The Importance of a CISO
The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) position has become an imperative role in the c-suite for businesses in today’s cybersecurity state. Without the oversight and compliance that a CISO offers, organizations across all industries are left without proper cybersecurity management and practices. This leaves an organization in a more vulnerable position for a cyber breach.
Job descriptions typically describe the CISO role in organizations as:
“working alongside company officers, business managers, cyber security teams, and IT managers to effectively monitor and maintain the security of their organization’s applications, databases, computers, and websites. CISOs are also tasked with establishing enterprise-wide security policies, developing data breach resiliency plans, overseeing system update communications, and managing the information security financials.”
CISOs have extensive responsibilities that include different sectors of security for an organization from security operations and intelligence to security architecture, governance, and management. The first CISO position was created back in 1994 when Steve Katz assumed the role for CitiGroup after it faced extensive cyberattacks. The need for CISOs in organizations has grown substantially since then as the threat landscape has exponentially evolved.
CISOs Can Be Difficult to Attract and Retain
The first roadblock that many organizations face when trying to hire a CISO or increase cyber health is the cost. According to Salary.com, the average salary for an in-house CISO is $220K annually, with $268K in total compensation. Unfortunately, many organizations are not able to afford a full-time CISO for cybersecurity oversight.
The second roadblock, if your organization has the capability of financially supporting a CISO, is finding someone in your area that holds the proper qualifications for the job. As the CISO position is gaining popularity, good fits for the role can be difficult to come by.
A sound solution to these roadblocks is hiring a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO). Hiring a vCISO gives your organization the same comprehensive cybersecurity management and oversight as a full-time, in-house CISO but without the costly price tag and the unending search for a qualified candidate. ThreatAdvice vCISO is NXTsoft’s flagship virtual CISO software solution that provides the cybersecurity oversight your organization needs. Whether you are in a position to hire a CISO or a vCISO, it is a crucial step in protecting your organization from the immense loss associated with a cyber breach.
No CISO, Many Problems
If you think the cost of hiring a CISO is a little steep, it is nothing compared the average cost of a data breach in the United States which totals a whopping $8.9 million. Over the last 14 years, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. has increased by 130 percent and the chance of experiencing a data breach has also been increasing. According to the 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report from Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, some contributors to the enormous cost of a breach are:
- The largest contributor to financial loss in a cyber breach was the negative impact the breach had on customer trust with a loss of 3.9 percent of customers.
- The average cost of lost business is $1.42 million.
- Another large contributor to loss as a repercussion of a cyber breach is downtime. The average time between when a breach occurs and when it is contained is 279 days. An average of 206 days to identify a breach and an average of 73 days to contain the breach. An organization being down 279 days can be detrimental.
- Breached by cybercriminals were 27 percent more costly than breaches by human error at an average of $4.45 million.
- The average cost of a breach due to human error is $3.5 million.
- The average cost per lost record was $150.
Small organizations are targeted more than 10x harder than large organizations, which can result in an irrecoverable impact on their bottom line and breaches can end up affecting large organization for years on end even after they have been discovered and contained.
A CISO can save an organization from many of these detriments with proper cybersecurity planning and management that align with organization goals. A CISO ensures protection of your organization from cyber breaches and significantly reduces the risk of a breach while also helping the organization achieve technological and security goals. With the ever-increasing chance of being breached and the ever-increasing cost of a breach, a CISO can save your organization millions.