4 Signs It’s Time To Hire A Virtual CISO

4 Signs It’s Time To Hire A Virtual CISO

Cybersecurity breaches are commonplace in the news, and defense suppliers and critical infrastructure operators are increasingly targets. As such, organizations of all sizes need to be proactive about protecting their data and systems.  A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) can provide strategic guidance for your organization’s cybersecurity measures. 


What is a Virtual CISO?

A vCISO is a security professional that works at the executive/board level, with hands-on cybersecurity expertise. They are responsible for defining and overseeing the implementation of your company’s information security strategy, staying abreast of the latest threats to your industry and architecture, and reporting to the Executive Leadership of the company where the company is on its path to cyber resilience. With their expertise, a virtual CISO can help identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, as well as recommend solutions to protect your organization from external threats. In addition, a virtual CISO provides guidance and critical expertise on how to remain compliant with industry regulations such as CMMC, HIPAA, or GDPR.

By hiring a virtual CISO, organizations have the opportunity to gain broader expertise and increase their team bandwidth without the high costs of hiring an in-house CISO. In this blog, we’ll explore four signs it’s time to invest in a virtual CISO for your business.


Signs It’s Time To Hire a Virtual CISO


1. Budget Constraints

Many businesses worry about the cost of hiring a full-time CISO, but the reality is that a virtual CISO is less expensive and can be more efficient than hiring one on-site. Within the last few years, the salary of an in-house CISO has climbed to a range of $300,000 to $1 million. High salaries and the significant costs associated with recruiting, vetting, and successfully onboarding an in-house CISO make it almost impossible for organizations with budget constraints to hire a CISO. A virtual CISO can also help you identify areas for cost savings, offer best practices for budgeting, and provide guidance on the best ways to allocate your budget toward cybersecurity initiatives.

2. Lack of Technical Expertise

Having an outside expert provide advice on best practices for cybersecurity defense strategies can be invaluable, especially when it comes to the adoption or adherence to a regulatory compliance framework like HIPAA, NIST 800-171, 800-53, or CMMC. As a contract employee, a virtual CISO has more niche expertise and experience to successfully implement compliance processes and security best practices.  Virtual CISOs bring a broad range of knowledge and experience across various industries, allowing them to make educated recommendations and decisions that are best for the organization. 

3. You Just Failed an Assessment or Audit

If your organization has recently failed an assessment or audit related to its cybersecurity posture, it might be time to consider hiring a virtual CISO . Invest in someone who can help you with in-depth analysis and/or recommendations for additional policies, procedures, or controls that may be required. A qualified professional can conduct an in-depth assessment of your current cybersecurity program, identify areas where additional oversight or improvements might be needed, and provide recommendations and best practices.

4. New Regulatory Requirements

Staying up-to-date on regulatory and compliance requirements are essential for protecting data, especially in defense industries where regulations are constantly changing. A virtual CISO can help you stay on top of changes to these requirements and ensure that you’re always meeting them. With the recent CMMC mandates set for 2026, it is important to get ahead of compliance now.

Virtual CISOs can seamlessly guide you through the steps needed to become compliant the first time. CMMC requirements are lengthy and require a level of expertise to execute requirements properly. A virtual CISO can quickly perform a self-assessment of the organization and design and implement changes needed for compliance. Without the knowledge of an expert, organizations are bound to waste time and money on conformity, trying to get it right.

When it’s time to hire a virtual CISO, it’s important to find someone who understands the unique needs of your business and has experience working with sensitive data sets like yours. The right virtual CISO should have deep knowledge of industry standards, regulations, and compliance requirements as well as experience developing secure solutions that meet those criteria. 

Gigit’s Virtual CISO services allow organizations to customize solutions, safeguarding cyber resiliency while maintaining business agility. Gigit’s virtual CISO services can supplement IT teams at any level to expedite and improve compliance, security, and overall performance. Contact our team today for a free consultation to learn more.