As your organization grows, so do your risks. Threats to network and data security are more complex, nuanced, and numerous than ever, and it’s wise for you to be ready. You need prevention measures and remediation strategies — and you’re probably going to want help.
The field of cybersecurity is changing so rapidly that it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve. And the consequences of failure can be severe. Having someone on your team who specializes in information security — even on a part-time basis — can be helpful in many aspects of your cybersecurity strategy.
With specialized training and a steady eye on the evolving threat landscape, a fractional (part-time) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can help your organization move forward safely as you embrace technological developments. They can also help protect you from loss and cement your reputation as a business with the right mindset toward cybersecurity.
What Does a CISO Do?
Hiring a CISO is a critical step in protecting your organization from the latest cybersecurity threats as well as the potential financial and legal ramifications of a breach. The duties of a CISO typically include:
- Assessing the state of the cybersecurity strategy and identifying strengths and weaknesses in its design and implementation
- Developing and driving the implementation of key initiatives to close gaps, build on existing strengths, and correct weaknesses
- Leading development, approval, implementation, and periodic updates of information security policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines
- Partnering with enterprise architecture, infrastructure, and application development teams to ensure that technology solutions align with cybersecurity policies and standards
- Ensuring your cybersecurity program is compliant with legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements
- Establishing and overseeing vulnerability management, including regular vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and the coordination of remediation activities
- Overseeing incident response planning and breach investigation activities
- Providing expertise on security standards and best practices
- Monitoring external threat intelligence sources and advising stakeholders on appropriate courses of action
- Training staff and board members to elevate their understanding of privacy, cybersecurity risk issues, and processes
Why a Fractional CISO?
As your organization builds its network and data needs, its IT infrastructure and application management will become increasingly complex. With each new connection, bit of software, or employee, your risks will evolve. And the bigger your operations become, the more you’re going to need a CISO. But can you afford one?
Just as the popularity of shared offices and infrastructure was rising before so many of us started working from home, the “only pay for what you need” model has become a go-to for many successful businesses. You get the expertise and oversight of a CISO, but you only pay a fraction of their salary. It’s a win-win.
You have a couple of options if you’re looking for a fractional CISO: you can hire a freelancer or contract the services of a partner that provides CISOs as needed. There are pros and cons to working with freelancers.
- Expert knowledge
- Previous experience
- Availability is not guaranteed
- Onboarding times can vary if they’re used to systems that differ from yours
Benefits of a Fractional CISO From Your MSP
While freelance CISOs can offer some benefits to organizations that aren’t prepared to shoulder the cost of adding a full-time executive, working with a fractional CISO from your managed services partner offers those same benefits and more. In addition to affordable expertise, a fractional CISO can provide:
A fractional CISO will provide the cybersecurity expertise and oversight you need when you need it — not when they have time. If you’re facing a critical vulnerability and unsure of next steps, do you want to wait around for answers? If your organization has experienced a breach, you need someone with 24-7 availability.
Cybersecurity experts are some of the most highly sought-after members of the technology world. They’re also some of the most stressed. A fractional CISO from your MSP won’t bail on you because another client offered them more money, and they’re less likely to burn out because their load can be shared by colleagues.
Regardless of the size of your organization, it’s critical to ensure adequate governance of your cybersecurity policies and programs. Without a dedicated CISO, the task of overseeing your ever-evolving security measures and addressing threats and vulnerabilities may fall to a team member who lacks the authority to implement changes and ensure compliance.
Looking for a Fractional CISO?
A fractional CISO can enhance and maintain your organization’s cybersecurity maturity for a fraction of the cost of adding a full-time executive. CISOs can help bring your team and network security needs together and make your organization stronger. Want to know more about the benefits of working with a fractional CISO? Talk to our team at AISN now.