Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important as cybercriminals continue to target businesses and other organizations. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving and changing, so staying up to date on the latest cybersecurity threats, and taking the appropriate steps to safeguard your organization, is a full-time job. For many small or medium-sized businesses, it may not be feasible to support even a single in-house cybersecurity expert, let alone a full team of them.
To help safeguard their valuable digital assets, more organizations are choosing to outsource their cybersecurity to experts, including Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs). A good MSSP can not only help you recover from potential breaches and other cybersecurity incidents, but they can also help you preemptively avoid problems and learn from any incidents that do occur so you can shore up your defenses.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
There are many benefits to choosing to outsource your organization’s cybersecurity instead of supporting an in-house team.
What Sort of Organizations Could Benefit From Outsourcing?
Small and medium-sized businesses and organizations, as well as educational institutions (from elementary schools to colleges and universities), can benefit greatly from outsourcing their cybersecurity. Many educational institutions, in particular, simply don’t have the budget to internally support the team of experts they need to safeguard their digital assets effectively.
Cybersecurity is all about minimizing risk, so decision-makers need to ask themselves what risks are they willing to take each day. Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized organizations believe that their size shelters them; that they are “too small” for cybercriminals to bother with. In reality, small and medium-sized organizations are targeted more frequently because of that misconception and because criminals know that these organizations are less likely to have robust cybersecurity policies and safeguards in place.
Skip the Recruitment Process
Unemployment in the American cybersecurity sector is currently at 0%, which can make finding and retaining qualified talent incredibly difficult, costly, and time-consuming. When you choose to outsource your cybersecurity, you don’t have to worry about finding, training, and retaining top talent on your own in order to benefit from their expertise.
A Full Team of Experts, 24/7
When you hire for a new position, such as a security engineer, you typically need to hire one and a half employees. This overlap ensures that if your in-house cybersecurity expert takes a sick day or goes on vacation that there is someone else to temporarily fill that gap.
When you choose to outsource, you never have to worry about how a sick day will impact your cybersecurity or what will happen if something comes up while your only expert is on vacation.
Outsourcing also makes it easier to ensure full 24/7/365 coverage since your cybersecurity is handled by an entire team instead of one individual. This helps ensure that if something suspicious happens while the office is closed that there is still someone around to notice, sound the alarm, and begin mounting a defense.
An Economical Option
For the price of hiring one in-house expert, you can often get a full team of experts by outsourcing. When it comes to hiring many organizations fail to account for all of the fully-loaded costs, such as insurance, taxes, and overhead. Outsourcing gives you better coverage and a full team of diverse cybersecurity experts for the same price as one in-house expert.
How to Choose the Right Cybersecurity Company
Do Your Research
Not all MSSPs are the same, so do your research. There are too many companies out there that promise robust and comprehensive cybersecurity but fail to deliver. Unless you are dealing with a very large MSSP, it is unlikely that they will have a large enough team to cover all possible cybersecurity weaknesses and deal with threats effectively.
Many customers want a one-stop-shop approach, but those types of organizations may not be equipped to adequately safeguard your digital assets. To help ensure the MSSP you are considering is up to snuff you should ask for references from both current and past customers and see what they have to say. Not only can you learn about what it is like to work with this organization now, but you can also find out why previous customers decided to leave.
You should also ask about ongoing employee training. Any good MSSP will provide its employees with ongoing training so that they can ensure that their team is aware of new threats and is working to adapt accordingly.
You should also talk to your MSSP about cybersecurity training for your staff, and whether or not they offer services such as pen (penetration) tests and tabletop scenarios. Pen tests involve hiring an ethical hacker to try and break through your defenses and document the weaknesses they were able to exploit so that you can improve your cybersecurity practices. A tabletop scenario is like a fire drill; it allows your team to run through a mock cybersecurity incident in a no-risk environment. This helps ensure that everyone knows what their role is, how to carry out their duties effectively, and who they need to coordinate with.
Cultivate a Close Relationship
Your MSSP should feel like an extension of your organization. Make sure you get to know key individuals that you can contact if a situation arises. This close relationship will not develop overnight, but it is critical that you work to create a relationship built on trust and credibility from both sides.
Trust, but Verify
Just because you have chosen to outsource doesn’t mean you can write a check and walk away. You need to be able to trust that your MSSP is doing things correctly, but it is also your responsibility to do your due diligence to make sure the MSSP is doing what they promised to do. Ask for quarterly reviews that include documentation on what is being done to safeguard your digital assets. You should also consider bringing in a third party to conduct periodic vulnerability assessments to make sure that your MSSP is watching both the front and back doors of your organization.
What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Organization’s Digital Assets
Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, from the CEO all the way down the ladder. To help ensure that your digital assets are secure, it is essential to ensure that all staff receive proper cybersecurity training. As any cybersecurity expert will tell you, security awareness training for all staff is one of the first steps that any organization needs to take to effectively defend itself. Cybercriminals typically target users (including employees), so it is imperative that your users be trained to spot suspicious activity, what to do if they think something is fishy, and who they should report their concerns to.
Choosing to outsource your cybersecurity can be a great way to gain access to a fully trained team of cybersecurity experts without the hassle of recruitment or retainment. For small or medium-sized organizations or other institutions with limited budgets, it can also be a much more economical option. If you do choose to outsource your cybersecurity do your research and due diligence so that you can ensure your MSSP is up to the task.