Hiring a traditional CISO is expensive, especially for small to medium-sized companies. But since security programs are an essential part of any business, there must be a valuable alternative for smaller organizations. Outsourcing your vCISO may therefore prove useful.
The average annual retainer cost of a vCISO is $28,800 plus the price range of $2,400 to $29,167 monthly service payment. Compared to an in-house CISO for hire with an average of $224,305 median salary, it is a massive investment for many small to medium-sized businesses.
The prices may vary based on different cases. But what are these factors that make up the virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) pricing? What are the things companies should look for before purchasing this service? Below we share our thoughts.
Factors Affecting vCISO quality and cost
IT staffing and governance
If the company’s existing IT department or any dedicated group in charge of handling security programs has competitive skills, it will lessen the cost of a vCISO contract. But if there is a need for wider access to expertise in their IT staff, a company needs to invest in a good quality vCISO consulting service. Executive leadership and complicated security concerns would require a steadfast chief information security officer, especially in larger organizations.
The current state of your cybersecurity program
The existing state for cyber defences will also determine the cost of a virtual CISO. Is the necessary security training present in all ranks of your company? What is the current risk assessment of the company’s security system? By knowing the answers to these questions, your company will know how your security could be compromised — leading to the right information security programs prescribed by your virtual CISO for business objectives. Likewise, this may affect contractual prices.
Regulatory compliance needs
Regulatory frameworks of the company can also affect the price of a vCISO service. Since some companies should comply with several regulations, such as the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The necessary security expertise needed scales with the heightened compliance requirements, as security solutions and security initiatives assist in risk management. Certain virtual CISOs may charge more for this, especially when they are specialists in their industry.
Records of cybersecurity events
All records of cybersecurity penetrations that happened in companies are an indication of how the vCISO services can work to prevent these from happening in the future. By sharing your pitfalls, your virtual chief information security officers will recommend the necessary security posture and guidance for your organization.
Things to Look for Before Purchasing a vCISO service
By understanding the factors that affect the price and quality of a virtual CISO, companies should also understand certain qualities of the service they will receive. Since security information security is an essential matter, here are the six main functions to look for a good quality vCISO service:
- Architecture implementation – Planning, designing, and executing an effective structure in implementing cybersecurity measures should be part of every vCISO service.
- Cybersecurity risk analysis – Proactive in identifying cybersecurity threats and attacks to prevent any form of data breaches from future incidents.
- Data breach and loss prevention – Conducts standard operation procedure if there are any sudden attacks on the system and can take prompt action to resolve the problem right away.
- Governance and compliance – It should abide by all required regulatory frameworks (PDPA).
- Identity and access management – Implements restriction in accessing sensitive information to unauthorized personnel of the company.
- Ongoing security operations – Conducting daily monitoring risks mitigating to have immediate updates if there is any information compromised by cyberattacks.
Protecting a company’s assets, data, and reputation requires great cost and responsibility. That is why if all these qualities are in a vCISO service — then it is worthy to invest in. There is peace of mind knowing that all information is safe in the hands of an expert.
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Interested to find out how we quote for our CISOaas? Feel free to Email us if you have any questions or concerns about your organization’s data needs.