Can you imagine a cruise ship without a captain? Operations in different areas of the ship might be able to take place on their own. The engines would run. The kitchen would prepare food. The guests would be entertained. But there would be no one who had their finger on the pulse of all of the activity. No one would be responsible for coordinating each of the various departments and most importantly, no one would be making sure the ship was headed in the right direction. That’s what it’s like when your organization doesn’t have a vCISO.
What’s a vCISO?
A virtual Chief Information Security Officer is an executive-level role responsible for guiding the creation and implementation of cybersecurity strategy. They act as consultant to business leaders, bringing them the information they need to make the best decisions about cyber risk management. They provide leadership to the teams implementing both the technical and non-technical tactics that are part of the strategy. They balance the requirements for security with the needs of the business.
Why Do You Need a Cybersecurity Strategy?
Effective cybersecurity is more than a matter of following a recipe. There are many factors to consider as you’re creating your strategy. A vCISO is not only going to bring all of those factors into the conversation, but they’re also going to think about what’s suitable for your business.
The vCISO Role in Creating Cybersecurity Strategy
Think back to our cruise ship analogy. Let’s say that the captain was totally focused on the mechanical systems of the ship but was unconcerned with the type of experience that the guests were having. Even with a commitment to good customer service, guests may have bad experiences because of the lack of coordination. So, the ship might be able to go where the captain wants it to go, but the business suffers because too many guest needs are neglected.
The vCISO understands that the business needs to not only operate but must take employee and customer experience into account as well. And when additional security measures are added, the vCISO can recommend methods for introducing the measures so that people don’t feel that they’re getting security pushed down their throats.
Here are some other ways that a vCISO works with you to create cybersecurity strategy:
- Identifies and interprets cyber threats and risks.
- Assures that industry and regulatory compliance needs are addressed.
- Facilitates budgeting for cybersecurity.
- Orchestrates the assembly of a security tech stack.
- Oversees technical operations from a high level.
- Assists in creating security policies.
- Recommends employee training for cybersecurity awareness.
- Stays up to date with evolving trends and threats in the cybersecurity landscape.
Do You have a vCISO Gap in Your IT Team?
As you’ve been learning how a vCISO works with you to create an implement cybersecurity strategy in this article, you might come to the realization that you don’t have access to this kind of capability in either your internal IT team or your outsourced IT support provider. If that’s the case, then your security posture may not be as solid as you think.
Many people who are great as IT engineers have difficulty thinking in business terms about security. They default to their technical expertise but are unable to think in terms of risk. Additionally, because you don’t have someone 100% dedicated to security, it’s very likely that you’re exposing your organization to more than you need to or can tolerate.
Managed Cyber Defense with vCISO Guidance for New Orleans Businesses
Here at Bellwether, we provide clients with managed cybersecurity services that include vCISO consulting from experienced security professionals. Not only do we work with clients to develop their unique security strategy, they have access to our in-house Security Operations Center (SOC) team to manage the dynamic security process.