After over 20 years in the IT services field, we’ve learned with absolute confidence that businesses of all sizes struggle to achieve cybersecurity and regulatory compliance confidence. Each organization struggles in its unique way, with some struggling to launch their program on a solid footing while others have difficulty maintaining the effectiveness of those protections. A virtual chief information officer (vCIO) is one of the most impactful steps a business can take to increase the performance and reliability of both programs. By providing targeted expertise around compliance and cybersecurity, a vCIO for security and compliance services can help organizations overcome their most difficult obstacles for a fraction of the cost of an in-house hire.
Cybersecurity attacks now affect 42% of small businesses, with most businesses reporting that they feel unprepared to deal with the dramatic uptick in cyberattacks that have occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having a vCIO team in your corner helps you address all the most common cybersecurity risks:
Bridge Cybersecurity Skill Gaps
“Cybersecurity” isn’t a single skill set. There are perimeter defense and threat detection specialists, digital forensics, penetration testing, zero trust cybersecurity, and other areas. Hiring for each of those roles is a long and expensive process that’s out of reach for most small or midsized businesses.
Without that expertise, your business will create cybersecurity blind spots and exacerbate the risk of infiltration.
The help of a seasoned vCIO team helps you achieve a comprehensive network security posture. This means going beyond just the latest best practices to keep your firewalls tuned, running regular risk assessments to uncover new security gaps, testing and improving your staff’s cybersecurity readiness, and ensuring that systems are updated and configured to meet the latest threats.
Better Respond to the Threat Landscape
The cybersecurity threats your organization needs to defend itself from change daily. For example, zero-day threats such as the recent PwnedPiper reached a peak last year, and sneaked under the cyber defenses of even established companies in the past, doing huge amounts of damage.
Aside from skills, the vCIO team provides the intelligence your organization needs to secure itself. The vCIO team at Complete Network is an active member of the cybersecurity community that gathers new information from leading sources every day. That intelligence is critical to protecting businesses from the latest threats.
For organizations in regulated industries — like financial services — a vCIO team can help your team stay aware of when and how your organization is being talked about on the dark web so that you can proactively build the right defenses.
Identify and Integrate New Tools
The most successful and secure businesses employ next-generation anti-virus and cybersecurity tools. By incorporating machine learning and advanced analytics, the latest endpoint protection software can dramatically reduce the number of so-called “false positives” that come into your network.
The right cybersecurity tools reduce engineering hours and costs by focusing your internal team (or external cybersecurity partner) on the most dangerous threats. They also minimize the risk of severe infiltration and provide better digital forensics to streamline your next audit arrives.
Any reputable vCIO team will help you navigate cybersecurity vendors’ conflicting marketing claims, identify the right tools for your business, and integrate them into your defensive systems. This saves time and money while ensuring you have the defenses you need to minimize risk.
Regulatory compliance requirements compound cybersecurity fears by adding the specter of enormous financial damages when sensitive data is compromised. Firms in the healthcare and financial services fields also risk catastrophic reputational damage when a compliance breach becomes public knowledge.
Most organizations struggle with achieving and maintaining compliance. That’s why many seek the help of an outside consultant, like a seasoned vCIO team.
Keep Your Business Focused on Long-term Compliance
Regulatory compliance, like cybersecurity, is not something you can achieve once and then forget about; it’s a daily process of ensuring that you’re maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personally protected information (PII).
Even the most well-intentioned organizations will struggle to maintain that high level of intensity and dedication over the long term without some outside assistance. You can rely on a trust vCIO team to provide a backstop for your internal compliance program, ensuring your organization always has the resources, expertise, and accountability it needs to achieve long-term compliance.
Compliance Audit Expertise
Regular compliance audits are critical to the success of your compliance program. HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and FINRA/SEC, each outline strict requirements for regular audits that must be reported to run the risk of falling out of compliance.
Running compliance audits is also time-consuming, diverting valuable. IT work hours away from important network management tasks. Many businesses just neglect their audits entirely, which is a significant reason why non-compliance penalties in the financial industry and healthcare continue to hit historic highs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Utilizing the most appropriate framework for your goals, such as NIST or SOC-2, the vCIO team at Complete Network can deepen your data security controls and governance policies to uncover areas of non-compliance, then help guide your organization back into alignment.
Regulatory Compliance Change Management
Anticipating, capturing, and implementing regulatory changes is critical to compliance. Improvements in existing processes, employee turnover, regulatory upgrades, or system upgrades can all have significant implications for your compliance status.
A trustworthy vCIO team will help you track manual tasks related to tracking changes and provide the proper oversight of your regulatory compliance effort.
This includes communicating with your senior management about the importance of upcoming compliance-related projects, developing a formal action plan for keeping you in lockstep with requirements, then working with your team on change implementation and reporting. All of reasons point to a need for a vCIO for security and compliance management.
The Complete Network virtual chief information officer (vCIO) team has been helping organizations in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and Bluffton, South Carolina gain decisive control over their cybersecurity and compliance requirements for over two decades.
Businesses in healthcare, financial services, and other regulated industries that are struggling should feel free to reach out to us any time at 877 877 1840 and [email protected].