Every organization should be concerned about cyber security, and rightfully so. From phishing and spyware to ransomware and DDoS attacks, digital threats are growing by the day and it is only getting tougher for businesses to keep their information secure.

Large organizations, for the most part, consider cyber security a no-brainer investment. These types of businesses have the resources and executive infrastructure to establish a solid foundation of continuous management, monitoring, education and oversight of their Information Security Management Systems, commonly known as ISMS. However organizations with comparatively smaller footprints – like many of our clients who operate in small- to medium-size businesses or in the Family Office space – tend to be the ones that may overlook or underestimate the digital threats to their operations and the IT investments required to mitigate risk.

Going Virtual to Maximize Cost-Effectiveness

Investing in a full-time Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can transform an organization’s digital security posture. But this route may not be cost-effective, particularly for growing companies. The diverse skillset required to identify risk, implement mitigation strategies and educate employees can be prohibitively expensive – and that’s before we even account for the costs associated with continuing education on modern cyber-criminal methodologies.

Balancing business objectives and information security requirements means ensuring strong IT leadership. To meet this ever-increasing business need, many of our clients have found a successful alternative – a virtual CIO (vCIO) or CISO (vCISO).

The 3 Key Benefits of vCIOs and vCISOS

A vCIO or vCISO can help lead your organization’s IT efforts in three distinct ways.

  1. Conduct an Information Security Assessment – A seasoned vCIO or vCISO will help your organization establish a threat matrix that can be used to develop mitigation strategies that will limit the digital risks and vulnerabilities presently facing your organization.
  2. Implement Policies, Procedures and Technologies – Establishing operational protocols and user obligations, as well as assessing and implementing the most appropriate tools to establish a “defense in depth” framework, is at the heart of a successful organization’s information security program. This type of groundwork is the primary domain of a vCIO or vCISO.
  3. Educate Employees– Dedicated, hardworking and skilled employees are the lifeblood of any strong organization. In today’s digital threat environment, however, they can also be an unsuspecting liability. It only takes one employee to fall victim to a phishing scam to cripple an entire company. A vCIO or vCISO can work closely with an organization to ensure that each employee understands his or her role in upholding the company’s information security safeguards and standards.

True Information Security Takes Real Buy-In – From the Top

Developing a robust, reliable ISMS requires organizational consensus and decisive action. Leadership must do more than acknowledge the information security risks in today’s business environment. It should commit the resources necessary to ensure that a proven, expert-driven security strategy is in place and communicated across the entire organization.

As an ISO 27001:2013-certified firm, Hillard Heintze has the resources and expertise to help you review, establish and lead your organization’s Information Security Management System.