Leading Provider of
Virtual CISO (vCISO) Services
Virtual Chief Information Security Officers and Cybersecurity Risk Management - Veteran Owned
About vCISO Services, LLC
Providing Small & Midsized Businesses withVirtual CISOs & CISO Advisory Services
At an average annual compensation of over $279,000*, the cost of adding a full-time Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can far exceed the budgets of many small and midsized businesses (SMBs). However, many SMBs don’t require a full-time security leadership position. That’s where a virtual CISO (vCISO) adds value.
We offer vCISO services in several configurations:
- vCISO Subscription Services for businesses that require a part-time CISO
- CISO Advisory Services for businesses that have a CISO but need the experienced support of a vCISO to augment the CISO
- Standalone Services for short-term , targeted engagements (such as vulnerability assessments and gap analyss)
Virtual CISO Iron
A minimum 20-hour retainer for virtual CISO consulting. Can be applied to Standalone Services, as well.
Virtual CISO Bronze
For small businesses requiring minimal but consistent virtual CISO services
Virtual CISO Silver
For small and midsized businesses requiring more complex virtual CISO services.
Virtual CISO Gold
For midsized businesses over 300 employees with the complexity to require the features of Silver but at a greater volume of virtual CISO services.
Virtual CISO Platinum
Virtual CISO services for midsized businesses with complex security and/or regulatory requirements beyond the Gold level.
What MakesUs Different
vCISO Services, LLC is a small, specialized, veteran-owned firm with a calling, founded on Christian values, and focused on the needs of SMBs only. Our size is our advantage – with us, you are a big fish in a small pond, not lost in a large firm ocean. You engage a highly-experienced vCISO, not a cyber security analyst or IT security manager with limited or no actual CISO or information security risk management experience. You optimize cyber security executive services, knowing a vCISO with actual CISO information security executive leadership experience is leading the relationship.
Our passion is to help SMBs gain a fighting chance in an increasingly hostile cyber security threat environment by providing executive part-time virtual CISO services and CISO advisory services. It is our name, it is our core. We exist to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Virtual CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) or vCISO is a service that offers organizations the knowledge and skills of a conventional CISO without the associated costs of a full-time executive position.
This role typically includes creating and managing the implementation of a security strategy, ensuring compliance with regulations, training and educating staff about security, and responding to incidents. A vCISO can be an individual or a team providing services remotely.
The vCISO model is particularly attractive to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that may not have the resources or need for a full-time, dedicated CISO but still have significant security needs that must be managed. The vCISO can provide strategic leadership in security matters, help the organization align its security objectives with its business objectives, and provide advice and guidance on managing risks and responding to incidents.
Some benefits of a vCISO include:
• Cost-effectiveness: The organization gets access to expert cybersecurity leadership without having to pay for a full-time executive-level salary.
• Flexibility: The vCISO service can be scaled up or down based on the organization’s needs.
• Experience: vCISOs often have broad experience across different industries and can bring diverse perspectives to their role.
• Quick start: A vCISO can usually start work quickly, without the need for a lengthy recruitment and onboarding process.
A vCISO can assist in various ways:
• Strategy Development: A vCISO can help create and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy aligned with your business goals. This strategy will address key areas such as risk management, compliance, incident response, and employee training.
• Risk Management: A vCISO can identify, assess, and manage cybersecurity risks. This process involves understanding the business’s unique threat landscape, assessing the potential impact of different risks, and implementing controls to mitigate these risks.
• Compliance: Many businesses operate in regulatory environments that require them to meet certain cybersecurity standards. A vCISO can help ensure that the business is compliant with these standards and prepared for any audits or assessments.
• Incident Response: A vCISO can develop and implement an incident response plan, ensuring that the business is prepared to respond effectively to a security incident. They can also assist in managing and recovering from incidents.
• Training and Awareness: A vCISO can develop and deliver cybersecurity training for employees, helping to reduce risks associated with human error and improve the organization’s security culture.
