What is a virtual CISO (vCISO)? Should I hire one?


Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are senior members of staff who are embedded into the C-level management layer, they are responsible for the development and implementation of information security programs. This includes (but not limited to), policies and procedures which are designed to protect the business from both internal and external threats.

A CISO has excellent communication and interpersonal skills, they are comfortable talking to all levels of staff and have the knowledge and experience to relay the information in a format which will make sense to the audience.

Roles and responsibilities

The role of the CISO is primarily to be proactive and protect the business from any type of security incident, whether this is a data breach or some of security incident. The CISO must keep up to date with the latest threats and techniques which are constantly changing, as part of this, they must also work with other senior managers across the business to ensure that all systems are protected equally.

Their responsibilities include creating and performing periodic risk assessments, policies and security plans for the business. To ensure that the business can survive an incident they also plan and manage contingency planning, which may include working with other members of the business to perform business continuity and disaster recovery planning and scenarios.

Why virtual?

Hiring a full-time CISO can be expensive and a time-consuming exercise for a lot of businesses, looking at outsourcing the role can not only save the business money but also ensures that you hire an experienced service.

A lot of businesses may not have the requirement for a full-time CISO, they may only need someone acting as a CISO a few days a month or may want the requirement that they have access to someone in case anything happens, a virtual CISO (vCISO) like the service offering that TeraByte offer Virtual CISO is a perfect fit for this.


Cheaper than hiring a full-time employee

A Virtual CISO is typically a lot cheaper than hiring a full-time employee. Its estimated that based on a normal annual contract rate for a virtual CISO, businesses can save on average 60% from a typical industry salary.

Access to expertise

Virtual CISO services are made up from teams of people who are experienced in the industry and usually have worked in more than one area of business, allowing them to bring additional knowledge and expertise.

Freeing up resources

A virtual CISO service allows your internal teams to focus on the day-to-day running instead of having to worry about governance and information security compliance issues.

Specialized knowledge

With a virtual CISO, a business can access an expert on several subjects, such as of networks, compliance and security. This allows your business to make use of knowledge across several areas at a fraction of the cost.

Immediate value

There is no training up or induction period for a virtual CISO, they are educated and knowledgeable about the services from day one, allowing you to take benefit of their skills straight away.


The virtual CISO service can be usually tailored to your requirements, allowing you to get the most out of the service.  They are also no requirements for employee holidays or sickness. Virtual CISO services can work around your business.

Access to other services

A virtual CISO service usually has access to, or knows of additional services to complement their skills, thereby helping your business.

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