Virtual CISO

Our vCISO service helps organizations develop and implement customized information security programs.

CISO leadership and guidance. Tailored to your needs.

Your organization needs a cybersecurity leader. But you might not be ready to hire a CISO full-time. Our vCISO service delivers expert security leadership and a supporting team of analysts and engineers to solve unique information security challenges.

Our vCISO service is designed to help:

  • Establish a vision. Developing your cybersecurity vision and keeping you accountable.
  • Prioritize initiatives. Providing strategic direction to help you achieve your goals. We determine and prioritize security initiatives to reduce risk in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • Reduce risk. Continuously evaluating and addressing security risk.
The HBS team is ready to help align the right vCISO to fit your organization. Reach out to schedule a free consultation with a cybersecurity leader.  Talk to Sales

Is a Virtual CISO right for you? Watch to get a feel for what it's like working with an HBS vCISO.

Ready for a leader? We have the one.

Cybersecurity is a top priority for most organizations. But finding a leader can be challenging. Lean on our vCISO team to guide your organization to a strong security future.

Hire the right vCISO.
Experience real security.

Our vCISOs deliver expert security leadership and a supporting Virtual Security Team (VST) of analysts and engineers to solve unique cybersecurity challenges. Virtual CISOs work with various clients in multiple industries, exposing them to ideas often missed by CISOs working in isolated verticals. Our vCISOs continually expand their expertise and apply it to each client's environment.

Instant Scalability

When a big project, security event or new business line comes along, you can ramp up your vCISO's capacity overnight.  Talk to Sales

Efficiency with Core Competencies

A Virtual CISO fills in the security gaps where organizations need it most. By focusing on cybersecurity strategy and implementation, vCISOs let internal teams remain dedicated to their respective core competencies.  Talk to Sales

Objective Independence

vCISOs aren't swayed by internal politics or personal career goals. They act as an independent third party with an objective viewpoint and a clear goal: helping clients make the best security decisions for their business.  Talk to Sales


You can customize your vCISO plan so you pay only for the deliverables you need. This option delivers special advantages to growing organizations deciding whether they’re ready for a full-time CISO. For a fraction of the cost of a single on-staff expert, vCISO clients gain access to an entire team of professionals.  Talk to Sales

Why vCISO by HBS?

Strategies Built On Your Unique Needs

We start by understanding your business and creating a program around it. We help explain security's value to your senior leadership team.

A Trusted Partner

We’ll be your sounding board, advocate and coach as we help develop plans that advance your business.

A Team of Experts

Your assigned vCISO collaborates with all of their HBS peers to ensure that you get the latest best practices.
Virtual CISO Meeting in Office - Female Taking Notes in Technology Office Setting

vCISO Client Perspective

We could tell right away that HBS was not just about getting the SOC 2® done and being finished with it. They had options to come on board as a security partner with us for years to come. We knew they could continue this journey with us for HIPAA and SOC 2® Type 2.
We deal with some of the world’s most sensitive information from an intellectual property perspective. You can’t even begin a relationship with these clients unless you’re compliant across many of the different info security laws at a state, country and regional level.
I know with HBS as my vCISO, I not only have the lead consultant available to me but the entire HBS team I can call on if I am needing something. Our clients require us to be available 24/7, and when I go home at night I feel safer having HBS on my side. It’s a safety net.

What Does a vCISO Do?

The best solution for your information security needs may not be a full-time employee. Hundreds of SMB to Enterprise companies have realized the cost advantages, flexibility and broader experience a vCISO provides. Here’s a list of the key things a vCISO can do for your organization. 