• Cost-Efficient: Hiring a vCISO service can be more cost-effective than employing a full-time CISO, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. You get the benefit of expert leadership without the full-time executive salary.
• Vendor Management: A vCISO can help manage relationships with cybersecurity vendors, ensuring that the business is getting the best value and that all security tools and services are integrated effectively.
A Virtual CISO (vCISO) should ideally have a combination of technical skills, leadership capabilities, and business acumen. The following experience and qualifications are typically desirable for a vCISO:
• Technical Expertise: A vCISO should have a deep understanding of IT systems, cybersecurity tools and techniques, and emerging threats. This includes knowledge of encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, data loss prevention, and other cybersecurity technologies. They should also have a good understanding of various cybersecurity standards and frameworks such as ISO 27001, NIST, and others.
• Industry Certifications: Certifications can demonstrate a vCISO’s knowledge and commitment to the field. Relevant certifications may include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), and others.
• Leadership and Management Experience: A vCISO often needs to lead a team and interact with an organization’s leadership. Experience with strategic planning, project management, and staff management is often desirable. They should be capable of making informed decisions and leading an organization’s information security strategy.
• Regulatory Compliance: A vCISO should understand the regulatory landscape that the organization operates in. This includes knowledge of laws and standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), among others, depending on the industry.
• Risk Management: Experience with risk assessment and management is important. This includes the ability to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks in a cost-effective manner.
• Incident Response: The vCISO should have experience with developing and implementing incident response plans, as well as managing actual security incidents.
• Business Acumen: An effective vCISO understands how security intersects with business objectives. They should be able to articulate the business case for security investments and align security strategies with business goals.
• Communication Skills: A vCISO needs to be an effective communicator, capable of explaining complex security issues to non-technical stakeholders and influencing decision-making at the highest levels of the organization.
Compliance and security, while related, serve different purposes and have different focuses.
Compliance refers to adhering to a set of specific rules or standards, typically established by a regulatory body or industry group. These rules are often a baseline or minimum standard that all organizations must meet. They may include specific controls or practices that an organization must implement. Compliance standards are typically generic and apply to a wide range of organizations, often within a specific industry (like healthcare or financial services).
On the other hand, security is about protecting an organization’s information and systems from threats. This involves identifying and managing risks, implementing controls, detecting and responding to incidents, and continually improving security practices. Security is specific to an organization’s unique context, including its specific risks, threat landscape, business objectives, and technological infrastructure.
Here are some reasons why compliance does not equal security:
• Compliance is a baseline, not the ceiling: Compliance standards usually represent a minimum level of security that all organizations must achieve. However, just because an organization meets these standards does not mean its security is sufficient for its specific risks and threat landscape.
• Compliance is not comprehensive: Compliance standards typically focus on specific areas of risk relevant to a particular industry. They might not cover all potential security risks that an organization faces.
• Compliance is static, security is dynamic: Compliance standards are updated periodically, while security threats are continually evolving. An organization that is compliant today could be vulnerable to a new threat tomorrow.
• Compliance can lead to a checkbox mentality: Organizations might focus on ticking off compliance requirements rather than implementing a comprehensive, risk-based approach to security. This can lead to gaps in their security posture.
• Compliance does not equal effectiveness: Just because an organization has implemented a control required by a compliance standard does not mean the control is effective. For example, an organization might have an incident response plan (as required by many compliance standards), but if the plan is not regularly tested and updated, it might not be effective when an actual incident occurs.
Thus, while compliance can be a part of a strong security program, it should not be the end goal. An effective security program requires a continuous, proactive approach to managing risks, beyond just meeting compliance standards.
vCISO Services, LLC is proud to be the primary sponsor for The Virtual CISO Moment podcast, stories of what drives infosec pros and what makes them successful while helping small and midsized business (SMB) security needs. No frills, no glamour, no transparent whiteboard text, no catchy music, no complex graphics, and no script – just honest discussion of SMB information security risk issues.