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  • Writer's pictureAshley Woodhall

Why A Virtual Security Leader Is Perfect For The SME

A security expert, when sitting on the leadership team, can help an organisation meet their objectives by reducing the likelihood and cost of a security breach. This is especially the case for organisations who consider themselves as risk-takers.

A full-time security leader or chief information security officer (CISO) is going to cost some pennies. Clearly, a startup or small business cannot afford such luxury. What they can do, however is engage with a virtual, part-time CISO, also know as a vCISO, or sometimes, a fractional CISO.

A vCISO can be involved as much or as little as the company has a need for, on a retainer on-demand basis.

In addition to setting the security strategy, writing security policies and designing security roadmaps, they can be available on-demand to help with questions such as:

  • How do we secure our new web platform?

  • What do we need to do to look after our customer data?

  • Can you give our potential new customer assurance we will take care of their data?

A vCISO will be especially useful to you if your need to keep proprietary information private, if you store/process a lot of personal or sensitive information, or if you absolutely need to keep operational systems running 24/7. If your company sells it's services to much bigger corporations, particularly if your services are technology based, have a vCISO will be even more beneficial. Big corporations have processes to follow and will need comfort that you will protect any data they share with you. A vCISO can help put such building blocks in place and ultimately help you win business with bigger, more complex corporations.

What makes a good vCISO?

  • The ability to see the bigger picture and focus on delivering business objectives and goals whilst reducing the security risk to an acceptable level

  • Diverse skills and knowledge. The vCISO will need to dip their toes in many areas related to supporting the business with their security needs. Compliance with regulations, answering technical queries, securing cloud environments and performing risk assessments, to name a few.

  • Flexibility and availability. The vCISO will need to adapt to the organisation's needs in terms of time and expertise. A startup will need guidance on an ongoing basis, especially if they are heavily developing or selling applications and platforms. There will be times where a vCISO needs to complete a security questionnaire for a new potential client, and turn it around fast.

A vCISO helps steer the cyber security posture of startups/small-medium businesses on their journeys. They are flexible, affordable and already understand the challenges you face.


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