Effective security begins with company-wide security awareness. An organized, documented security awareness program is necessary for compliance with security frameworks, such as NIST, and with industry regulations, such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and GLBA. Financial institutions, credit card processors, merchants, healthcare organizations, and other regulated entities must maintain internal cultures in which security awareness is top of mind.

A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer, or VCISO, is the ideal expert to assess your security awareness and develop a program to enhance awareness at all levels of your organization.

Security Awareness Program Development

Our VCISO will evaluate your current security awareness program and its overall effectiveness in meeting applicable regulations and company needs. He or she will then develop the necessary enhancements to your program to increase security awareness and will recommend assignment of responsibility for ongoing security awareness efforts. Key IT, security, compliance, and training personnel will likely have roles in maintaining the program.

The VCISO will recommend resources that may be needed to support the security awareness program, as well as a timeline for launching the program and its various components.

Security Awareness Program Components

Our VCISO will also provide a robust set of materials and services to help you establish a culture of security awareness and ensure that it remains active and effective. These include:

  • Assistance in developing a semi-annual security awareness reminder for all employees, signed by an appropriate executive or the executive team.
  • Guidance in the use of multiple media for effectively delivering security awareness tips and reminders to employees throughout the year.
  • Sample security tips and reminders you can customize to your organization and its culture and deliver throughout the year.
  • Sample posters for display in high traffic areas in each department and common areas throughout the company.
  • Guidance in the periodic use of ‘security by walking around’ (SBWA) reviews, which can reveal whether security awareness techniques are being actively applied.
  • Recommendations for annual security awareness training for all employees. Training demonstrates the importance of information security in protecting the interests of your clients, partners, patients, and other stakeholders—including the employees themselves. Training helps employees understand the variety of cyber risks and attacks that can occur, what they should do if they suspect something is wrong, and why they should do it.

In addition to these deliverables, employing a VCISO for this project means that your security awareness program can be developed at a pre-agreed cost.

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