vCISO vs MSP: The Cybersecurity Dream Team

by Trava, Cyber Risk Management

A vCISO and an MSP are two essential halves of cybersecurity. But does your business need both? Read on to find out!

A business is only as strong as its weakest link—and for many, this area is cybersecurity. Cyberattacks are a growing threat, becoming more intricate and sophisticated with each passing day. So how do you protect your company? Do you need a vCISO or an MSP?

Look no further! We will tell you everything you need to know about vCISOs vs. MSPs, giving you the information you need to make informed decisions to protect your business. Let's dive in!

What Is a vCISO?

A Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) is a cybersecurity professional who assesses a company's cybersecurity risk and develops a comprehensive risk management strategy. Common services they provide also include:

  • Conduct thorough cybersecurity risk assessments

  • Gather information regarding industry, or location-specific cybersecurity policies, guidelines, and standards to ensure your business remains in compliance

  • Set business-wide cybersecurity goals to protect your systems and data

  • Analyze the company's partners and third-party vendors

  • Develop recommended cybersecurity strategies and initiatives

vCISOs are advantageous because they are not full-time employees. Your business only pays for the services you need as you need them. For example, in some quarters, all you may need is monitoring, while in others, you may need a full cybersecurity assessment and revised strategy.

What Is an MSP?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) manages and delivers IT services to businesses. An MSP's services include infrastructure management, security, networking, as well as application support. Common services provided also include:

  • Engineering IT support

  • Fix and remediation automation

  • Patch management

  • Remote monitoring

  • Network and server maintenance

  • IT infrastructure management

The advantages of an MSP include the ability to scale as your business needs change, the flexibility to switch providers, and managed costs (only pay for the services you need).

Learn more in the recording below from a seasoned vCISO and MSP.

How Do a vCISO and an MSP Differ?

A vCISO and MSP form different yet complementary functions. vCISOs are the strategists. They are the ones who conduct the assessments and develop the plans for how your business should proceed to mitigate cybersecurity risks. On the other hand, MSPs are the ones who put these plans into action.

Think of it this way: Architects develop the blueprints for a home or building, while the builder brings the blueprint to life. In this scenario, vCISOs are the architects, and MSPs are the builders.

Which One Does Your Business Need?

It depends on your company goals, but there are times when you may need both. The two are complementary and can be integrated, meaning they function as one coordinated service, with the vCISO providing the strategic direction and the MSP implementing it.

Will Audits Be a Problem Using a vCISO and MSP?

When executed correctly, audits should not be a problem for your company when working with a vCISO and MSP. As long as there is rock-solid evidence to back up the actions, that is all that matters.

Get the lowdown on Trava's ISO 27001 certification and how we help customers through SOC 2 ⬇️

Trava's ISO 27001 Certification Journey: Insights and Tips for Cybersecurity Success

How Trava Guides Customers Through SOC 2

Do You Need to Have a Full-Time vCISO or MSP to Achieve Certification?

Many companies often think that they need to hire a full-time CISO, full-time IT services staff, as well as full-time security engineers to achieve SOC 2 or ISO 27001 certifications. However, this is not the case. When you work with a reputable vCISO, your business can successfully obtain the certifications it needs without the headache of employing full-time IT and security teams that you don't need.

Risk Assessment

The vCISO's job is to provide strategies that give your company optimal protection. Understandably, your business may not be able to afford to make all of these changes at once. This is where our vCISO will conduct a risk assessment and communicate with your MSP about which fixes are a priority and make those changes first, staying within your specified budget. The concept is to mitigate what you can and accept what you can't.

Protect Your Business With Trava

Malicious cyberattacks can have devastating consequences for your company. Partnering with a vCISO or MSP can provide you with ultimate protection and prevent attacks and breaches before they even happen.

As a leader in vCISO services, Trava provides cutting-edge guidance to keep your company data safe and ensure your systems can withstand and recover from cyber threats. Our experienced team also stays on top of the latest cybersecurity threats and uses modern strategies to protect your business.


We can help!  Talk to the Trava Team and see how we can assist you with your cybersecurity needs.