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Increasing cybersecurity threat levels, pressure to innovate while navigating budget constraints, ever-changing compliance requirements, and a growing skills gap are just a few of the factors driving demand for outsourced executive-level technology services, such as a virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) and virtual chief information officer (vCIO).

Let’s look at how outsourcing these roles to a highly qualified services provider can increase your organization’s cybersecurity posture and align your security strategy with your business goals.

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What Do vCISOs and vCIOs Do?

Although both vCISO and vCIO are executive-level roles, they focus on different aspects of information technology and security management: 

  • A vCISO supports the various information security functions and technologies that maintain an organization’s cybersecurity posture.  
  • A vCIO takes a more strategic role and provides technology leadership and guidance to an organization, including developing and executing its IT strategy.

Hiring virtually for these roles provides access to senior-level experience and expertise without the expense of maintaining two executive-level positions. 

But that is just one of many reasons vCISOs and vCIOs are valuable assets to today’s business leadership teams.

How vCISOs Enhance Security 

vCISO services enhance and increase your organization’s security by executing several essential functions, including:

Access to Expertise

A vCISO provides access to resources with extensive industry and technical knowledge and training, enabling them to offer strategic guidance and recommendations based on experience and understanding of security best practices.

Strategic Planning

A vCISO develops a comprehensive, customized security strategy tailored to your organization’s needs and utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to proactively implement security initiatives and allocate resources.

Security Monitoring

A vCISO enables your organization to proactively protect its data and assets from emerging and evolving cyber threats using security monitoring and incident detection technologies.


A vCISO will maintain your organization’s compliance with relevant cybersecurity regulations and standards, including GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, CMMC and other industry-specific requirements.

Policy and Procedure Development

A vCISO can create and enforce security policies, procedures, and guidelines that adhere to industry regulations and ensure your organization has a clear, consistent, and actionable security strategy.

Incident Response Planning

A vCISO develops, implements, and tests incident response plans that define roles, responsibilities, and communication protocols if a security event occurs. 

Vendor Management

A vCISO will evaluate security solutions and providers to determine the best fit for your organization and assess and manage third-party vendor security standards. 

Training and Awareness

A vCISO can create and implement cybersecurity awareness and training programs to educate employees across the organization about security best practices and what to do if a breach occurs.

How vCIOs Align Security with Business Goals and Objectives

A vCIO aligns information security with your organization’s business goals by performing functions that bridge the gap between technology and business strategy:

Understanding of Business Goals

A vCIO engages with key stakeholders—including senior management—to fully understand your company’s strategic direction, business goals, and objectives.

Risk Assessment

A vCIO will assess your existing information security posture, identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, and evaluate the potential impact of security events on data security and the ability to achieve business goals.

Prioritization of Security Initiatives

A vCIO will assess and prioritize security efforts based on their relevance to business goals and potential ROI so resources are directed to the most critical and high-impact areas. 

Budget and Resource Allocation

A vCIO can create and implement a security budget that allocates resources to initiatives that directly support your business’s strategic priorities and objectives.

Integration with Business Processes

A vCIO seamlessly integrates security solutions into your organization’s existing business processes to minimize operational disruptions and reduce risk.

Performance Metrics

A vCIO establishes and tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that measure and provide visibility into how security initiatives support business objectives.

Compliance and Regulation Oversight

A vCIO will ensure your organization complies with existing regulations and industry standards, identify and implement new compliance requirements, and align compliance efforts with business goals.

Continuous Improvement

A vCIO will regularly review the alignment of security efforts with business goals and adapt your organization’s security strategy to address emerging risks and evolving objectives.

Crisis Management

A vCIO can create and implement a disaster response and recovery plan to minimize the impact of a security incident, system failure, or natural disaster on your business and data and ensure a swift return to normal operations.

vCISO and vCIO Services Are the Key to Unlocking Successful Security Strategies

In today’s business environments, technology teams need strong leadership to navigate harder-to-detect security threats, increasingly complex IT infrastructures, smaller budgets with bigger expectations, and a lack of skilled staff. 

Outsourcing senior-level technology positions to virtual chief information security officers and virtual chief information officers is a cost-effective solution to a growing problem.

Are you unsure whether your organization needs a vCISO or vCIO? Schedule a security assessment with one of our cybersecurity specialists to learn where your organization is most vulnerable and which systems and data are at risk. 

This information can help you decide whether it’s time to work with a vCISO or vCIO to align your security strategy with your business goals.

Download our guide to identify vulnerabilities and meeting compliance requirements