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Outsource Cybersecurity: Expectations vs Reality

12 January 2022

Detecting and responding efficiently to security threats and breaches is an in-demand skill for organisations across the UK.

However, keeping the skillset of employees up to date, investing in the right technologies, and time to do this effectively can be costly and a drain on resources.

That is why more organisations are outsourcing cyber security operations; to improve efficiency, enhance their security posture and save resources.

Sapphire has designed its UK-based Security Operations Centre (SOC) to help organisations respond quickly to threats and receive the optimum cyber security protection available today.

Organisations across the UK benefit from Sapphire’s twenty-five years of experience from network monitoring to vulnerability management and incident response. Sapphire security analysts have a wealth of knowledge.

Outsource Cybersecurity: Expectations vs Reality

By the end of this blog, you will understand:

  • What can outsourced cyber security look like?
  • How it works on a day-to-day basis.
  • The benefits an organisation experiences when outsourcing its cyber security.

Why is Cyber Security Important?

According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

Cybersecurity is important because smartphones, computers and the internet are now such a fundamental part of modern life, that it’s difficult to imagine how we’d function without them.

From online banking and shopping to email and social media, it’s more important than ever to take steps that can prevent cybercriminals from getting hold of our accounts, data, and devices.

As the statement above suggests, cyber security protection goes beyond implementing a single entity, department, or solution. Cyber security is a whole encompassing practice.

According to a survey by Check Point:

58% of respondents said their organisations had experienced an increase in attacks and threats since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, 39% said that attack volumes had remained the same; just 3% said they had fallen.

What Does Outsourced Cybersecurity Mean?

To outsource cyber security, an organisation will secure the services of a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) or team of certified and experienced cyber security professionals to oversee its security operations.

An MSSP and the cyber security specialists it employs will monitor and manage one or more security functions and, in some cases, devices for an organisation.

What is Outsourced Cybersecurity?

By combining the expertise of its in-house cyber security team, cutting-edge technology, and processes, an MSSP can help an organisation to improve or expand its cyber security capabilities.

If your organisation wants to implement or maintain its cyber security provisions, consider many factors. For example, does your organisation have the budget to do so? Are your staff experienced in dealing with complex threats or breaches?

How Will Outsourced Cybersecurity Operations in my Organisation?

Because of its needs and practicalities, an organisation may allocate cyber security responsibilities to existing internal IT staff.

In some cases, organisations choose this route to reduce costs. However, it is worth noting that in-house IT and cyber security roles, while they may be related, they are not the same.

The cyber security landscape is forever changing, so you need specialist staff who can have the skills and experience to meet these challenges.

Upskilling an in-house team is an excellent way to combat the latest threats. Investment in training is one way to ensure that your staff is at the forefront of the evolving threat landscape. 

In-house IT staff may have skills and experience, but they will not match the specialised knowledge and the technology and resources available via a dedicated cyber security team. In-depth knowledge is key.

However, if your staff are under-resourced and lack the technical capability, presenting them with complex security issues could, in fact, leave your organisation more susceptible to breaches.

Advanced skills and knowledge is needed to provide adequate protection.

Data security, for example, is at the heart of many organisations. To protect and avoid data breaches (e.g. via threat intelligence or threat detection) requires specialised tools and skillset.

Cyber security professionals’ access to specialised skills and tools are why some organisations outsource cybersecurity.

What Type of Cybersecurity does my Organisation Need?

The first step is to understand the specific vulnerabilities that may put your organisation at risk for a cyber-attack. 

For example, managed service providers conduct security architecture, risk, or network vulnerability assessments to help determine the gaps in an organisation’s cyber security.

What about Regulatory Compliance? 

Regulatory compliance and adhering to industry standards are a must for organisations across many industries. For example, those that are heavily regulated, such as finance, often have to provide evidence of this.

In a cyber security context, ISO 27001 is the leading international standard for information security management systems. Complying with this standard shows Sapphire’s commitment to a high level of cyber risk maturity.

The number of laws, regulations, standards, and guidelines that you must adhere to can be pretty daunting. 

Before outsourcing a provider, ensure your partner is aware of your requirements and can tailor its service to help you demonstrate compliance as and when needed.

What about Regulatory Compliance? 

How Can I Ensure I Receive a High Level of Service?

One way of doing so is by signing up for a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

While the terms of an SLA are not always guaranteed, an SLA will define and manage your expectations.

Ensure that the SLA between you and your cyber security provider is realistic, customised to your organisation, and binding.

Outsourcing Cyber Security: Why it Works.

Available for 24x7x365 service.

One of the main benefits of outsourcing cyber security is the 24x7x365 monitoring and response service. 

This service gives organisations peace of mind that their systems are protected outside working hours. 

Around-the-clock service, coupled with a team of experienced crisis responders, means service providers will have access to expertise to mitigate further damage to your security.

Rapid, real-time incident response is critical during a cyber-attack.

As Check Point suggests:

Protective vaccination is better than treatment, and in Cyber security, real-time prevention is the key to protecting networks, employees, and data against attacks and threats.

Outsourcing Cyber Security: Why it Works

Cost-Effective.

The first point- and obvious one- is that a cyber security service will mitigate the risk of a security breach and thus save you the huge costs associated with it.

Also, outsourced services will save you time and money in hiring a dedicated team/in-house personnel.

According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, data breach costs rose from £2.9 million to £3.5 million).

This is the highest average total cost in the history of this report.

Build Trust with Your Customers.

An attack by cybercriminals will hurt financially and will also mean a loss of credibility and reputation with your customers.

According to The Okta Digital Trust Index:

Nearly two-fifths (39%) of UK respondents said they’d lost faith in a company due to a data breach or similar.

Experienced staff will be aware of what is required to monitor and respond to the cyber security issues your organisation and customers face.

I’m Ready to Contact a Managed Security Services Provider.

Before you contact a Managed Security Service Provider, you must research and choose an MSSP that understands your organisation and its cyber security needs.

Whether you are an IT manager responsible for cyber security a managing director, plan which functions you wish to outsource and the organisational requirements needed.

Sapphire’s Managed Security Service.

Sapphire has specialised in cyber security services for over 25 years.

Sapphire’s clients have benefited from our experience combined with leading technology and analytical skills by utilising our Managed Security Services.

Sapphire’s Managed Security Services offers visibility and protection against all emerging cyber threats. We work with industry-leading security monitoring and threat hunting combined with the latest threat intelligence.

Contact our team today to learn more about outsourcing your cyber security.

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