CYBER HEAT MAP: Enabling Cyber Resilience With Assessment and Planning Tools for Higher Education

Discover how the CampusCISO CYBER HEAT MAP® model simplifies your cybersecurity strategy planning, helping you manage risk more effectively and strengthen your institution’s cybersecurity posture.

Why did we create CYBER HEAT MAP?

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing. It can feel like there’s an endless parade of new vendor solutions promising to solve your cybersecurity problems. You need a strategy that goes beyond “defense in depth” – you need to proactively protect your institution from cyber threats. 

To do this, you need to prevent as many negative cybersecurity events as possible (within cost and cultural boundaries), you need to mitigate the damage of cyber events that get past your prevention layer, and you need to ensure the program you build is sustainable within your staff and budget limits.

Photo showing vendor display booths at a technology trade show

You Need a Cyber Resilience Strategy

The combination of PREVENT –> MITIGATE –> SUSTAIN forms the core of a cyber resilience strategy.

At CampusCISO, we understand these challenges. That’s why we developed CYBER HEAT MAP: a planning framework designed to help you strengthen cyber resilience at your institution. 

CYBER HEAT MAP isn’t just an assessment tool. It’s a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity planning that balances prevention, damage mitigation, and sustainability within your institution’s specific cost and cultural boundaries.


CYBER HEAT MAP is a cybersecurity assessment and planning tool that helps you map your vendor solutions to a framework that aligns technical capabilities to different stages of growth as your security team matures. 

It’s more than just an assessment checklist. Using CYBER HEAT MAP helps simplify how you build cyber resilience concepts into your investment strategy.

Mapping Technical Capabilities to Operational Readiness Levels

The CYBER HEAT MAP model maps technical capabilities to Operational Readiness Levels that reflect increasing levels of maturity. This means that you need to deploy foundational capabilities to support higher-level capabilities.

It’s not realistic for any institution to achieve 100% coverage across all the potential categories of cybersecurity tools. CYBER HEAT MAP helps you prioritize where to invest based on which projects will have the biggest impact AND be sustainable.

Think of building your cybersecurity strategy like pouring sand into the planning matrix — you need to fill out the base before you build up the height of the sand. 

It’s the same when planning which cybersecurity capabilities fit into your strategy. You need a base of foundational capabilities before you can deploy higher-level capabilities. This ensures you build an effective and sustainable security program.

CYBER HEAT MAP Summary Matrix - Sample report
* The summary matrix report is only available through CampusCISO Coaching Services engagements.

How do you use CYBER HEAT MAP in your planning processes?

We designed the CampusCISO site to make it easy for you to use CYBER HEAT MAP in your planning process. This portal provides a collection of assessment worksheets, planning tools, and reports that are tailored to help you strengthen your cybersecurity strategies.

Completing Your Online Assessment

Most institutions can complete the assessment in just a few hours to create a detailed report on your cybersecurity program capabilities. The tool helps create an inventory of technical capabilities deployed and collects high-level demographic information and key administrative controls.

Understanding Your Cybersecurity Portfolio​

CYBER HEAT MAP helps simplify your understanding of how your vendor solutions support your cyber resilience strategy. 

Besides the online planning reports, institutions using CampusCISO Coaching Services get access to a simple one-page summary matrix showing how all of their capabilities fit into this strategy. This one page heat map is the inspiration for the model’s name.

Prioritizing Your Capability Gaps

Once you complete your assessment, our model helps identify capability gaps and prioritize potential improvements. The reports incorporate several factors to provide recommendations based on yoOnce you complete your assessment, our model helps identify capability gaps and prioritize potential improvements. The reports incorporate several factors to provide recommendations based on your institution’s unique profile. This includes reviewing what capabilities you have in place, whether you own solutions that could address the gap, whether the capability supports compliance requirements, and more.ur institution’s unique profile. This includes reviewing what capabilities you have in place, whether you own solutions that could address the gap, whether the capability supports compliance requirements, and more.

Planning Your Cybersecurity Investments​

CampusCISO doesn’t just provide a static assessment report. We also provide tools to help you plan your cybersecurity strategy. These tools help you research what vendors are used at other institutions, benchmark your program against peers, prioritize staff professional development opportunities, and more.

What benefits do you get by using CYBER HEAT MAP?

The biggest benefit of using our model is that it simplifies how you analyze and map your vendor portfolio into a comprehensive cyber resilience model that supports your cybersecurity strategy. As one of our members from Kent State University puts it, “I was simply blown away by the comprehensive nature of the CampusCISO application.”

Flexibility with Security Frameworks

You can map your assessment results to any framework, because we didn’t base CYBER HEAT MAP on a specific framework.

Our Compliance Readiness report maps your assessment answers to the most common frameworks that impact higher education. This saves your team time when completing audits and assessments. It can also help ensure you provide repeatable, consistent, and defensible answers about whether you meet particular assessment requirements.


Every school should have easy access to expert guidance. That’s why our free CampusCISO Community memberships include access to the CYBER HEAT MAP assessment tools. US-based colleges and universities can sign up with just an email address.

Insights from a Community of Like-Minded Peers

CampusCISO is more than just an assessment tool – it’s a community. 

We’re constantly talking with higher education leaders from institutions of all sizes and shapes. We constantly improve and revise the CYBER HEAT MAP model based on the feedback from these discussions.

By joining CampusCISO, you gain access to assessment and planning tools developed with the collective wisdom and insights of other higher education leaders.

Thoughts from our founder

Chris Schreiber headshot photo

Chris Schreiber, CISM

Click to read Chris’ bio

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of helping over 100 colleges and universities assess and improve their cybersecurity capabilities. Whether as a new CISO, a vendor evaluating our solutions’ potential fit, or a managed service provider needing to understand how to assist our clients, these experiences have been invaluable.

The CYBER HEAT MAP model encapsulates the techniques and methods I’ve honed from decades of experience conducting assessments in real-life situations. But it’s not just my experience that shapes this model. It’s also fine-tuned with input and feedback from executives at institutions who have partnered with me through coaching engagements.

Our goal with CYBER HEAT MAP is to provide a tool that helps you assess your institution’s cybersecurity capabilities and then efficiently and effectively plan for improvements. We’re here to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity.

How to Get Started with CYBER HEAT MAP

To start using our model, sign up for a free CampusCISO Community membership. It’s free for any college or university as long as they provide a valid work email address.

Learn more with a Free Consultation

Curious if we can help you manage your cybersecurity planning? Book a free consultation and we'll explore your needs to see if we're a fit for your institution.