How Hiring a Virtual CISO Will Protect Your Business

virtual CISO (vCISO)

Managing security risk is challenging, but it is crucial for modern businesses. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are in high demand, and quality ones come at a high price. An on-demand, virtual CISO (vCISO) may be the best and most cost-effective option for your company.

A vCISO is an augmented security expert who provides in-depth analyses of your current state security and develops strategic security maturity models for improving cybersecurity posture. As a top security expert, a vCISO helps protect infrastructure, data, employees, and customers. A virtual CISO provides expert guidance and monitors your cybersecurity program.

Benefits of a vCISO

Why choose a virtual CISO over a traditional CISO? You get the expertise of a world-class CISO and specialized security talent for a fraction of the cost of a full-time staff member. vCISO services provide your organization with a wide variety of benefits, including:

  • A valuable solution when interim presence is needed.
  • The expertise of a full-time CISO without the overhead or training.
  • Expert guidance to navigate new cybersecurity regulations.
  • Up-to-date threat and strategy updates.
  • The anticipation of future security and compliance challenges like data breaches, pilfered data, identity theft, or commercial loss.
  • A risk management team managed by the vCISO.
  • Development of incident response plans.

Additional Components of vCISO

The components in the vCISO portfolio are centered around a core strategy. The entire strategy is road-mapped and can be a one-time project engagement or a multi-year engagement. Both approaches ensure your organization matures with a comprehensive cyber security program that meets the stringent requirements of your business and industry. The components of the vCISO portfolio include:

  • Policy guidance
  • Incident response planning
  • Security architecture review

Security Program Management

vCISOs oversee security program management and provide oversight and direction to ensure an organization meets its security objectives. They examine an organization’s unique environment, architecture, operations, and threat landscape against industry standards to meet and exceed compliance mandates.

A vCISO can identify and prioritize security architecture risks and controls to develop remediation strategies and define and assist an organization in implementing action plans for new and potential security program improvements. By aligning business objectives, risk, and security strategy, a vCISO demonstrates measurable success to executive management.

Staff Augmentation

It can be challenging to decide between staff augmentation or hiring employees. Augmenting IT staff is an ideal solution for helping to satisfy both short- and long-term staffing needs to ensure you always meet IT deadlines.

Electing to augment your CISO by using a vCISO may seem daunting, but can actually have many benefits, such as:

  • Reduced risks and investment
  • Improved efficiency and achievement
  • Lowering capital costs
  • Reducing operational costs
  • Accelerating time-to-market
  • Better resource availability
  • More flexibility and scalability
  • Increased customer satisfaction

It may be difficult to determine when you need staff augmentation for your CISO, but augmenting your CISO can be a solution for projects of all sizes and durations.

A vCISO can handle varying project scopes and changing requirements with a high level of flexibility and transparency. Through daily reports, your vCISO offers cost-effective security leadership. While a traditional CISO cannot create and implement the entire security program alone, a virtual CISO with an additional augmented team is able to do so.


While the many benefits of a vCISO are incredibly appealing, there are some important considerations to take into account when hiring a vCISO:

  • Educate yourself on the business goals of your security program. Know what types of information you handle and regulations you’re required to adhere to. Understand what goes into a security program, including business and industry requirements. How your organization uses a vCISO depends greatly on your specific structure, products and services, markets, and IT.
  • Evaluate how your program currently stacks up to regulations and architecture.
  • Always research available vCISO providers with a budget in mind.
  • Compare virtual CISO options on annual cost and resource and technology elements. Consider how each will impact your current state to determine the most effective option.

Choosing Your Virtual CISO (vCISO)

At AIS, our vCISO experts analyze your strengths, weaknesses, and greatest areas of risk. Our NIST-based, organization-wide security maturity assessments will help us cater to your business environment and objectives.

We match our management style to your business culture and customer base. Our vCISOs dedicate time to understanding your security needs and offer an experienced supportive team with the required skills and experience to work effectively on a remote basis. We develop long-term relationships with our clients and ensure the highest quality of our specialists. With our vCISO services, you retain experts who can virtually manage your security strategy, budget, risks, and regulatory programs.

To learn more about how an AIS vCISO will help your business build and manage your cybersecurity plan, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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