Chief Information Security Officer Defined

The CISO is a senior-level executive responsible for developing and implementing an information security program, which includes procedures and policies designed to protect enterprise communications, systems and assets from both internal and external threats. The CISO may also work alongside the chief information officer to procure cybersecurity products and services and to manage disaster recovery and business continuity plans.  Simply, the CISO is also responsible for the overall corporate security of the company, which includes its employees and facilities.

CISO Roles and Responsibilities

Instead of waiting for a data breach or security incident, the CISO is tasked with anticipating new threats and actively working to prevent them from occurring. The CISO must work with other executives across different departments to ensure that security systems are working smoothly to reduce the organization’s operational risks in the face of a security attack.


Security Operations – Real-time analysis of immediate threats, and triage when something goes wrong.

Business Enablement – from the boardroom to the executive suite to the various lines of business and departments that keep the organization focused, functioning, and moving forward on a day-to-day basis.

Identity & Access Management – Ensuring that only authorized people have access to restricted data and systems.

Governance & Compliance – Making sure all of the above initiatives run smoothly and get the funding they need — and that corporate leadership understands their importance.

Risk Management – Keeping abreast of developing security threats, and helping the board understand potential security problems that might arise from acquisitions or other big business moves.

Security Program Management – Keeping ahead of security needs by implementing programs or projects that mitigate risks — regular system patches, for instance.

Legal & Human Resources – Determining what went wrong in a breach, dealing with those responsible if they’re internal, and planning to avoid repeats of the same crisis.

Security Architecture – Planning, buying, and rolling out security hardware and software, and making sure IT and network infrastructure is designed with best security practices in mind,

Why your SMB needs a Virtual CISO

Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) have been the focus of a tremendous number of data breaches and cyber-attacks recently.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the 58.9 million SMBs in the U.S. that employ 47.5% of the nation’s workforce were the target of 2 out of 3 of all cyber-crimes in 2018 alone.  What’s worse is that 60% of SMBs go out of business within six months of a cyber-attack.

Although large corporations can shoulder a good portion of the financial blow reputational damage when hit by a data breach, SMBs don’t have the same luxury.  It is for this reason that SMBs should consider a virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) to help manage and implement their cybersecurity and privacy strategies.  Virtual CISOs turn their leadership and project prioritization expertise into focused strategies that help SMBs stay under budget and optimize forward progress.