Chief Information Security Officer as a Service

What is CISO as a Service? 

Let’s first start with what is a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)?  

A CISO is a Senior Executive within an organisation with strong business acumen and technical skills who can convey complex IT security and technical issues in a clear understandable manner that Executive Leadership can act upon.  

The CISO is ultimately responsible for the implementation of a security strategy to ensure the company’s data and technologies are protected from threats of all origins, both internal and external.  

A CISO is generally a highly experienced specialist in risk-management and security roles. 

CISO as a Service: Unlike a full time CISO, that can easily demand a six digit salary in the current market, CISO as a Service  is an external specialist or organisation who offers their professional skills on a part time basis, on-site, remotely or via a combination of the two depending on requirements. They offer their services at a fraction of the cost of a full time CISO. 

Virtual Chief Information Security Officer

Why would you consider CISO as a Service?

There can be no doubt that the internet and Information Age has brought with it some incredible benefit. It has made the world a smaller place and brought us closer together than we have ever been before, but the correlating explosion of digital data has also brought with it a more sinister side. 

Data has become a highly valuable currency and there is no shortage of Malicious Actors who are constantly thinking up new and innovative ways to get their hands on this data. 

Cyber Crime is on the increase with news of a major data breach or cyberattack becoming almost a daily occurrence.  

Organisastion’s are learning from the experience of the considerable negative impact a data breach can have on both short-term financial losses and their long-term reputation and ongoing sustainability.  

  •  According to the latest 2019 Accenture report, “the average cost of cybercrime by country saw the UK with the highest increase of 31% from US$8.74 million in 2017 to US$11.5 million in 2018.” 
  • 62% of clients blame the company for a data breach and not the hacker and 70% of clients have indicated they would stop doing business with a company that has experienced a data breach.  
  • Companies that lose their IT infrastructure for 9 days or more file for bankruptcy within a year. 
  • CEO’s are losing their jobs as a result of data breaches. 

Recent GDPR has also compelled corporations to take the protection of sensitive customer data more seriously or face extremely heavy fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover. 

Although a CISO has become a necessity there currently is a growing chasm between demand and supply of experienced CISO’s resulting in a good CISO being: 

  • Extremely hard to find, there is a time lag between required skills and these skills being developed. 
  • Difficult to retain, most CISO’s move on within two years as they become more experienced and are offered better packages elsewhere. 
  • Exact figures are difficult to ascertain, but a full time CISO can be expensive with starting salaries typically exceeding £100k
  •  In 2015 the average CISO salary in the UK was £130 000 and in 2017 salaries were expected to hit £1 million per annum for the very top FTSE 100 companies in the UK. Even SME’s may have to fork out between £170 000 and £250 000 for a full time CISO.

Not all companies require the services of, or can afford, a Full Time CISO. CISO as a Service is a fraction of the cost and offers companies the flexibility to engage their services according to their needs and within budget. 

CISO as a Service is an ideal option for larger SME’s or start-ups benefitting from the professional services of CISO as a Service, but without the heavy and unnecessary financial burden of a full time CISO.  

CISO as a Service from vCloud.ie 

Part technical expert, part senior leader, vCloud.ie offers CISO as a Service, consisting of the creation and implementation of a cybersecurity management strategy from the C-suite down, creating a comprehensive information security program that leverages forward-looking technology, people and practices. 

Our CISO as a Service offering is essentially an executive role that oversees the protection of company and customer data, as well as the protection of infrastructure and assets from malicious actors.  
 

How a CISO can Benefit your Company

A CISO’s responsibilities may include: 

  • Responding to and learning from incidents. No system is, or will ever be, perfect. Malicious actors are always working on new and innovative strategies to get around existing security measures. It’s imperative to learn from incidents and put measures in place to prevent similar incidents from happening again. 
  • Setting up of standards and controls. 
  • Managing security technologies. Tools are constantly being upgraded and new tools developed. Tools are one of the Three Pillars of Cyber Security. 
  • Establishing and implementing policies and procedures within the organisation, Processes are the second Pillar of Cyber Security. 
  • Setting up information-related compliance. 
  • Anticipating new threats, learning from current incidents may give insights into potential new cyber threats and trends. 
  • Constantly striving to prevent cyber threats from occurring. 
  • Working with other executives to test and ensure security systems are working. 
  • Conducting employee security awareness training. Unfortunately, people often are an unwitting source of data breaches. Training of personnel will go a long way to plugging this gap. People are the third factor in the three Pillars of Cyber Security. 
  • Developing secure business and communication practices. 
  • Identifying security objectives and metrics. 
  • Choosing and purchasing security products from vendors, a vCISO will have experience with many of these tools reducing decision making time and costs. 
  • Ensuring the company is in regulatory compliance with the rules such as GDPR. 
  • Enforcing adherence to security practices. 
  • Ensuring the company’s data privacy is secure. 
  • Managing, or performing the function of, the Security Incident Response Team. 
  • Conducting electronic discovery and digital forensic investigations. 

Features of a vCLOUD.ie CISO 

With a CISO from vCloud.ie, every engagement is a little different. In every case, our CISO will work to understand your business environment, culture and objectives. 

Then the CISO will get to work on: 

  • Starting a cybersecurity risk assessment based on your organisation’s assets. 
  • Establishing the organisation’s cybersecurity strategy. 
  • Building a cybersecurity plan and program. 
  • Building a Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) program. 
  • Maintaining core security operations. 
  • Focusing on people including managing personnel, contractors and/or vendors. 
  • Building and executing a training strategy. 

vCloud.ie’s CISO as a Service also involves: 

  • Understanding the business environment and matching a management style that resonates with the customer. 
  • Quickly building trusted relationships with key personnel, resulting in a more successful cybersecurity program. 
  • Meeting customer requirements with a flexible CISO program. 
  • Having great templates and systems in place to maximise leverage. 

Benefits of Chief Information Security Officer as a Service 

  • Protect your Organisation with Top Tier, ready to hire, security experts 
  • Gain access to Security and Compliance expertise without breaking the bank 
  • Free up your existing team to concentrate on the core business 
  • Gain access to Specialised knowledge and the latest tools.
  • With a vCloud.ie CISO, a company has a subject matter expert in network, compliance, and security for both strategic direction and tactile implementation.
  • Immediate Value – We can “hit the ground running” – no time wasted on training. Our CISO is typically able to deliver more quickly and efficiently than a full-time employee. 
  • Flexibility 
  • Neutrality – We are there to do what’s best for the company. 
  • Independent Process 

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