Who Needs a vCISO (virtual Chief Information Security Officer)?

Every company that uses digital assets and data should have a cyber security and data protection strategy (for GDPR compliance). Data is increasingly becoming one of the most valuable company assets industry-wide, so securing data and sensitive information is no longer optional.

However, we also live in an increasingly busy and interconnected world where we don’t have time to fully consider the implications of a weak security framework. With limited resources, we often also have other priorities and need different resources before we can think of hiring a specialist information security officer. Companies need sales, marketing, finance and operations staff to grow…

This is where the vCISO comes in. As a ‘virtual’ Chief Information Security Officer, a vCISO is essentially a long-term outsourced consultant, or team of consultants, who work with you to improve your cyber security posture across all business teams and departments. The vCISO will often work closely with the in-house Data Protection Officer (DPO) to ensure that cyber security and data compliance strategies are aligned.

What Is a vCISO?

A vCISO, similar to an in-house Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), works at a senior level to identify weaknesses and develop a strategy to improve the information security framework. This strategy is designed from a holistic perspective and, includes training staff, developing processes and deploying suitable technology (the three pillars of cyber security for proactive protection: people processes and technology – click to explore):

3 Pillars of cyber security

Implementation of relevant software solutions fit for processes and the way the organisation works 


Awareness, training and education


Understanding risks, controls and configuration

A vCISO liaises with the HR, IT, Finance and Operations departments to understand the residual risks within the organisation and how to manage and mitigate any identified risks.

The vCISO will usually ask:

  • Do you have a full asset register of all IT systems along with their current OS and patch status?
  • Do you segregate and restrict access based on least privilege or roles (e.g. by division, user/admin, etc.)? 
  • Does your disaster recovery include recovering from a cybercrime event (e.g. losing access to all data, emails, etc.)?
  • Is your GDPR sensitive data sufficiently encrypted, restricted and secured?
  • Do you know the impact on your business if your confidential and/or customer data was leaked publicly?
  • Do you obtain regular independent verification that your information security setup is adequate and up-to-date?
  • Are you monitoring all security events, would you know if a malicious actor has gained access to your systems?


By understanding and quantifying the risks facing an organisation, a vCISO can develop a strategy unique to the bespoke business needs. This strategy should follow the industry-standard NIST framework to improve the businesses overall cyber security posture that fits into the five categories: identity, protect, detect, respond and recover.

Improving a NIST report through the help of a VCISO will often look something like this depending on the time and budget available (a good vCISO is usually flexible here):


How Does It Work?

Riela’s vCISO is a retainer or fixed fee-based relationship that works around your needs. We often start with a higher, more focused engagement to make sure we immerse ourselves in your organisation while over the long-term it will be less intensive once we have developed the strategy and action points. We usually recommend budgeting for £2,000 to start while the cost often reduces over time to around £1,500-1,000 per month.

Our vCISO service can either work with our SOC services or be completely independent of any of our other services. A vCISO is responsible for designing and recommending the best solution for the client.

We don’t ask our clients to just trust our word, we also offer our vCISO clients independent third-party verification through an annual IASME accreditation.

Discover more about our vCISO services here or fill out this form today to get in touch with our Cyber Engineers directly:

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Kurt Schrauwen



Kurt Schrauwen is a Director of the Riela Group of companies which includes Riela Yachts, Riela Cyber and Riela Tech. 

Kurt brings more than 20 years of leadership experience having been an early part of the global success of Microgaming in becoming a market leader. Kurt was responsible for the commercial, contractual, and technical sales for Microgaming and with this experience will complement the company’s growth strategy.

Kurt is passionate about business optimisation and prides himself in having an intrapreneurial outlook to maximise staff potential, reduce inefficiencies as well as identifying and maturing revenue growth opportunities.

Paul Cocker

Service Delivery Coordinator

Paul Cocker joined the Riela Group in late 2021, after spending just under 20 years with his previous employer.

Paul is responsible for the Riela Tech service levels, working on both the dispatch function and SLA management. Paul carries out a variety of duties across the Network Operations Centre and works closely across the wider team to deliver professionally tailored solutions for our Riela Tech clients.


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Murat Guner

Infrastructure Engineer

Murat Guner joined the Riela Group in the Summer of 2021 as an Infrastructure Engineer.

