A vCISO (virtual Chief Information Security Officer), provides cybersecurity leadership to businesses virtually at a fraction of the cost if hiring them full-time. By hiring a third-party provider to manage your cyebrsecurity program remotely, a business gains access to staff and resources that it doesn’t have in-house, and can better keep up with information security and compliance requirements.

With a vCISO you can fulfill your cybersecurity needs no different than having a General Practitioner doctor for yourself or a lawyer for your company look over your contracts.  You wouldn’t normally hire a lawyer or doctor full-time into your business so why would you hire a full-time cybersecurity professional.

Cybersecurity leadership is essential in modern business, as digital transformation increases an organization’s overall magnitude of vulnerabilities. There is an industry-wide cybersecurity skills shortage, meaning affordable skilled security leaders are hard to find. A vCISO provides a potential solution to this problem by providing access to cost-efficient security leadership on an as-needed basis.


The tasks assigned to a vCISO deviates from business to business, but can do virtually all tasks that an in-house CISO can do: 

Source: TechTarget

Additional Reading: VCISO: A Pragmatic Path To Cybersecurity In Pandemic Times And Beyond

Related Terms: Risk Management

What does this mean for an SMB?

VCISOs are an excellent option for small and medium-sized businesses. With threats becoming more sophisticated by the day, it’s important to have a vCISO guide you through your security program development. VCISOs are fairly affordable, offering different payment options, outlined below:
  1. Subscription/Contract
      • Paid monthly at a fixed rate, helping whenever needed. 
  2. Per-Use Basis
      • Paid at an hourly rate, oftentimes less prioritized than the contracted customers. 
  3. Hybrid
      • Combination of Subscription and Per-Use model.
        • Ex: vCISO contractually agreed to assist business (planning, risk assessment, training, etc) up to 20 hours a month, at a fixed monthly rate. If the vCISO is needed more than 20 hours in a month they charge the business an hourly rate for the extra hours.  

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