The Business Case for Virtual CISOs

Can’t Afford to Hire a Full-Time CISO? Then Rent One

Challenged by rising cybersecurity threats and a deficit of qualified security leaders, many organizations are now opting for “CISO as a service” – virtual CISOs who will step in and provide critical strategic leadership. In some cases, the virtual CISOs are short-term to fill a tactical need. Other times they sign long-term contracts to, say, develop a security road map for an organization. Whatever the end goal, for organizations that cannot find or afford a full-time CISO, the virtual leader fills a vital security gap.

Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst & group CEO, Greyhound Research, says that as organizations move their workloads to the cloud, implement virtualization and mobility, they also open themselves to complex security threats. The need for sophisticated security architecture becomes critical, and so does the need for CISO.

“The problem is of simple demand and supply,” Gogia says. “While there are a number of organizations seeking expert guidance on security, there is lack of expertise in the industry, therefore the need for a virtual CISO is opportune.”

Gogia of Greyhound Research agrees. “Most virtual CISOs work around a co-op, retainer agreement with set target outcomes that works well for small and mid-suite organizations that have limited budgets,”

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