Murat began his career in Turkey as a computer teacher for primary and secondary schools before migrating his skills into IT infrastructure. After honing his IT experiences throughout a colourful career path, Murat gained numerous qualifications which he is now excited to apply to the management of our Riela Tech infrastructure.

Andrew Clucas

Senior Network Engineer

Andy is a qualified Network Engineer with in-depth knowledge of architecting, implementing and supporting networking solutions in the SMB, Enterprise and Service Provider environments.

He has over 20 years of experience working across multiple vendor operating systems, including Cisco, Juniper, Linux and Microsoft, and has also been responsible for implementing a variety of large scale network services deployments, taking projects from design to rollout and support.

Andy also has experience of deploying and migrating a range of virtualisation technologies including VMWare, Hyper-V and KVM based systems.

Marc Dorey

Infrastructure & Managed Services Lead

Marc is our Group’s Infrastructure and Managed Services lead with over 18 years’ experience in delivering infrastructure projects across multiple industry verticals and international jurisdictions.  From projects in Aerospace and Engineering through to Banking and Insurance, from Europe, China, Africa and Australia.

This experience is matched with a varied list of certifications from leading industry vendors such as Hp, Cisco, Microsoft, Ruckus, CompTIA and more.  As a qualified technical trainer Marc is comfortably able to take complicated technical concepts and deliver them in simplistic terms to key decision makers and end users alike.

Most of Marc’s experience has been gained working for managed service providers, both large and niche and as such is able to take real world experience and blend it with industry standards to help align our service delivery with our clients values and processes.

Alexandria halsall

Marketing Executive

As a Marketing Executive, Alex is responsible for all marketing duties spanning the Riela Group.

Alex joined the Riela Group in August 2020, shortly after graduating with a Psychology degree from Nottingham Trent University.

With past work experience in content marketing, event management and web design, Alex is able to apply her creative and analytical skills into the Riela strategy.

Matthew Roberts

Group Head of Sales

As the Head of Group Sales at the Riela family of companies, Matthew leads the company’s sales strategy, execution, and growth.

Matthew has a successful record building trusted client relationship and delivering upon set expectations. An accomplished sales leader, he delivers a sales process that provides clients with the information and support they need to make the right decisions for their organisations and their constituents.

Matthew has significant experience within the maritime industry having previously worked across various sectors including insurance, security, satellite communications and managed IT. Matthew’s most recent experience encompasses almost 5 years spent with the leading satellite communications and managed IT provider in the maritime industry, focusing on their superyacht clientele.

Christian Goelz Riela Cyber

christian goelz


Christian is involved across the Riela family of companies with particular attention to the technology businesses, Cyber and Tech.

Christian gained a postgraduate Master in Finance degree at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and completed his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Before joining us, Christian worked for six years at Argosy Capital, an Isle of Man-based private equity and venture capital business focusing on early-stage growth businesses. At Argosy, he focused on managing investment companies, research and financial analysis and served as a director on several boards.


Riela Group Managing Director

Robert Tobin is the Managing Director of the Riela Group of Companies and is responsible in overseeing our business operations, our people and driving excellence in all we do.

Rob brings over 25 years’ of successful leadership and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries including Family Office, corporate services, construction engineering, Superyachts, cyber security and information technology development to our Group, and to our customers.

In the past 15 years Rob has gained a prominent reputation within the Superyacht industry for his passion, integrity, innovation and achievements to date.

“Being part of an awesome, capable and forward thinking team that have a shared passion for Superyachts, people and the environment is the highlight of my career and puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step everyday”.

Peter Astell Burt


Peter is an experienced technology consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the IT and cyber security industry.  Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), IT Strategy, Start-ups, Regulations, and Online Gaming. Strong consulting professional with a DPhil focused in Natural Sciences from ChristChurch, Oxford.

Tim Bliss

Tim Bliss


Tim Bliss, Managing Director of Riela Tech since the company foundation in 2015 and Director of Riela Cyber, brings over 20 years’ of successful leadership experience across a range of industries including finance and banking, software development, and manufacturing, as well as cyber security and information technology. Prior to forming the company he led the technology for Manx Financial Group PLC, where he was instrumental in business systems transformation.

“It is our hugely capable team of experts that drives our business – it is fantastic and rewarding to be able to use technology, intelligence, and great customer service to help make our clients’ business and staff progressively more efficient resilient and secure”