Every security program requires governance. Whether in a corporation or agency, educational institution or healthcare organization, retail chain or wholesaler, manufacturer or distributor, a security program has many moving parts. It requires high-level, authoritative attention and collaborative guidance.
The crux of a security governance program is the establishment of an Information Security Governance and Compliance Committee (“governance committee”) with a formal role and defined processes for governing your organization's information security program.
Security Governance Committee Responsibilities
Information Security. Governance committee responsibilities begin with the development and maintenance of appropriate information security programs for the organization. These may encompass electronic data security, cloud security, and physical security programs as well as regulatory compliance programs related to information security.
Regulatory Compliance. The security governance committee is responsible for understanding information security regulations that apply to your industry, and for documenting assigned ownership of regulatory compliance within your organization. The committee ensures that regulatory requirements are addressed through the development, execution, and maintenance of company-wide best practices for information security, as well as for third-party vendor information security.
Collaboration and Steering. The committee serves as a forum for discussions, updates, and upgrades related to information security initiatives, security policies and procedures, security controls, security metrics, and KPIs, current security assessments and investigations, data security risks, and strategic security issues.
A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer, or VCISO, is an ideal catalyst to ensure that the security governance committee is properly formed and understands its responsibilities to the organization and its various stakeholders. In addition to assisting in identifying key committee members throughout the organization, the VCISO will assist in developing your committee charter, outlining and assigning responsibilities, and advising in other ways. He or she may attend committee meetings upon request, in a non-voting capacity. If appropriate, the VCISO will also facilitate the development of compliance sub-committees.
Security Governance Committee Benefits
Establishing a dynamic, dedicated group to govern your organization’s information security programs delivers several key benefits. They include: (1) enhancing security compliance initiatives to meet all applicable regulatory requirements, (2) effectively managing the organization’s information security risks, and (3) positioning the company to respond successfully to advances in technology and changes in security regulations and best practices.
In addition to these benefits, employing a VCISO for this project means that your security governance program can be developed at a pre-agreed cost.