Five reasons why outsourcing cybersecurity operations adds value

07 February 2019 5 min. read
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Cybersecurity has in recent years grown to become one of the top threats for companies and entrepreneurs. According to an estimate by security software company McAfee, cybercrime cost the global economy over $600 billion last year. As such, tackling cybersecurity is hugely important for every organisation, yet keeping a business secure is a daunting task and requires specialist knowledge and tooling. 

The rapid rise of cybercrime and the complexity required to ensure safe digital frontiers has led to growth in the outsourcing of cybersecurity processes and managed services of IT systems. External providers specialise in providing expert services designed to identify, classify and address security vulnerabilities, detect and respond to threats, as well as provide advice to help achieve compliance with regulations and standards such as the GDPR and PCI DSS.

Here are five reasons why managed cybersecurity services could help organisations improve their security posture: 

They provide dedicated security specialists

Smaller businesses often don’t have the kind of resources available to hire in-house cybersecurity professionals. This means that cybersecurity is the responsibility of the IT team, who may not have specialist cybersecurity expertise. Smaller IT teams have to juggle a large number of issues and cybersecurity can often be a low priority.

One of the major benefits of an outsourced service is that an organisation can gain access to the expertise of dedicated cybersecurity professionals. Experts who work in the industry monitor the security landscape closely to stay up-to-date with the latest tactics, techniques and procedures used by cyber criminals. They are able to apply this knowledge to improve the identification of vulnerabilities as well as threat detection and incident response capabilities. Having this expertise on board ensures that a business has the knowledge in place to help keep abreast of malicious adversaries.

They can provide support around the clock

Protecting a business is now a 24/7 job – hackers and cybercriminals can strike at any time. This means that in order to detect and respond to threats swiftly and effectively, a network needs to be monitored around the clock. Managing and monitoring the security of even a small organisation 24/7/365 requires at least five full-time professionals. Outsourcing to specialists means that the right level of monitoring can be achieved, without the expense of hiring and training in-house staff. 

They are more cost effective

Even if a business has the budget to hire one cybersecurity professional, if those resources were used to invest in an outsourced service, it would be far more cost effective. High levels of protection can be achieved without enormous upfront investment in staff and infrastructure. The average salary for an IT security role was more than £60,000 last year, so the cost of just one additional hire is typically more expensive than working with an experienced team from a managed cybersecurity services provider. 

They help bridge the skills gap

Another challenge facing businesses that want to improve their cybersecurity is a lack of skills in the marketplace. Many businesses find it extremely difficult to hire workers with relevant cybersecurity qualifications and experience. According to a study by Capgemini, the majority of companies in the UK face a cybersecurity skills gap – almost seven in every ten organisations are reporting high demand for cyber skills, while a meagre four in ten have those skills present within the company today. 

Current trends suggest that there will be a global shortage of around 3.5 million cybersecurity professionals by 2021. This has created a situation where it can be prohibitively expensive to recruit, hire and retain in-house security staff. Outsourcing to a specialist business takes away this problem, as the experts will come as a part of the package. 

They provide independent validation of your security posture

It can be risky for a business to rely solely on the cybersecurity opinions of its own staff. No matter how strong executives believe their cybersecurity function is, it always makes sense to work with an independent partner in order to help validate controls and processes. Independent cybersecurity providers will uncover vulnerabilities and weaknesses in systems and applications that leaders and even IT staff may not have known they even existed. It is good to have faith and trust in a company’s own IT team, but it is always possible that they will be blind to certain risks.

Moreover, several studies have shown that people remain a weak link in the cybersecurity equation. External managed services providers are specialised in not just uncovering blind spots, but also training staff to lower the risk of vulnerability to a cyberattack.

Related: Five reasons cybersecurity is more important than ever.