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3 Important Benefits of Hiring a vCISO

March 21, 2022

Wondering if your company needs a vCISO? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll start with the basics: what is a vCISO and who needs one. Next we’ll explore the benefits and how to begin your vCISO search. Finally, we’ll explain why now is the right time to look for one.

Need specialized help? Hire an expert!

Whenever your company needs specialized help, what do you do? Either hire an employee or hire an agency of some kind. 

Either option could be beneficial. But typically, an outsourced agency makes the most practical and financial sense for small and medium-sized businesses. 

Most businesses could use help with information security

Large companies have had CISOs for a long time. And smaller businesses could use their information security services too. But hiring a full-time CISO is usually overkill. That’s where a vCISO comes in.

This article will dive into three key benefits of hiring a vCISO. If you’re in the financial services, healthcare or government contracting industries, you may especially benefit from hiring a vCISO.

vCISO security strategy by Adelia Risk

What is a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)?

In large organizations, the Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO, is the guru of all things information security. They make sure the security strategy lines up with the business strategy. They present to board members about cybersecurity and business risks. They manage oversight, and figure out what's missing. Large or complex businesses typically need a full-time CISO.

Are CISOs just for big businesses?

Large organizations have had CISOs for years. But as more businesses move to the cloud, and as more industries have to comply with certain regulations, a CISO is not just a 'big business' thing. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) now realize that CISOs can help them with their information security program too.

This holds true for cyberattacks as well. We sometimes think of only big businesses being hacked, but that’s not true! Small and medium sized businesses are at risk too.

What is a vCISO?

A vCISO (Virtual CISO) is an outsourced or contracted CISO. Like mentioned earlier, it’s like hiring a marketing agency or a fractional/virtual CFO. You get industry experience without the cost of a full time employee.

virtual ciso services by Adelia Risk

What does a vCISO actually do?

Typically, vCISO service providers will perform a detailed cybersecurity risk assessment and then provide ongoing advice and oversight. They establish the cybersecurity strategy, security program, oversee contractors and vendors as needed, and execute a security training program.

Not all vCISOs are the same

There are many vCISOs that are more hands-on, which is usually better for small and medium-sized businesses. Some vCISO services focus on policies and procedures, and others (like ours!) get into more of the technical details.

So if you’re looking for a vCISO, make sure you look at the details of their offering. Make sure it’s what you need!

vciso information security team by Adelia Risk

Benefits of working with a Virtual CISO

We’ve already established that a vCISO gives you expert advice without the cost of an employee. But what are the other benefits?

#1 - Stop cyberattacks

This should be the #1 priority of any Virtual CISO firm. 

Get everything locked down so hackers have a much harder time stealing data or draining bank accounts. No, that’s not a typo.

Hacking should not be easy

A vCISO should do everything to make it harder for hackers. Unfortunately as cyberattackers get more sophisticated, hacks are bound to happen. What’s important is making it as tough as possible and knowing what to do when it happens.


Cybersecurity training is critical for all businesses

Besides locking things down, a good vCISO will help implement a cybersecurity awareness training program within your company. 

#2 - IT leadership and management

Most hacks start because of IT mistakes. This isn’t a slam on IT service providers, it’s the truth. Hiring a Virtual CISO means you have someone to oversee the technology solutions to catch and resolve these mistakes. 

A big IT mistake we see often: misconfigured cloud settings!

For example, we’ve seen countless mistakes in cloud settings for various clients over the years. If you’re using Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, your business may be extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks. Good Virtual CISOs know what to look for and how to fix it. 

Here's an example of a recent Microsoft 365 audit we performed. This company has had professional IT help for years, and yet almost 80% of the settings were wrong!

Microsoft 365 Secure Cloud Audit by Adelia Risk

Need help finding a new IT provider?

If you’re looking for a new IT provider? Most vCISOs will have a rolodex of sorts full of companies to recommend. Their experience and insight can help you find the best IT firm to help your business.

#3 - Protect your revenue and reputation

This is incredibly important. A Virtual CISO helps protect your revenue and reputation. Clients and insurance companies want proof you have your act together. A Virtual CISO can help prove you’re on top of your cybersecurity.

virtual cisos protect against hackers

Do you know what to do if a hacker gets access?

Remember what we were saying earlier about how hacks are kind of inevitable? A vCISO helps with damage control and incident response. They know the steps to follow when a hack happens and can help alleviate client concerns.

Virtual CISO services help you provide good client service

Think of cybersecurity as providing good client service. You are taking steps to protect their data and private information. Having a Virtual CISO launch a security program proves you are taking cybersecurity and cyber risk seriously.

How to Find a Virtual CISO

But how do you actually find the right Virtual CISO for your company? We have a few suggestions.

vciso service by Adeila Risk cybersecurity

Ask your friends

If you’ve decided a vCISO makes sense for your company, the best thing you can do is ask your peers for recommendations. And if you’re narrowed down a few vCISO options from your Google searches? Ask them for references. 

Ask vCISO candidates for references

A good vCISO will have current clients you can contact to ask questions. We’ve done this a number of times for prospective clients, and our current clients are always happy to provide a recommendation. 

Look for industry-specific vCISOs

Depending on your industry, it’s a good idea to find a vCISO that can focus on your specific industry. For example, we focus on clients in financial services, healthcare (HIPAA compliance) and government contracting (CMMC/NIST compliance).

Don’t Delay in Finding a vCISO

Unfortunately, many companies wait until it’s too late to find a vCISO. We hear from companies all the time that are experiencing scary security situations:

  • Emails are sent to clients that appear to come from the CEO, but are actually sent by a malicious 3rd party
  • An employee clicked a link on a phishing email and they aren’t sure what data was accessed
  • CEO’s email was accessed
  • Company emails are all going to spam
  • Terminated employees are still accessing company systems
  • Sensitive client information was accidentally published on the internet

And the list goes on.

Time to find a vciso

The best time to find a vCISO is now!

Do not wait for catastrophe. The best time to look for a vCISO is now. When you have time to think through options and make changes. Take the time to find the right vCISO in order to positively change your company’s cybersecurity program. If you need information security leadership, a Virtual CISO could make a big difference in your company.

Get Expert Cybersecurity Help

If you need help with security compliance, protecting client data, or overseeing your IT company (because let’s face it, most hacks are successful due to IT mistakes) – then an Adelia Risk vCISO may be the right choice for you. 

Learn more about our services and what our clients have to say.

Over the last 10+ years, we’ve helped over 100 of the best financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing companies across the U.S. with their cybersecurity. 

Our clients have peace of mind

“Working with Adelia Risk provides peace of mind. I sleep better at night knowing that our client data is being protected. Josh and his team are responsive, highly knowledgeable, and helpful. 

They take complicated topics and make them understandable. We love working with Adelia Risk!"

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