISOs can boost organisations by providing training and mentoring to other staff members. 

For instance, your vCISO can make your in-house team more efficient and productive by managing their responsibilities, providing additional training, identifying and developing strengths, and so on.

Interested in finding out more about how Littlefish’s vCISO service could benefit your organisation? Feel free to drop us a note using the green ‘get in touch’ button on this page.  

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