Cost Savings & Internal Communications
  • Save you money: You shouldn’t build your security strategy on cost alone, but vCISOs typically offer the win-win of expertise at a lower price. Full-time CISOs cost around $200,000 per year, and it’s hard to find a good one even if you have the funds. Many companies realize significant cost advantages by hiring a fractional vCISO for several hours a week. Some HBS clients stick with a vCISO setup even as their company grows dramatically because they see the value of a team of experts reviewing their situation rather than counting on one individual to know everything.
  • Communicate with senior leaders: Most IT leaders have to fight for the funding they need to fully secure their organization. Executives rarely understand technology well enough to recognize why IT needs everything it’s asking for. A good vCISO bridges that gap by translating between tech and executive teams. A vCISO should have the business vision and communication skills to articulate the value of information security to C-suite leaders and the board of directors. The vCISO will demonstrate the ROI of security investments and clearly explain the risks of various scenarios so that leaders can make informed decisions.
  • Plan security training: People are the frontline defenders of your system, making ongoing training critical. Your vCISO lays out the training program, ensures it’s being followed and revises it as your team gains experience.
  • Provide a sounding board: Leadership gets lonely. So a vCISO often plays the welcome role of a listening ear for IT leaders who need to someone to bounce a new idea off of—or just someone who understands their unique point of view.
  • Guide security strategy: In simple terms, this is the vCISO’s job description. Information security now sits squarely in the center of business strategy as it plays a regular role in keeping and winning clients. The vCISO reviews your overall business and goals and creates a plan tailored for your situation. A good vCISO turns information security from a cost center to a growth strategy as they position you to enter markets and win clients that were previously out of reach because your security posture wasn’t there yet.
  • Set priorities: The information security to-do list overwhelms everyone. Which hardware and software upgrades are really necessary? Which risks identified in a risk assessment should you remediate first? Which policies should you create first if you have none right now? A vCISO helps you sort all of the options into a specific schedule built around your budget and business priorities.
  • Develop policies: Written policies not only make your data more secure but also demonstrate to third parties such as insurance providers and clients that you do things properly. A vCISO leverages years of experience with policy creation to establish the policies you need using the right frameworks for meeting your requirements.
  • Coordinate project work: A series of one-off projects can result in wasted budgets and a hodgepodge of information. Your vCISO helps you schedule projects in the right sequence so that each can build on others. They’ll also help you select vendors that work well together or offer better pricing because you time projects properly.
  • Adjust to your needs: Flexibility is one of the biggest strengths of a vCISO contract. If your business changes through something like an acquisition, you can immediately scale up the hours your vCISO provides. If you suddenly face a new regulatory requirement, your vCISO partner can tap other members of their team with that specific expertise.
  • Manage cyber insurance and vendor compliance requests: This has become a large part of every vCISO’s job in the last few years. The boom in ransomware and supply-chain attacks has driven many companies to demand proof that their partners handle data securely. Insurance underwriting often requires clients to answer hundreds of detailed questions. All of that means most companies now spend hours each month responding to questionnaires about their people, processes and technology. A vCISO takes that off the plate of the IT team, risk management team and others. The vCISO creates a database of critical information and uses it to streamline responses to the endless questionnaires. Sometimes the very presence of a vCISO helps you satisfy compliance requirements. Most info security review forms now want to know which specific person in your organization is tasked with oversight of your security program.
  • Develop third-party risk assessment policies and procedures: This applies when you’re on the other side of the scenario described above. You need to make sure that your partners take security seriously so you can trust in your supply chain and your ability to share data securely. Your vCISO will set up best practices for third-party risk management for your team to follow. A series of one-off projects can result in wasted budgets and a hodgepodge of information. Your vCISO helps you schedule projects in the right sequence so that each can build on others. They’ll also help you select vendors that work well together or offer better pricing because you time projects properly.
  • Lead compliance, assessment and audit efforts: Many companies face regular pressure to meet HIPAA rules, get a SOC 2 report, comply with GDPR or meet other standards. Unless your team has been through those processes several times, you’ll probably waste a lot of time and money by going it alone. A vCISO prepares you for those processes and serves as your liaison with auditors and other review teams to ensure you get the results you need to keep doing business.

Interested in Virtual CISO?

Ask us how we might be able to help.