Although organizations try their best to keep their IT systems secure, budgetary and time constraints make it quite difficult for them to keep these systems within check.

Online transactions are commonplace these days in any business setting. Everyday activities involve an exchange of information which makes many of us vulnerable to cybersecurity incidents such as hacking. In 2020 alone, it has been reported that there have been over 115.8 million individuals exposed to data breaches in the US.

Security issues open doors for data breaches which put many of individuals at risk by making information accessible to strangers. This information may be used for cybercrimes such as cyber fraud or, at a larger scale, cause major disturbance in an organization’s operations.

Ignoring cybersecurity can be compared to ignoring the security of one’s home, leaving it wide open for anyone to walk in and cause major disruption in the household.

Cybersecurity and common unsafe practices

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has recently come up with protocols implemented by companies and organizations that may be considered unsafe, thus compromising cybersecurity and leaving your organization to cyberattacks. Jeopardizing online security puts many individuals at risk, making them vulnerable to hackers. This makes sites vulnerable to cyberattacks as well.

Cybersecurity involves many aspects in an IT system which can be quite complex. These are, however, some of the more common ones that have simple solution, but which are oftentimes taken for granted.

Unsupported software

Many organizations use old software that does not receive constant security patching These are otherwise known as “end-of-life” software.

The problem with these kinds of software is that they end up compromising online security once support is no longer made available. The lack of patches needed to upgrade software gives hackers a way to get into the system and gain access to vital information.

Having a person with technical skills on board, such as a VISO, can easily identify these dangers and spare your organization of these risks.

No duty segregation between IT and information security

Organizations that combine IT and information security often run into problems. An IT manager is generally incentivized to report that their organization’s information security is strong. On the other hand, a cybersecurity officer will be unlikely to know if there are holes in their system. Different, independent groups must take ownership of each function.

Single-factor authentication

While verifying a user’s identity may assure the user of being protected against any security, using only one method for verification purposes these days just isn’t enough. In fact, single-factor authentication leaves a system wide open for security breaches since many details about a person’s credentials are easily available online.

What makes matters worse is that a single set of credentials may be all that is needed in order to gain access to several other online accounts that an individual may have.

Low cybersecurity awareness

90% of cybersecurity breaches happen as a result of human error. Without proper and periodic training, employees will make faulty decisions and put your organization at risk. A breach can happen from downloading malware, failing to use a strong password, not recognizing a phishing attempt, and more.

Thinking you’re not a target

Organizations often think that they are not the target of cyber attackers. However, the worst breaches and hacks are often found at small, community focused organizations. Cybersecurity holes are often larger in small to mid sized banks, which make them a prime target. Additionally, the risk of a breach is often more critical at small to mid sized banks, because subsequent legal fees or fines could put an organization out of business.

The Role of a Information Security Officer

In some organizations, an IT Director  would be employed by a company to take charge of information security. Nowadays, a dedicated  information security officer is a must-have for any organization in order to keep itself safe online. Organizations who do not establish a dedicated ISO function will often find themselves subject to regulatory scrutiny. Additionally, an organization that lacks duty segregation will suffer from the conflicts of interest that naturally arise from IT and information security’s mixing.

Qualifications of a ISO

A good ISO, first and foremost, needs to be tech-savvy. You will want a ISO that is familiar with IT infrastructure so that he can immediately identify any potential threat to your organization’s system. These threats will include anything that may compromise system security that can give access to pertinent data within the organization. You will want someone who can easily see any cybersecurity issues that may impact business operations. Along with this, you will need someone who can develop processes and plans that can help your organization from any future incidences involving cybersecurity.

To make sure that you get a topnotch ISO, you will typically want an individual with a degree in IT or cybersecurity. You may also want to check if he has with him the following certifications:

Also, an ISO should have certifications such as these:

ISC2  Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

ISACA Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

APMG Accredited Trainer (CISA, Cybersecurity Fundamentals)

ISOs are in high demand

Having a ISO in an organization is not only a plus. It is a must in today’s business environment where many transactions are done virtually. Many organizations have realized this need which has led to an increase in the demand for CISOs. While this may be good for individuals who specialize in this line of work, this has also led to additional costs for organizations who are in need of them. The Great Resignation has only compounded this problem. This again leads to the problem of budgetary constraints within a given organization. An increased demand for CISOs also lead to one additional problem – availability.

Outsourcing by hiring a VISO

The good news about hiring a ISO is that it isn’t as limiting and restrictive as it may seem. While a ISO may require much talent in order to fulfill the difficult task of managing your organization’s security online, their physical presence is not necessarily needed. In light of the difficulties of the Great Resignation, we have made it even quicker, easier, and cost effective to use a VISO. A VISO is also more flexible than a full time employee, having the ability to flex costs based on your organizations needs.

Why outsource your VISO?

Hiring a VISO through an outsourcing firm, such as ours, poses many advantages.

  • You have a vast array of talent to choose from. We have a pool of individuals whose services are readily available and who can meet whatever your company needs in order to keep you virtually safe. A single ISO has less expertise than an entire team acting as your VISO.
  • Flexibility. When you hire a VISO from an outsourcing company, you don’t get tied down to long-term contracts with the talent on hand. You can hire the individual whenever the need arises. Although cybersecurity monitoring need not be a 24/7 job, do bear in mind that this isn’t a one-time deal either. Security breaches may happen at any given time so you will need a talent who can be there at an instant whenever a problem comes up that needs immediate attention.
  • Lowered costs. Hiring a ISO is more expensive than ever before, and hiring a VISO is cost effective.

Given the huge demand for this talent, you may want to look into hiring a VISO who can do exactly the same quality of work at lowered costs. This can help protect your organization while saving you from both headaches and extra operational expenses.

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