Introduction

Because of COIVD19, the IT Security teams across Corporate America have now been stretched well beyond their breaking points, and worst yet, the leader that has been called upon for leadership simply cannot keep up.  Now, the other issue that is being faced as businesses start to open their doors, is how much of a budget do they really have in order to mitigate future cyber threats?

Cash flow will be of grave concern, as many companies are still trying to hold onto whatever liquidity they have on their balance sheets.  For example, there may even no longer be a need to have a dedicated, full time CIO/CISO on staff, as there is a significant cost to paying their salaries and benefits.  The trend now is to hire what are known as Fractional vCISOs, for just a fraction of the cost. 

The benefits of hiring these kinds of consultants is the focal point in this article.

So, What Are The Benefits???

*You get a wide breadth of expertise:

While your CIO is probably a well-educated individual with deep experience, it does not necessarily mean that they have all the expertise that you need to keep up with the dynamics of the Cyberthreat landscape.  For example, as businesses are letting their workers back in once again, one of the main issues to be dealt with is that of creating and maintain a rock-solid Business Continuity (BC) Plan.  Because of the pandemic, many CIOs and CISOs are now fully understanding the importance of having this, so that they will be 100% prepared for the next major event. Unfortunately, they may not necessarily have the knowledge in crafting out such a plan.  Therefore, you need to reach out to a Fractional vCISO who has these specific skills that can help you to create this.  You do not have to hire this person on a full-time basis, you can hire them for a fixed time period, at a very affordable price.  Very likely, this individual will more than likely have other contacts as well that can offer even their own level of expertise to other aspects of your BC Plan.

  • It is a very cost-effective approach to take:

As it was just described, cash flow is of prime importance to any business, no matter how large or small.  Everybody is now on a very tight budget, at unprecedented levels never seen before, and paying your existing CIO is probably out of the question.  The average salary for a CIO is now pegged at about almost $270,000.00.  Keep in mind that this does not even include benefits, bonuses, stock options, and other perks.  When you add all of this together, the entire compensation package can come close to almost $2,000,000.00.  In today’s times, which business can really afford this?  Not many.  So, this is where the role of hiring a well-established Fractional vCISO will become crucial.  In monetary terms, you can save at least 40% by hiring such a person.  Best of all, you don’t have to pay all of extras like you would have to for a CIO, all you have to so is pay them for the time that you need them, on a flat fee basis.  When your project is done, you can terminate the contract, and bring them back on board again on an as needed basis.  As a result, you will have that much more money in your IT budget to spend on other items that you need to shore up your cybersecurity posture.

  • You will get an unbiased view:

The C-Suite across Corporate America has often been viewed as a place where company politics often play out.  Because of this, many of the decisions that are made may not necessarily reflect what is best for the business.  What you need (and especially right now) is an individual who is not bound by such nuances, and that can offer you in precise terms, what you need to do right now in order to clean up and improve your current levels of the proverbial cyber hygiene.  This is where the role of the Fractional vCISO will come into crucial play.  In other words, he or she can come right in, conduct an exhaustive assessment of how things are being done right now in your company, and offer you real world solutions to make things better.  Because they are an external resource you have hired, they can provide you an insight that is completely neutral and what is best for your business.

  • You can get staff augmentation:

For quite some time now, there has been a severe shortage of skilled workers in the Cybersecurity industry.  Obviously, hiring on new, full time staff could very well be out of the question right now, as you are trying to keep up with paying your existing staff.  But because everybody is so overworked right now, other pressing Cybersecurity needs could literally take a back seat right now.  But this does not necessarily have to be the case for your business.  For example, if you hire the right kind of Fractional vCISO, they can actually augment your current, full time staff, and help them keep up with their daily job tasks. As also mentioned earlier, they will probably have other contacts on board that you can hire as well for a fixed term contract.  For example, if you take this kind of approach, they can help out with the other cyber services that you may offer to your clients. Also, they can even help out with your internal security needs as well. For instance, they can help out with Penetration Testing, helping you assess your current levels of cyber-risk tolerance, help you determine where the weaknesses may lie in your Web based applications, assist with keeping up on a regular software patch and update schedule, and even help you come into compliance with the GDPR and the CCPA.

  •  Proactiveness will be a main area of focus:

Although every CIO/CISO, at the bottom of their hearts, would like to have a proactive Cyber mindset that transcends to each and every employee in their business, this is an almost impossible task to do.  A primary reason for this is that the burnout rate is so high amongst them, that it is almost impossible to keep them on for the long haul.  For example, 91% of CIOs and CISOs across Corporate America at the present time feel a huge amount of stress, thus causing them to quit at unprecedented levels.  But by hiring a Fractional vCISO, he or she will not feel this to such a high degree, and as a result, they will  be able to quickly to foster that proactive cyber mindset and even foster higher levels of motivation amongst your IT Security team that is so badly needed today.

Conclusions

Overall, this article has examined some of the strategic benefits of hiring a Fractional vCISO to help you out with your cyber needs.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, and it is also important to keep in mind that you simply should not hire the first person to respond to your job posting.  Rather, it is particularly important that you follow a strict vetting process, as you will be entrusting your Fractional vCISO to highly confidential information and data that resides in your business.