The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated. These days, no business is safe from cybercrime, and as such the need for proper security has only grown in recent years. Regardless of the size, type or nature of your business, implementing a cybersecurity strategy to fight back against malicious actors is crucial to safeguarding your company’s data security.
While implementing a comprehensive and meaningful cybersecurity program can require a lot of effort and many resources, these costs are radically outweighed by the legal and financial consequences your company may face in the event of a security incident—not to mention potential damage to your reputation.
Because external cybersecurity providers are equipped to offer reliability, continuity, nonstop coverage, a broader experience pool and more stable access to talent, many companies—including both SMBs and service providers—are outsourcing their cybersecurity needs rather than spending time and money trying to drum up in-house solutions.
Why the increased emphasis on cybersecurity?
Driven in part by the growing complexity of the ways in which we work, as well as the challenge of staying ahead of new cyberthreats, more and more businesses are taking action; global spending for managed security services will grow from an estimated $27.7 billion in 2022 to $49.6 billion in 2027, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.
The growing use of managed service provides (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) for cybersecurity services can be attributed to many factors, including a rise in security breaches, the increased sophistication of cyberattacks, stricter governmental, compliance and data protection regulations, remote work and BYOD policies, as well as simple cost effectiveness relative to in-house alternatives. However, these same reasons have led to both MSPs and MSSPs seeking to outsource certain security functions as well, in an effort to keep clients protected and keep up with rising demand.
Why companies decide to outsource cybersecurity functions
24/7 coverage & monitoring
Because cyberattacks can happen at any time of day or night, it’s necessary to be constantly alert. This can pose a real challenge to smaller, in-house teams, as they tend to only work during regular 9-to-5 business hours. Saddling your regular staff with necessary security protocols like continuous vulnerability management and around-the-clock monitoring can quickly become overwhelming and lead to burnout. Outsourcing cybersecurity to a specialist provider, however, can vastly reduce the stress on your team.
More robust security expertise
Because providers work in different verticals and with companies of varying sizes, they tend to offer a broader range of experience which can be harnessed to better advise a broad range of clients. Generally speaking, more brains translates to more wisdom and stronger service provision.
To free up time
For end clients, chances are high that a given SMB does not specialize in cybersecurity and therefore has other things to worry about. Outsourcing cybersecurity needs to reduce those worries. Just as with any service you choose to outsource, the elimination of one line of work always liberates time to focus on more important matters. In this case, IT and any security staff are better able to focus on higher-priority security functions.
For MSPs, a lack of specialization in cybersecurity may also apply. Despite client demand for security solutions and a willingness to deliver then, doing so can stretch your existing resources thin.
The same goes for MSSPs, albeit for slightly different reasons. You might already be an expert at delivering cybersecurity solutions, but find it difficult to source adequate human resources to offer 24/7 coverage or find time to triage an increasing volume of alerts.
The benefits of outsourcing cybersecurity
The benefits of turning to external partner to augment your cybersecurity capabilities or offerings vary based on your company’s unique needs and goals. Typically, however, organizations typically see the following benefits when choosing to outsource certain activities.
24/7 coverage, monitoring and alerts
It bears repeating that many organizations simply cannot afford to build up and maintain a round-the-clock security operations center. Larger, more well-equipped solutions providers, however, can both attract and afford the talent needed to provide nonstop operations without skimping on quality.
External cybersecurity providers offer economies of scale and are therefore able to provide services at prices lower than in-house alternatives. Additionally, given that you may not have enough work to justify the cost of specialists on your own staff, a third party can easily offer specialized staff to cover only what you need. Outsourcing can help can move large chunks of your security budget from CapEx to OpEx, which can allow for certain accounting advantages while create budgetary stability and predictability.
Additional experience at your disposal
Because an external organization specializing in cybersecurity deals with far more alerts and breaches than a typical in-house organization ever will, their level of experience tends to be a lot more significant. And, due to that experience, external organizations in many cases can execute a more nuanced and organic delivery of actionable recommendations in the face of an alert or incident.
More insights into threat detection and response
Large service providers have larger data sets, so it follows that they usually have far better intelligence. As such, external cybersecurity providers can provide better, deeper insights into both existing and emerging threats, while also offering invaluable guidance about how your company might best detect and defend against them.
How to choose an external provider
To maximize the benefits of outsourcing cybersecurity, experts advise companies—whether you’re an MSP, MSSP or end client—to do the following:
Outline your specific needs in detail
Take a targeted approach by thoroughly weighing your security requirements against your in-house resources. Once you have an exhaustive list of reasons for requiring these services, ask yourself whether a given provider can meet your needs. Narrow it down to those candidates with experience and expertise to match your company’s unique needs. Of course, flexible services that allow you to scale services up and down as needed are key.
Review your budget
It should go without saying that you need to be able to afford the services you choose. Go over your budget and compare it to the cost of the provider’s services to determine whether you can realistically include them among your company’s expenses.
Make sure the provider offers clear SLAs
Your relationships with external service providers are usually established through service-level agreements (SLAs) which establish trust. Rather than SLAs which focus mainly on system availability and performance to the detriment of data security, you definitely want agreements tailored to your organization’s specific security requirements or commitments!
Lean on Sherweb to expand your cybersecurity capabilities
In addition to a portfolio of tailored cybersecurity solutions, Sherweb offers in-house managed detection and response services via Office Protect Alliance, in addition to a wealth of expertise geared at helping improve your cybersecurity posture—or that of your clients. Reach out to us to start a conversation, or join our partner program to get started.