Cybersecurity is a high priority for almost all companies currently. The need is clear, but not all companies have the resources to support someone in this role full time. Many hire Virtual CISOs on a contract basis, to help them make sure they are set up for success or managing their response to an incident appropriately. While it might seem like for candidates interested in opportunities like this, temporary jobs are not an idea. But, the role of a virtual cybersecurity information officer has a lot to offer. Here’s what you should know about the role before you pass on the opportunity.

Understanding the Need

A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (or vCISO) is a contract designed for organizations that need someone to take responsibility for the growth, implementation, and maintenance of their information security program but simply cannot afford, or do not need, a full-time CISO.  When this issue occurs in other areas of business, including human resources, accounting, and project management, many businesses are very comfortable in bringing in an expert or a consultant on a contract basis to make a meaningful impact quickly and effectively. What many businesses are realizing is that turning to 3rd party support in their virtual security needs makes just as much sense, if not even more.

A vCISO can provide businesses with security services that are immediately available on an as-needed basis. Consider it an on-call service need. VCISOs support businesses in their information security initiatives and are able to provide the security expertise and guidance that businesses need to manage their security day in and day out.


Something exciting about being a vCISO is that the role allows the opportunity to be a security leader for clients without being onsite. The flexibility of virtual roles is important for many consultants. It provides many candidates with the chance to be part of a broader security team, while also working directly with a client to fulfill critical cybersecurity needs.

VCISOs are responsible for the development and leadership of a cybersecurity program that helps clients manage and reduce their security risks. This requires proficiency in developing and maintaining written cybersecurity policy and procedures to ensure the use of best practices and standards. Contractors in this role facilitate and evaluate IT risk assessment procedures, create an ongoing process to discover and mitigate risks within an organization, and review security awareness training for an organization as needed. They act as a trusted expert to communicate and act on regulatory and compliance related standards, manage and improve incident response programs, and overall defense and strategy against cybersecurity threats for an organization.


This role requires expertise and flexibility in work style. In addition to all the knowledge and technical skills needed to assess and maintain the digital security of an entire organization, vCISOs need to have the client management skills and communication skills that help them meet the needs of their customers. This requires providing guidance over vulnerability, risk, and testing, delivering results and findings to the client for review, and proposing solutions that can be enacted in both a cost-effective and strategic way.

Are You Considering a Virtual CISO Job or Other Cyber Security Position?

At ESGI, we help information technology professionals find the best position for their growing skill set. Contact our team today to get started on finding a virtual CISO job or another information technology position!


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