What is a Virtual CISO (vCISO)? 

Keeping your information security and cybersecurity programs up to snuff can be difficult for community banks. Having the proper personnel to achieve that goal may be the greatest challenge, particularly in the CISO position.

Maintaining a full-time CISO on staff can be expensive, especially when most community banks only need 30-40 hours per month of this type of specialized work.

Handing the responsibility to other employees can have consequences too. The wearing of many hats means that the designated “ISO” just doesn’t have the time or expertise to give information security the attention it deserves.

To address the issue of having an independent and qualified CISO, some community banks are turning to 3rd party relationships for help.

This is often referred to as a Virtual CISO (vCISO): the CISO being a strategic security leader and advisor, and virtual meaning that it’s not a conventional in-house employee.

While a Virtual CISO is not for everyone, more and more community banks are finding it to be an affordable way to strengthen and enhance their Information Security Programs.

Who should consider our vCISO Services Suite?

• You have a recent vacancy of your CISO/ISO position
• You have a newly appointed CISO/ISO
• Your current CISO/ISO lacks the time or expertise to take on ever-changing demands of the position
• Your Board of Directors is seeking a cybersecurity advisor
• You need supplemental expertise to fill gaps in your information security program

What if you don’t want to Outsource Such a Critical Role? 

You don’t have to outsource the decision-making and acceptance of risk, and you really shouldn’t as a long-term solution. One solution is to create an in-house information security committee. Our vCISO would provide the necessary services to give that committee the proper support, and in turn, the committee is responsible for oversight and final decision-making. This solution offers outsourced guidance and advisory services at the proper level to best meet the needs of your organization.

What are the Various Levels of vCISO Services? 

• virtualCISO – Full-time outsourced responsibilities and duties.
CISOmentor – Development, and training of a new CISO.
• Custom – A custom scope designed to fill gaps and other needs specific to your organization. 

What do Examiners Say? 

While the ideal situation is that every bank would have an in-house full-time CISO, we all know that is not always an option. Examiners understand the challenges that banks face when filling this role and know that banks are looking for help in unconventional areas.

What do Examiners expect from Banks who are considering the vCISO option?

• Do a risk assessment
• Keep executive management involved
• Keep responsibility and decision making in-house
• Do your vendor due diligence
• Have a contract – Use this to help mitigate your risk
And as always, be able to explain the tradeoffs you considered in the decision-making process.


Won’t it be difficult to transition away from vCISO services?

While we would love to work with you forever, we know that is not always the best for you, the client. Our services are designed with an educational base and can be structured in a way that you and your staff become less dependent on vCISO service as time goes on (if that’s your ultimate goal).

If this is a concern for you and you’d like to eventually be self-sustaining in the CISO role, ask us about our “step down” approach to gently transition over the course of a multi-year engagement.

How do you find out more?

You can get answers to all of your remaining questions by downloading a copy of The Virtual CISO Whitepaper.

If you still have remaining questions, shoot us an email at Support@bedelsecurity.com any time to set up an informal call to discuss if a virtual CISO  is right for you, and what your long-term goals are. 

This service is not for everyone, but for those with specific needs, our CySPOT™ Program can make a big impact on your information security program at an affordable cost.