The CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) is the one person in an organization that bears the primary responsibility for IT asset security, for the strategy, planning, and implementation of security measures and initiatives. The main responsibility of the CISO must always be in sync and know what to do with all possible risks associated with cybersecurity. Furthermore, the CISO takes care of all regulatory and operational compliance requirements so that all relevant standards and regulations are addressed properly and in a timely fashion.
WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?
The CISO is a useful function to have in your organization, especially today, with all the dynamics we see in the cyber threat landscape. With a CISO you will be able to:
- Achieve an improved overall security posture;
- Be better prepared for what may come;
- Reach business KPI’s more easily;
- When you have new projects, or even with existing ones, you will have security and compliance addressed properly at all times;
- Benefit from all engagements related to risk management as well as in any security or operational endeavors;
- Decrease the impact of risks associated with the nature of your business;
- Keep your business updated with all relevant regulations and compliance or other requirements.
WHY WOULD YOU RENT YOUR CISO?
Finding, recruiting, and keeping on the payroll your very own, full-time, dedicated, and talented CISO is not always possible for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it works out to be more cost-effective to hire a CISO from an outside organization. How can that be? Let’s look at some scenarios:
- Your business is small or mid-sized and a cost-effective alternative to hiring is welcome;
- You may need a security expert only temporarily, say for a specific project, or if you have upcoming audits and compliance engagements;
- You may be searching already for your own specialist to hire and want to have someone tide you over in the meantime;
- Your specialist may be on vacation or extended leave and, again, you don’t want to be without an IT security specialist by your side.
WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR HIRED CISO
The company you want to rent your CISO from must prove they can deliver experienced practitioners to act as your hired CISO. Ask for company and personal certifications and qualifications. Furthermore, this person must be able to integrate seamlessly into your business and, well, extend it, least not hinder it. The security presence you need is just to help you bear the brunt by reducing cyber risks and avoiding IT incidents. The service must provide at least the following:
- Proactive monitoring, adapting, and forecasting of your own risk management engagements;
- Management of all security incidents;
- Information security audit assistance and management;
- Train and re-train your staff;
- Consult on business and IT process management;
- Dedicate regular on-site hours to be spend with your team;
- Be available through email and phone when off-site;
- Attend and assist management meetings when needed;
- Regularly report to your management or on a need-to-have basis.
The company you hire your CISO from must form a business partnership with you to drive your IT security strategy forward through one or several consultants who should be:
- Profoundly and broadly knowledgeable, with certified expertise, experience, and professional qualifications in IT Security that at least matches, and even better if it surpasses those of any single CISO or security manager;
- Equipped with a varied outside-of-professional-qualification set of skills to include multi-tasking, leadership, swift and legible communication, soft skills, fast reaction, and on-boarding of new security technologies;
- Passionate about what they do and your satisfaction;
- Ready to act and consider themselves as your own employees;
- Skilled in creative thinking and problem-solving.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
The process of on-boarding and “living” with your newly hired CISO usually looks something like the diagram below. Depending on your specifics, the process should be able to be altered to closely adhere and be most beneficial to you as needed:
Based on an initial and ongoing risk assessment, the company giving you the CISO should provide flexible, tailored pricing, so you can achieve your goals in information security and, at the same time achieve cost-effectiveness and feasibility. The service ideology should be based on affordability with a maximized value-for-money approach.
Depending on your company’s needs for on and off-site presence, the complexity of one-time or ongoing projects, and internal and external audit needs and requirements, the provider should devise the most cost-effective plan to make sure your information security projects are adequately manned.