Virtual CISO, vciso

Security and protection from external threats have become even more important than ever. The growing number of cyberattacks indicates that even companies that spend huge amounts of money on their security, cannot be 100% sure that their data is safe. However, not all security measures are necessary and not all of them are costly.

The truth is, organizations tend to spend their money on the same solutions that have worked for them in the past. This strategy might not be so fruitful in the long run as preventing emerging threats requires predictions calculated by experienced professionals that spend their time researching the trends in cybersecurity and methods of breach prevention.

For that reason, every company no matter how big it is, will likely profit from getting a virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) to establish and manage a security plan that will put it in a safe position. Since threats continue to evolve, it is impossible to keep up using the previously tested strategies and “proven methods.”

What Is a vCISO?

Well, as you might already know, CISO stands for Chief Information Security Officer. It is a person or team of people who is responsible for driving a business’s security strategy and planning to create a robust and effective protection/prevention program.

The CISO job description includes both executive leadership skills and technical expertise. Nevertheless, there is a difference between the actual hired CISO and vCISO.

CISO vs vCISO: Which One is Better?

Nowadays, firms with close to unlimited financial supplies may be unable to find the right person in the modern ultra-competitive information security job market. Needless to say that smaller businesses with limited budgets might struggle even more.

So, can we say that a vCISO will be the right decision over just hiring the CISO? Let’s take a look at the main advantages of a vCISO.

Greater Expertise

A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer is experienced in many areas and potentially can serve as a tutor and trainer to your in-house employees. Moreover, a vCISO can help to detect and point out the strengths and weaknesses of your team. If you want to identify places where your organization needs additional help or training, a virtual CISO might be just the right choice. After all, even the most intelligent and most experienced chief information security officer is just one person with one viewpoint.

Whereas vCISO is rather a service which offers a team of experts behind one person that acts together to support and protect your company.

For instance, your vCISO has the ability to look at your company from a unique vantage point and see the flaws you might not notice from within. This is an advantage that has proven to be invaluable.

Lower Cost

Top information security talent deserves to be paid accordingly. However, if you compare the prices of vCISO services, they can often cost less than 20% of a CISO’s salary. Moreover, you don’t have to pay for office space, benefits, etc.

You can pay only for the number of services you need without spending extra for the time that won’t be used. Just decide what is whether it’s just expert advice to boost the skills of your current staff or an end-to-end managed service.

Reduced Risks

It may not be obvious but if your CISO doesn’t perform, they won’t be able to face and prevent threats appearing every day. The underperformance may cost your company millions. It is a risk that you may not be willing to take. Some CISOs may not be able to work to their full potential due to various reasons.

Nevertheless, vCISO services are considered low-risk as you can always choose what level of service will suit you the best and so there will be no such issue as “underperformance.” Besides, the agreement can be terminated at any point if your needs aren’t met or if you want to hire your vCISO as a full-time CISO (there are cases where it happens).

When Do I Need a vCISO?

Let’s study two cases that describe when a company may need a vCISO.

Example #1

Let’s study the case where there is a small organization that doesn’t require a full-time CISO but they need a solid foundation for their cybersecurity program. The budget may be limited as well and here is where it might be a good idea to use vCISO.

A virtual CISO solution allows them to develop a protection strategy and use cybersecurity as a competitive advantage. Not only do they get vCISO services and the thought leadership of an experienced CISO but also the access to other cyber capabilities and options.

Example #2

In the other case, a CISO needed assistance in applying the cybersecurity strategy to the organization but before that, it would have been necessary to build and introduce the organizational roadmap. The company was rapidly growing and required additional executive resources.

The security strategies were already introduced but required development. The current CISO didn’t have enough bandwidth to get it all done in time. Here’s where the vCISO will prove useful as you get not only the experience they bring, but the whole team behind one person.


A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer comes with a wealth of knowledge and has the experience with your organization style and tools to keep the company up-to-date as it changes and expands. As soon as they sign up to work for you – they are ready to operate and protect your business, vCISO doesn’t need to undergo special training or an adaptation period.

Having a strong vCISO is an essential task in an overall strategy to protect business and information efficiently. Contact our team today and find out what we can offer to keep your company secure.