vCISO: A Practical Path To Cybersecurity In Pandemic Times And Beyond

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Why vCISO service?

With the never-ending surge of cyber-attacks and potential threats in this digital era, enterprises have started identifying the significance of a robust cybersecurity plan to protect themselves. While many companies enjoy the privilege of a specially dedicated in-house cybersecurity lead, namely a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), the position in most cases are a bit expensive considering the SMEs. On the other hand, the ongoing pandemic has induced a total shift in the working patterns and data sharing mediums. The change has forced enterprises to understand the importance of complete cybersecurity protection to tackle incoming threats. While a full-time CISO position might not be feasible considering the affordability factor for SMEs, virtual CISO services offers a more flexible and affordable model.

Deeper into vCISO service

A vCISO is an outsourced security consultant or practitioner who offers professional time and expertise to companies on a contract/subscription basis. A vCISO is not a direct full-time hire by the organization but is accountable for all security strategies and deployment like a CISO. Effective communication and collaboration skills define the position with sufficient industry knowledge and certifications in the cyber domain. Usually, a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer works on a time and material basis, reflecting significant savings in operating costs without compromising on safety & security. Indeed, with the current pandemic situation where almost everything is happening over the internet, virtual CISO services are like the gold in the cybersecurity mine.

Evolving cybersecurity threats

The Covid 19 pandemic has changed our lives and the working scape of almost every business enterprise. The scenario remains dynamic and continues to evolve rapidly, causing issues in the ways businesses are operating. This fact has made the scene quite enticing for rouge players to target the security vulnerabilities more frequently. The room for a threat to the safety of an enterprise IT environment is now looming larger. Attackers are enjoying a higher degree of freedom and success possibility. Let us explore some of the reasons responsible for this.

1.More room for potential threats

The shift of working patterns from office space to homes in the pandemic exposed many security vulnerabilities. While the management focussed on the need to get their business running with continuity, security factors were compromised. It has led to employees bridging corporate networks through personal unsecured devices and gateways, bringing the previous vulnerabilities inherent in the system. It led attackers to breach easily into the surface, and these rogue elements have been on a rampage.

2.Uneven resource and budget allocation

The resource and budget allocation for SMEs operating in a survival mode due to the ongoing pandemic have become scarce. While organizations are trying to cope with the running means and costs, resource and budget allocation for cyber compliance and security are hiking down. As a part of budget cut-downs, many top security professionals get limited to IT needs and current requirements.

3.Deficiency in the skilled cybersecurity workforce

The deficiency of a skilled task force of professional caliber is still a challenge in the cybersecurity domain. This deficiency impedes business security standards and reliability. The lack of security expertise for an organization could impact critical cybersecurity elements like foreseeing upcoming risk factors, identifying current vulnerabilities, building an effective roadmap or even when it comes to basic defence mechanisms and policies.

4.Emerging scamming techniques

While on one side, the pandemic crisis is still a barrier to enterprise affordability to invest in security concerns, attackers have found the condition an easy breath. Scamming is worryingly one of the top security concerns and is gaining traction through various means like phishing scams, misinformation, and other tools. Newage scamming tools and techniques are getting introduced to the evergrowing list of vulnerabilities converging in on enterprises.

5.Misconceptions regarding the size of organization’s

In the current scenario, companies usually have a faulty insight that size matters for security issues and threats. Meanwhile, attackers have understood this misconception prevailing among companies. SMEs face similar threats and vulnerabilities compared to large enterprises, and a surprising fact often highlighted by renowned security analysts is that SMEs are more favored targets for attackers. It is because SMEs are associated with weaker security architecture. In contrast, larger enterprises require more time to breach due to their security posture.

When to unlock a vCISO service

A vCISO, as pointed earlier, is a hybrid mix of CISO service benefits, leveraging the affordability and convenience factor. While vCISO service capabilities extend regardless of the size or dimension of companies, SMEs are the favorite pigeons hooking the service. Here are some instances or scenarios that reflect the need for vCISO services.

1.Lack of in-house cybersecurity experts.

