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Last Updated on November 26, 2019

How to Know When You’re Ready for a Fractional CISO

Many business’s need information security expertise and direction—but can’t justify the high cost of a full-time expert like a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). A fractional CISO (also called a virtual CISO, vCISO or “CISO-as-a-Service”) can cover any or all the responsibilities of a conventional CISO, but in an on-demand, pay-as-you-go manner.

A fractional CISO is often the most cost-effective way to get the expertise you need. Plus, the fractional CISO model eliminates the stress, delays and risks of hiring the right person in today’s security job market.

Here are some of the top use cases we see for engaging a fractional CISO:

  • Your IT Manager, CTO or CIO is juggling a growing heap of information security, privacy and/or risk-related responsibilities in addition to his or her “primary” workload. When a key executive reaches a state of “overwhelm,” business-critical projects often lose momentum and direction. A fractional CISO could be the perfect person to drive InfoSec tasks that are piling up.
  • You’re seeing more and more (and more!) security questionnaires from clients and prospects. This trend has reached epic proportions, especially among SaaS providers. Not only are a growing percentage of organizations mandating security questionnaires as part of vendor risk management (VRM) initiatives, but also the length and complexity of the questionnaires keeps increasing so they take longer to complete. Deals and contracts depend on these questionnaires, and a fractional CISO could be the right resource to keep them flowing—not to mention help you address any security gaps that might be giving clients second thoughts.
  • New regulations like CCPA and GDPR require increased maturity from your information security, privacy, compliance and/or risk management programs. Being able to prove you’re secure and compliant is part of today’s business landscape. There’s just no getting around it. When you need to quickly determine the best course of action and start moving forward with improved controls and capabilities across systems and data, you need expert advice you can trust. Leveraging a fractional CISO as an extension of your team could be the ideal way to develop and drive business-critical programs, show progress where it counts most and keep you out of trouble with regulators, clients and your board.
  • You just suffered a breach or other cyber security incident. You urgently need to make sure your environment is safe, analyze the attack, address stakeholder concerns, rebuild your data and remediate your biggest gaps before you’re hit again. If you don’t have adequate expertise and bandwidth in-house to take all that on in a hurry, a fractional CISO can be on the job in no time. He or she has probably weathered more than one breach in the past and can guide your business through the aftermath with confidence.
  • You need a Data Privacy Officer (DPO). This is becoming more popular as the regulations for privacy increase. Anyone with CISO level chops will have the expertise needed to be a data privacy officer “stand-in”.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, contact Pivot Point Security. You might be surprised how quickly a fractional CISO can turn things around, build momentum and improve your security posture in both the short- and long-term.

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vCISO Roles and Responsibilities Inforgaphic ThumbnailSuccessful vCISO = All Security Roles Filled

This document outlines the 3 critical roles and responsibilities of a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer: Architect, Builder, and Operator.

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