What is CISO as a Service (CISOaaS)?

CISO as a Service (CISOaaS) is a flexible and efficient cybersecurity leadership option for your organization.
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Discussion on Hiring CISO as a Service to Manage Security Risk

CISO as a Service (sometimes referred to as CISOaaS) is a cybersecurity consulting service that provides an organization with the high-level experience and leadership of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) on a part-time basis

CISO as a Service has emerged within the last few years as a popular offering to meet the cybersecurity needs of companies that can’t or don’t want to hire a full-time CISO. While many growing companies need cybersecurity leadership to build cybersecurity programs and lead compliance efforts, CISOs are expensive C-suite employees that are often difficult to hire and expensive to retain. CISOaaS is a flexible, efficient, and affordable alternative for companies with cybersecurity needs.

Like other “as-a-service” offerings, CISOaaS provides many benefits over in-house building up the given functionality. This video helps explain what the cybersecurity leader does, though it uses the term “Virtual CISO” instead of CISO as a Service. Fun fact: the terms can be used interchangeably! 

How Does CISO as a Service (CISOaaS) Fit Into an Organization?

CISO as a Service will fill the same role a full-time CISO would inside an organization, just on a part-time basis. With no need to go through a full-time hiring process, you can quickly add an experienced security leader to your organization.

Generally, they will work closely with an organization’s CTO, IT Director, or even CEO; and they will quickly relieve all of the above of any security-related tasks, freeing up their time for other projects more directly in their wheelhouse.

A CISOaaS will help build and manage a cybersecurity program, perform risk assessments, guide risk management decisions, evaluate product security risk, lead SOC 2, TX RAMP, and ISO 27001 compliance projects, and more! 

Whatever you could use a full-time CISO for, you can use CISOaaS for.

CISO as a Service (CISOaaS) vs. Full Time CISO

CISO as a Service can perform all of the functions a full-time CISO would, but offers a significantly larger degree of flexibility.

When you hire a full-time employee of any kind, you need to provide them with full-time work. However, few growing and midsize companies have the cybersecurity needs to provide a full-time CISO with full-time work. CISOaaS provides a much greater deal of flexibility and efficiency, performing only the cybersecurity tasks that a company needs to do—nothing more and nothing less. 

There are many companies out there for whom a full-time CISO is the right choice over CISO as a Service! There is no one-size-fits-all solution in cybersecurity – pick what’s right for your organization.

What Are the Advantages of CISO as a Service (CISOaaS)?

There are many advantages to using a CISO as a Service.

– Learn, understand, and manage your company’s cybersecurity risk profile. 

Experienced leadership makes security compliance easy. 

More sales: many large companies expect good security and compliance programs from the vendors. Deliver and grow. 

Flexible leadership that delivers exactly what you need when you need it. 

– Good CISOaaS offerings provide a security team, not just a CISO, providing a wider base of experience. 

– You can quickly select a CISOaaS provider and get them started in weeks instead of months. 

Much easier to retain than an employee. Your CISO can’t be poached!

– Continuity – don’t lose your program because your CISO leaves. 

– CISOaaS can help you hire the right full-time CISO if you decide you need one later, including writing the job opening and performing the interview.

What Are the Different CISO as a Service Use Cases?

Use Case 1: A growing business receives many security questionnaires from prospective customers and requests for security accreditation through an AICPA SOC 2 or ISO 27001. The company selects CISOaaS to help it prepare for and complete the audit and continue managing security compliance thereafter.

Use Case 2: A company provides a unique product with high intrinsic security risk. It chooses a CISOaaS vendor to evaluate its product, help it close security gaps, and create supporting documentation to assure potential customers that the risks have been considered and addressed. 

Use Case 3: An organization wants to proactively manage its security risk and prove its dedication to security by having security leadership. It picks a CISOaaS to architect and implement its security program from the ground up.

Discussion on Hiring CISO as a Service to Manage Security Risk
This is a CISOaaS use-case to avoid!

CISO as a Service vs. Virtual CISO vs. Fractional CISO

All three terms CISO as a Service, Virtual CISO, and Fractional CISO, generally refer to the same set of cybersecurity services. They can usually be used interchangeably!

Virtual CISO is the most common and preferred term for the service, while CISO as a Service is used somewhat less frequently. We prefer the term Virtual CISO.

Fractional CISO is used least frequently of the three, and we tend to avoid using it – since it could confuse our name!

CISO as a Service Pricing

CISO as a Service pricing can range from $20,000 to over $200,000 per year. The price a vCISO provider charges depends on the scope of the work and the size of the company being serviced. The more employees a company has, the more time and effort is required to build cybersecurity and compliance programs.

The types of services each Virtual CISO company offers can vary, which impacts pricing as well. On the lower end of the price spectrum, you will receive less time with the vCISO and the guidance they offer may be boilerplate. On the higher end, you will receive more time, get more custom guidance, and may even get access to technical cybersecurity staff in addition to the vCISO.

To find out how much you might pay for Fractional CISO’s services, visit the vCISO Pricing page.

Secure Your Business with CISOaaS by Fractional CISO

We are a high quality CISO as a Service provider! Fractional CISO’s CISOaaS offers flexible, quantitative, and team-based cybersecurity services. 

  • Flexible – Some CISO as a Service providers use stock-built programs or bring the same solutions to the table for every client. Fractional CISO will evaluate your organization’s specific needs and build a tailor-made program to fit your needs. 
  • Quantitative – Fractional CISO brings a quantitative cybersecurity approach to cybersecurity risk management. We optimize your cybersecurity spend by using your resources where they will have the greatest impact on risk reduction.

  • Team Approach – Fractional CISO’s CISOaaS offering doesn’t just give you a CISO. Instead, you get a dynamic cybersecurity team consisting of an experienced Virtual CISO and a highly-skilled Cybersecurity Analyst, providing your organization with a wider skillset and greater availability.

CISO as a Service (CISOaaS) FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about CISO as a Service.

When choosing a CISO as a Service provider, consider their experience and expertise, cybersecurity approach, services offered, and how well they match your organization’s needs. It’s also crucial to communicate clearly and set expectations early on.

A CISO as a Service can assist in creating and executing a thorough cybersecurity strategy, identifying and addressing security risks, enhancing incident response capabilities, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Collaborating closely with the management team can bolster the organization’s cybersecurity defenses and safeguard against cyber threats.

Using CISOaaS can be a great option for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that don’t have the resources for a full-time CISO. Outsourcing the CISO role allows these businesses to get expert security guidance and support to protect their data and systems from cyber threats.

Contact Us to Learn More About CISOaaS

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