2.Lack of an expert technical leader to manage the in-house cybersecurity team.

3.In need of expert advisory for compliance and security strategies.

4.The detection or awareness that a cybersecurity breach has occurred.

5.In the event of getting penalized for non-compliance with regulatory and other mandatory security standards.

6.In need of strengthening the security strategies and setting up cybersecurity goals.

7.In search of affordable yet full-service benefits of a CISO.

8.In need of on-demand virtual support, subscription-based or part-time.

vCISO – Service benefits for businesses

Virtual CISO services present the ideal way for enterprises to run smoothly with the help of professional cybersecurity resources. An affordable service model has many parallel rays that make it a popular option when cybersecurity becomes an area of focus. In addition to building expert cybersecurity roadmaps, posture enhancements, and draw boards attention to critical security issues, a vCISO service could cover up many security benefits for organizations;

1.Cybersecurity expertise with leadership

A vCISO possesses the required certifications & skillsets coupled with vast expertise in the cybersecurity domain. Indeed, they are top-notch cybersecurity professionals aiding enterprises with extensive leadership qualities. They help to build and maintain a stiff and solid security posture while handling your in-house security team.

2.Zero-training necessity

A vCISO comes with an extra benefit of zero-training necessity. A vCISO helps organizations in saving time and money required for conducting relevant training and resource allocations. One of the benefits is that organizations could take their eyes off security elements as the vCISOs come with professional exposure and experience in dealing with them.

3.Reduced overheads

The shift of working patterns has sprouted numerous overheads to enterprises. These overheads include additional costs to internal security flaws, resource allocation, end-point device safety and protection. But with the use of a vCISO service, organizations could stay upright with reduced overheads and total security.

4.Flexible and reliable service

vCISO service is one of the robust virtual models for on-demand cybersecurity needs. It can act as a retainer model for situations where in-house cybersecurity resources get reassigned for other projects. It allows other top-level employees to concentrate on their scope of work. While ensuring adherence to the security standards and compliance requirements, vCISO offers a reliable platform for businesses and users.

5.Eliminating unnecessary costs

vCISO services are aimed at enterprise security and shaping a good posture in the cybersecurity space. Implementing and deploying a cybersecurity compliance program often involves significant investments in software, hardware, manhours, and other requisites. A vCISO aid organizations towards substantial investment reductions that are required to achieve the desirable cybersecurity posture. Additionally, they could also benefit from the time saved in searching for tools & vendors for security needs and compliance.

More into fintech firms

In the present situation, popular banks, fintech firms, and credit unions are on the virtual route, choosing vCISO services. Many reasons define the fact. Let us take a quick gaze at the top three.

*Knowledge base

While picking vCISO services from a third-party consulting company that provides services to multiple clients, the inherent advantage is the benefit of the extensive knowledge base these third-party agencies garner while interacting with different businesses. In fact, it is the expertise and exposure that matters. An expert firm that offers the needed experience in cybersecurity also enhances the reliability factor for firms picking the service.

*Continuity

Extra hirings, project changes, position changes are not easy to fix for any company considering the ongoing pandemic. Here is where the worth of a permanent on-demand security service gets highlighted. A continued process and approach of a vCISO could improve the stability and integrity of users, allowing a more flexible business.

*Cost-effectiveness

vCISO has high-cost benefits in comparison to a full-time equivalent (FTE) deployed by larger companies. For small scale organizations, they don’t require a

full-time position invested in security. And large fintech firms and unions use the service to fill only the specialized portion of the role, controlling the costs.

Concluding insights

The ongoing pandemic crisis has brought many twists and turns to our working style, model and pattern. The change is inevitable, and at the same time, need to ensure compliance and protection to organization’s security standards and policies. The virtual CISO service gleams an expert solution with an affordable and reliable model for enterprises, ensuring security. Large enterprises benefit from expert advisory, strategic guidance, and much-needed continuity. On the other hand, small-scale companies could use vCISO as a service that helps to manage security standards, compliances, management of staff, and the deployment of a perfect security roadmap. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the vCISO service is a stand-out feature that makes it the right choice.

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