How Service Providers Can Scale vCISO Services to Boost Revenue and Upselling
Taking your vCISO service to the next level
As a service provider – an MSP, MSSP or consultant – you likely provide some form of cybersecurity advice, and perhaps even vCISO services, to your customers.
The exciting news is that you can scale your vCISO services to boost revenue, upselling opportunities, and margins.
Yes, there are challenges to scaling. However with the right tools in place, scaling is easy and seamless, and your vCISO services can prosper.
In this post we’ll summarize the key challenges and steps you can take to make your vCISO service a roaring success. If you’d like to learn more, you’re welcome to download the full guide on How Service Providers Can Scale vCISO Services to Boost Revenue and Upselling.
The CISO and vCISO
While CISOs are becoming one of the most sought after positions in enterprises, medium-sized companies and SMBs are desperate for the same level of knowledge to keep themselves protected.
With this rise in demand, CISO salaries are being driven increasingly higher. This has opened the market up for service providers – including MSPs, MSSPs and consultants – to provide virtual CISO services, or a vCISO offering to their clients.
Offering clients a comprehensive vCISO function means having a high level of expertise, specifically in the security realm; it means thoroughly assessing the client’s environment, and analyzing any gaps; it includes completing a full risk assessment including a plan of how to address these gaps; it must address compliance and regulatory issues, and this is all just a part of what a true vCISO should be providing.
This business comes with high margins and a key point of differentiation, but it also brings many challenges.
Scaling vCISO services: key challenges
The potential that an effective vCISO service can provide is exceptional, and includes new revenue streams, a key upselling feature, retention of existing clients and a great go-to-market strategy for attracting new business.
The key challenge is scaling: having one or two clients is one thing, but getting beyond that, sustainably, is something else entirely. We’ll look at the key challenges to scaling vCISO services, and then at how these challenges can be overcome.
Expertise is required – at scale
Many service providers might have one security expert, or even a small team, that can provide the C-level expertise required to cover the vCISO capability within the firm. However as these requirements grow, they cannot be handed off to someone else. These key personnel soon become overloaded, affecting retention, engagement, and ultimately the service provided to clients. It’s just not sustainable to grow fast with existing employees, or to quickly hire new team members with the necessary expertise.
CISO duties are labor intensive
Related to the previous point, carrying out a CISO’s duties as a vCISO is time-intensive. There is a massive amount of work that needs to be done, and with new regulations and threats coming out all the time, a vCISO’s work is never done.
Security experts have other duties
Your security experts are likely extremely busy already. It is not feasible to just pull them from existing projects and clients, and dedicate them to the new vCISO practice.
Risk assessments take time
A core part of a CISO or vCISO’s role is to perform risk assessments. These include monitoring, documenting, conducting analyses, and more. Just performing these assessments takes up a huge chunk of a security professional’s time.
Planning can only happen after risk assessments
To make scaling even harder, the policies and remediation that need to be put in place can only be accurately implemented after the lengthy risk assessment is completed.
How to scale vCISO service effectively
Given these challenges, how can you scale your vCISO offering effectively? There is one key component to success: automated software.
The sheer volume of data that needs to be processed for each client makes manually scaling a vCISO business all but impossible.
Using automated, purpose-built software on the other hand, enables the smooth scaling of a vCISO practice, thanks to all the modern resources available – from cloud computing to advanced AI.
Complex algorithms draw from best practices of CISOs worldwide, to understand each business individually, perform automated risk assessments, and ensure a plan is generated that covers all gaps and regulatory requirements.
Thanks to automation and AI, software platforms can generate tailored policies and actionable remediation plans.
Automated, AI-driven software addresses most challenges raised when it comes to scaling a vCISO business:
Expertise is required – at scale: an automated, AI-driven platform empowers service providers to offer all the CISO expertise in the world – and from a scaling perspective, this can be offered to theoretically all the clients they could possibly bring on board.
CISO duties are labor intensive: with an automated platform, the software takes care of many labor intensive tasks, freeing up key personnel and offering a consistent and compliance-driven experience.
Security experts have other duties: security experts can now focus on more high-impact activities, like time in front of clients, rather than time-draining manual and often repetitive tasks.
Risk assessments take time: with AI and automation, risk assessments take a fraction of the time it would take a human to perform. This can typically be reduced to 2-4 hours, instead of days.
Planning can only happen after risk assessments: with risk assessments happening so rapidly, and policies and remediation plans being auto-generated, this is no longer a stumbling block to scaling.
Start scaling your vCISO services now
With the right vCISO platform, you can begin scaling vCISO services immediately. You can demonstrate value to current and potential clients, enjoy generous margins, add a reliable new revenue stream, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Want to learn more? Download the comprehensive guide: How MSPs, MSSPs and Consultants Can Scale vCISO Services.