SMBs Turn to Virtual CISOs (vCISOs) for Cybersecurity Protection

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Imagine you’re a small or medium-sized business owner in today’s digital landscape. Cyber threats are knocking on your virtual doors more frequently than ever before, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. You’re well aware of the need to beef up your defenses, but you’re also facing two pretty significant roadblocks: tight budgets and a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Well, the good news is that there is a solution to this conundrum – and that is the emergence of virtual Chief Information Security Officers (vCISOs). However, the lingering question has been, where do you find these knights in digital armor and how can you be sure they have the right credentials? Well, today the industry’s first-ever directory of vCISO service providers was announced by Cynomi, a vCISO management platform. This one-stop directory is set to become a valuable resource for SMBs looking for expertise to strengthen their cybersecurity framework and ensure regulatory compliance.

The Rising Cyber Threat

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, the scale and complexity of cyber threats continue to surge. According to Check Point Software’s Mid-Year Security Report, there was a 42% global increase in malicious incidents in just the first half of 2022.

For SMBs, which often lack the resources to recover from a serious cyber incident, this trend is especially threatening. A recent study by Datto found that only half of SMBs have a dedicated, internal IT person managing their cybersecurity needs, underscoring the challenge they face.

The glaring gap in cybersecurity expertise among SMBs comes from a couple of key factors. Firstly, many SMBs lack the financial resources to hire a full-time CISO. This is a role that requires advanced skills and substantial experience. Secondly, there is a severe talent gap in the cybersecurity industry, with the demand for professionals far outstripping the supply.

Virtual CISOs: A Lifeline for SMBs

In response to this pressing need, managed service providers (MSPs), managed security service providers (MSSPs), and consultancies have stepped up, offering vCISO services. A vCISO is a professional who provides strategic and operational leadership on cybersecurity, serving in a part-time or consultative capacity.

This allows SMBs to access a high level of expertise without incurring the full cost of an in-house security specialist.

vCISOs offer a broad range of services, from conducting risk assessments and ensuring regulatory compliance to creating incident response plans and fostering a culture of cybersecurity within the organization. By leveraging a vCISO, businesses can gain a comprehensive understanding of their threat landscape. They also implement tailored security policies and train their staff to become the first line of defense against cyber threats.

The vCISO Directory: Simplifying the Search for Cybersecurity Expertise

The launch of the vCISO Directory aims to simplify the process of finding, evaluating, and engaging vCISO service providers.

It currently features over 200 U.S.-based providers. It also offers detailed information about their specific services and the technology platforms they use for security strategies. Plans are underway to continually update the directory and expand it to include international providers. This further broadens the scope of resources available to SMBs.

David Primor, co-founder and CEO of Cynomi, highlighted the potential benefits for SMBs, saying, “Thousands of small and mid-sized businesses globally could benefit from the expertise and support of a traditional CISO, but on a more consultative or part-time basis. Our new directory enables businesses to find all vCISO service providers in one place. And make an informed choice between the different benefits of the many providers available.”

A Step Forward in Cybersecurity

The advent of vCISOs and the debut of the vCISO Directory signify a considerable step forward in the ongoing battle against cyber threats. SMBs are often side-lined in the realm of cybersecurity due to their limited resources. Now, they have a cost-effective solution that doesn’t compromise their defense against digital threats.

It’s time for SMBs to recognize the pivotal role that cybersecurity plays in their long-term survival and success. By harnessing the skills of vCISOs, they can not only protect their digital assets but also ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and foster a security-conscious culture within their organization.

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