CISOs usually work closely with a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and/or a Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
As companies become larger and more established, they need a more senior IT leader and transition from a Head of IT to a CIO or CTO. As they become larger still, they need to create a specialist role to own and lead cyber security, so they create a new CISO role.
However, the role may not initially be full-time. Often a mid-market business may not yet have the resources to pay for a full-time CISO or not yet need one.
A ‘fractional’ CISO is simply a CISO who works for your business part-time. A Freeman Clarke fractional CISO allows for flexibility in terms of scheduling and salary whilst also bringing the experience we have from working with a huge portfolio of other clients. Companies who work with Freeman Clarke CISOs additionally benefit from the skills and experience of our entire team of 85+ IT leaders.
A Freeman Clarke CISO takes the lead role to ensure that your IT team and suppliers are getting this right. More importantly, they assure that the executive team understands cyber security best practices and embed them within the culture of the business.
As security issues have multiplied, it has become common practice for large businesses to have a senior-level security officer. Increasingly, mid-market businesses – which have the same security concerns – have been hiring CISOs as well.
CISOs are necessary because a serious security lapse could cause your business catastrophic financial and reputational damage. It can also have serious legal implications, resulting in lawsuits and fines.
On the other hand, addressing security concerns can provide a marketing advantage. In many industries, companies select suppliers who have impressive cyber security and compliance certifications. Thus having a credible leader like a CISO enables you to gain new clients, or secure funding, or raise your business’s profile generally.
Aside from all of the above, a CISO frees up the CIO to pursue IT practices to help grow a business.
CISOs are highly specialized and in-demand, so they command high salaries. But having a fractional CISO means that financial burden is lifted, ‘fractional’ simply means ‘part-time’.
Fractional CISOs have to meet the same standards as full-time CISOs. At Freeman Clarke, those standards are high: we accept only 1% of applicants.
As with all other positions, we insist that our CISOs have extensive technological and business experience and that they understand the particular culture of the mid-market sector.
In many ways, we bring more to the table than a full-time CISO. Freeman Clarke is a company of 85+ CTOs and CIOs, which means when you hire one of our experts, you benefit from that institutional experience and support.
Mid-market businesses have the same security issues as larger ones, but they may not necessarily have the cash – or even a real need – for a full-time CISO. For example, they may simply need someone to devise a security strategy, put it in place, and then monitor it.
A fractional CISO allows your business to remain secure without greatly increasing your budget.
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Co-Founder and Director