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5 Ways a vCISO Program Can Level-Up Your Cybersecurity Game


July 13, 2023


In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses face increasingly sophisticated and pervasive cybersecurity threats. Many organizations, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), struggle to afford full-time Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) or lack the in-house expertise to effectively manage cybersecurity risks. In these cases, engaging a cybersecurity consulting firm that provides virtual CISO (vCISO) services can be a game changer that stretches the security dollar, increases bandwidth, and improves security posture. 

In this blog post, we explore 5 key advantages of vCISO services for modern businesses.

1. Affordable Senior-Level Talent

Hiring a full-time, in-house CISO can be cost-prohibitive for many organizations, especially SMBs with limited budgets. They can also be hard to find, given the global cybersecurity talent shortage. A consulting firm’s vCISO program offers a cost-effective alternative that comes with seasoned, skilled resources already in place – and available on-demand. Through the program, organizations can access senior-level cybersecurity expertise on a part-time or as-needed basis, significantly reducing the costs associated with a full-time executive and providing critical direction for cyber efforts. Moreover, the consulting firm typically assumes responsibility for its vCISO team members’ ongoing professional development, ensuring they remain up to date with the latest threats, technologies, and compliance requirements, without incurring additional training expenses for the organizations that use their services.

2. Access to Expertise and Experience

In addition to security leadership needed to guide organizations’ cybersecurity strategies, a diversity of skills is often needed to address an increasingly complex range of cybersecurity disciplines and technologies. vCISO offerings solve this by giving organizations access to a full bench of skilled security experts – on demand.  These resources typically possess a breadth and wealth of experience in multiple industries and a deep understanding of evolving cyber threats and security best practices. Their collective diversity of technical skills enables them to address and manage – as needed – a range of critical security disciplines such as risk management, compliance, incident response, and governance. 

3. Scalability and Flexibility

vCISO offerings are designed to be flexible and can work with organizations’ existing resources – or step in as their cybersecurity team. The vCISO model also allows organizations to scale their cybersecurity resources up or down as required. During critical periods, such as mergers, acquisitions, or new technology implementations, a vCISO team can provide specialized guidance and support. During quieter periods, the agreement can be adjusted to match the reduced workload, optimizing resource allocation and cost-effectiveness. This scalability and flexibility enable organizations to adapt their cybersecurity capabilities – and their spending – in response to shifts in business priorities and evolving threats.

4. Valuable Perspective

Unlike internal employees who may have departmental biases or limited cross-organization visibility, an independent vCISO team can provide insights and make informed recommendations objectively – based on their experience and skills, industry best practices, regulatory requirements, and an organization’s specific business needs and goals. Its external perspective enables the team to evaluate an organization’s existing security infrastructure, policies, and practices with fresh eyes. This objective viewpoint allows the vCISO team to identify gaps and recommend improvements that provide holistic and unbiased change to an organization’s overall security posture.

5. Continuity and Business Resilience

Modern organizations are vulnerable to cybersecurity risks regardless of whether they have an internal cyber team in place or not. Endpoint defenses, user access, firewalls, and other defenses are critical. But a vCISO program’s expert perspective helps shift organizations from a reactionary stance to a prepared, proactive posture for managing risks. The results are reduced exposure and cost-savings. A vCISO team can apply its expertise in incident response, communication, and contingency planning to ensure the processes are in place to minimize downtime, reduce financial losses, and protect an organization’s reputation in the event of an incident.


In an era of relentless cyber threats, organizations must prioritize cybersecurity to safeguard their valuable assets and maintain business resilience. Accessing vCISO services through a cybersecurity consulting firm offers a practical and results-driven solution, particularly for businesses that cannot afford or justify a full-time CISO. These vCISO programs also provide as-needed access to the consulting firm’s deeper bench of senior-level specialized expertise. The result is the ability for organizations to improve their security posture more affordably, cost-effectively, and with best practices. The program’s external perspective offers critical objectivity for cybersecurity efforts that are more holistically aligned with the business.



Access the cyber expertise you need – when you need it. From strategic direction to tactical support to project-based assistance, Summit gives you the cybersecurity tools you need with our vCISO services.

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