SMB Demand for Virtual CISOs Accelerates Market Growth

SMB Demand for Virtual CISOs Accelerates Market Growth

Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) platform vendor, Cynomi, recently published the results of its first annual report. The “State of the Virtual CISO 2023” report, created in collaboration with Global Surveys, offers insight into the growing demand for virtual CISO services among small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

The research demonstrates that demand for vCISO solutions has been steadily increasing over the last few years. In 2021, only around 5% of MSPs and MSSPs offered vCISO services. However, the report from Cynomi found that a projected 86% are planning to deliver vCISO solutions in 2024.

Only one of the 200 MSPs and MSSPs surveyed by the report say they don’t have any current plans to offer vCISO services going forward.

The increasing interest in vCISO services among MSPs and MSSPs is driven by a growing market for these services. As cybercriminals continue to target smaller businesses, many of these organizations simply don’t have the budget to hire dedicated security professionals full-time. Another recent report found that only 22% of businesses with fewer than 249 employees have an assigned “security budget” large enough to properly address the current threat landscape.

Cynomi’s study found that MSPs and MSSPs see significant potential in this trend. 43% of the respondents said the biggest benefit of adding vCISO services was the opportunity to increase margins. A further 44% said they believe offering vCISO services will help them to upsell other existing products and services more easily in their portfolio.

Also read: What to Know About Managed Service Providers

The respondents also believed that adding a vCISO solution to their portfolio could help them reach more of their strategic goals, including expanded cybersecurity offerings (39%), improved operational efficiency (32%), and increased customer engagement (31%).

“Our inaugural report on the state of the virtual CISO industry demonstrates clear momentum in this landscape,” said David Primor, CEO and co-founder of Cynomi. “SMBs are increasingly searching for cost-effective ways to improve security, without hiring in-house staff. This is pushing the vast majority of MSPs and MSSPs to explore the benefits of offering a vCISO service.”

While the respondents in Cynomi’s report see clear opportunities in the growing demand for vCISO services among SMBs, they also believe there are challenges to overcome before they can provide these solutions. The top challenges mentioned included limited in-house security and compliance knowledge (40%), high initial investment (34%), and a lack of technology (25%).

In addition, 91% of companies believed that offering vCISO services would require them to hire their own in-house cybersecurity professionals. Like many SMBs, a number of MSPs and MSSPs find cybersecurity expertise overly expensive or difficult to access. 63% agreed that their companies may not be able to afford to hire experts.

However, these barriers to entry may not be as significant as they appear. “While it’s true that hiring cybersecurity experts can be challenging, it is possible to provide vCISO services to SMBs without recruiting specialized personnel,” added Primor. “MSPs and MSSPs can leverage a vCISO platform, like Cynomi, that takes care of the heavy lifting, using AI and automation. MSPs and MSSPs can access all the tools they need to reach their strategic goals and better serve their customers, without the added complexity.”

Cynomi’s comprehensive and up-to-date directory of leading vCISO service providers was specifically designed to help SMBs in their search for a trusted security partner. The directory offers thorough details and insights into the services offered by each provider, as well as overviews of the technologies and platforms they use in their security strategies.

According to the VP of Security at rSolutions Corporation: “Since we started offering vCISO services last year … we have become more involved with our customers’ strategic planning and reporting to their top management while improving client engagement and satisfaction. They’re reassured to know they can turn to us in all matters relating to their cybersecurity needs without breaking the bank. On our end, too, the costs were lower than anticipated.”

As a leading vCISO platform provider for MSPs and MSSPs, Cynomi intends to conduct a regular and recurring study into the growing momentum of the vCISO role every year.

Details from the full 2023 report can be found here.

Written by
Barrett S

Barrett S is Sr. content manager of The Tech Trend. He is interested in the ways in which tech innovations can and will affect daily life. He loved to read books, magazines and music.

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