How SHI Complete makes enhancing the virtual CISO easy
Combine a vCISO with a managed service designed to help your business meet all its cybersecurity goals

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In the first part of our discussion, we examined how using a virtual CISO (vCISO) can help organizations overcome potential security ramifications associated with a 0% unemployment rate in the cybersecurity industry. But that’s just the start.

In this next part, our experts discuss how SHI’s capabilities can enhance a vCISO, ensuring that your company is even more secure from possible threats.

What is SHI Complete, and how can it be used to help organizations struggling with cybersecurity capabilities? How will it aid a virtual CISO?

Derek Gabbard: SHI Complete is an all-encompassing managed service that ensures your organization has the right IT model and a strong governance plan around security, services, and management — all of which is organized around meeting your business goals. It can assist a vCISO in multiple ways.

First, with SHI Complete, the vCISO can use the solution’s baseline assessment to triage the current state of your organization’s security measures and to ask questions. This allows the vCISO to identify your organization’s vision for security. Next, the vCISO can build a roadmap through implementation and operations and bring in the key players to see it through.

Brad Bowers: SHI has an advantage over most competitors because of our broad range of technology and service partner relationships. This not only gives us a better perspective on industry leaders and solution capabilities but enables us to find and implement the right solutions to address the client’s unique business challenges.

Is it common for there to be an element of staff augmentation to help execute the plan presented by the virtual CISO?

Garth Whitacre: Yes. The need for a virtual CISO often signals that they do not have enough resources, and the existence of gaps often means that they do not have the experience or capability to remediate or mitigate. SHI can provide either internal or trusted third-party resources and services to perform assessments, testing, or security control deployment, and configurations to close those gaps.

Brad: A key differentiator for SHI is our depth and breadth of technology and services partners. This allows us to select leaders across the industry and pull in the right resources to address unique business and security challenges.

As Garth alluded to, it’s common for clients to seek staff augmentation to assist in completing security initiatives. Often, this comes with its own set of challenges. There continues to be a significant shortage of skilled and available cybersecurity professionals throughout the industry. Case in point, Gartner identified the shortage of “skilled security staff” among the top risks for organizations earlier this year.

This is an area where SHI’s deep partner relationships and internal staffing services have been able to assist. SHI maintains relationships with a wide range of staffing partners around the world, enabling us to find the right blend of SHI internal and staff augmentation resources to address even the most complex requests. 

What advice would you give to an organization that doesn’t think they are large enough to be a target and feel they can get by with an admin or architect owning their security strategy?

Derek: Data breaches should be a concern for companies big and small. In fact, 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyberattack. Instead of risking a game of “musical chairs meets Russian roulette,” it is crucial to invest in the security of your organization.

Brad: A couple thoughts. Firstly, organizations sometimes have a false sense of security because they believe they are “too small” or “not a likely target” for a threat actor to focus on them. This is certainly not the case! Most of the tactics and techniques leveraged by both nation-state actors and organized crime (hacking) groups are highly modular and automated. This allows them to target victims indiscriminately with a high rate of effectiveness. Without having a robust security program that does the fundamentals well, an organization is likely to suffer a data breach.  

Secondly, most of the cybersecurity industry’s best practices, policies, and recommendations are publicly available for organizations to leverage and lean on. Case in point, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) maintains numerous security frameworks and standards that have become the foundation for many organization’s security programs. The challenge is gluing everything together in a cohesive way that aligns with the organization’s business and security goals. This is where a sound security strategy is needed and where a vCISO adds value. The vCISO can rise above the day-to-day security tasks and focus on developing a security strategy that accelerates business objectives, streamlines IT processes, and still aligns with security best practices and compliance requirements.     

Garth: If not completed, first assess your security risk and consider any compliance requirements. SHI can help you do that and guide you through the next steps, including listing and prioritizing gaps in your current plan — along with their cost and impact — and defining a security plan timeline that aligns with the general IT plan timeline.

It is also critical to ensure a communication plan with roles and responsibilities for common security incidents is created and communicated to leadership for approval. Failure to have an incident response plan will give you one of your worst days, weeks, or months of existence.

 SHI can help you select the tools that achieve their desired future state by refining and defining business cases, validating that the technology works, and assisting with deconflicting disparate internal group needs throughout the selection process.

To better protect your organization against security threats, SHI is here to help. Learn more about how SHI’s virtual CISO (vCISO) solution can help assess and address your cybersecurity needs while saving you time and resources.