Virtual CSO and CISO

Virtual CSO and CISO

No one is safe from the growing threat of cybercrime and data breaches. Hackers target businesses of all sizes and across all industries, and they're only getting smarter and developing more dynamic ways of accessing sensitive information. There are all types of criminals out there - from state-sponsored hackers to "hacktivists" attempting to make political statements to "black hats" simply seeking cash - and they keep getting smarter in their pursuit of unauthorized access to companies' networks.

With cybercrime showing no signs of slowing down, it's imperative for businesses to take proactive action to protect their IT environments and their data. A breach can not only cost your organization time and money but can also drive away current and potential clients and damage your reputation. However, staying on top of IT security in today's world requires a high level of expertise and focus, and smaller organizations don't always have the staff or the funds to take it on properly. That's where a virtual chief security officer (vCSO) or virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) can come in handy.

Virtual CSO Versus Virtual CISO: What's the Difference?

Although the roles of CSO and CISO are similar in that they both involve leading efforts to minimize an organization's risk of security incidents, the two positions differ from each other in some ways. Here's how to distinguish between the two:

CSO: A CSO is responsible for addressing the overall security needs and challenges of the entire organization. This role also involves ensuring management is aware of those security issues by communicating the company's needs and challenges to them.

CISO: A company's CISO focuses on spearheading initiatives to make sure information assets and intellectual property in particular are protected from IT security threats. This position has gained significance in recent years due to the rise in cyberattacks and data breaches.

The CISO must know where critical data is housed, the organization's risk threshold if the data becomes compromised, and how to ensure data security while also furthering the company's objectives. Finally, a CISO tackles vendor risk management (i.e., making sure third parties only have access to vital data if they absolutely need it for required duties).

The Business Benefits of a Virtual CSO or CISO

Given the pressing need to stay ahead of constantly evolving cybersecurity threats, every business can benefit from having a CSO or CISO on staff to provide guidance and oversee IT security efforts. Establishing, enforcing, and regularly reviewing cybersecurity measures, best practices, policies, and processes requires an exceptional amount of expertise. Finding someone qualified to fill that position can prove challenging, time-consuming, and expensive - particularly for small to midsize businesses.

Opting for an on-demand vCSO or vCISO is an optimal way for your business to gain the advantages of having a high-level security expert and executive on staff while avoiding common drawbacks. Here's a quick rundown of just some of the reasons why businesses choose a vCSO or vCISO:

  • Lower cost: A vCSO/vCISO typically comes at a fraction of full-time CSOs and CISOs.
  • No training required: A vCSO or vCISO can get started and begin producing results faster.
  • Less turnover: Highly qualified full-time CSOs and CISOs not only require substantial salaries but are also in high demand and might leave after only a couple years.
  • On-demand access to high-level expertise: A vCSO/vCISO is there when you need them to provide insight on budgeting, security policies, products and services, and more.
  • Minimization of security risks. With the guidance of a vCSO or vCISO, your business can identify and reduce security risks.
  • Assistance with compliance and auditing. Having access to high-level IT security expertise can make the process of achieving compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA easier for your organization. Our vCSO/vCISO services also include assistance with security auditing.
Global data breach

If your business requires assistance with anything security related - like creating a road map, comparing different solutions, implementing best practices, identifying vulnerabilities, and more - our vCSO/vCISO offers access to the expertise you need, when you need it. Don't let your business become a victim of cybercrime.

Data breach

Next Steps

To learn more about vCSO and vCISO services from Stratosphere and how your business might benefit from them, feel free to email us at or call 877-599-3999.

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