Cyber attacks are one of the greatest threats to the success of organisations of all sizes. The headlines are full of ever larger and more sophisticated attacks, and as a result, cybersecurity is gaining importance for organisations. However, the biggest question for most IT managers is how to start securing their organisation.
For many organisations, the answer is to use an external cybersecurity provider. The benefits of managed security services for these organisations range from cost savings, to improved cybersecurity protection, and better incident response. We explore these benefits of managed security services.
Managed security service providers carry out cybersecurity services on behalf of their customers. These services may include round the clock security operations centre monitoring, network monitoring, managing software security updates, vulnerability management, and more.
Benefits of managed security services
1. Benefit from cybersecurity experts
As cyber attacks increase in frequency and sophistication, IT teams are struggling to keep up. The types of attacks teams need to be aware of is expanding, and the attack surface is growing as organisations use more online services, undergo digital transformations, migrate to the cloud, and more. Over the last year alone, we have seen a significant increase in large scale supply chain and ransomware attacks – sometimes both attack types at once, with the Kaseya ransomware attack in July, and the latest Microsoft attacks discovered in October.
In order to protect against attacks, IT teams need to be experts in a whole range of areas – which is a tall ask for a one or two-person information security team, or an IT team who have security tacked onto their responsibilities.
One the other hand, a dedicated managed security services team who work with a range of customers across a variety of industries will have wider experience. They will gain skills and experience from each client, which they can share with other team members, and can get greater oversight of trends, building up a greater skills bank, with the skills that your organisation needs.
In addition, access to new skills is immediate. The cybersecurity services provider will have a team of experts with access to the latest tools and knowledge of the latest techniques in use to protect your organisation.
2. Save labour costs
Building an in-house IT security team is expensive. IT security professionals are highly paid due to the lack of supply, and your organisation may need two or more in order to staff the team properly. In addition, cybersecurity is a 24/7 exercise, so there may be extra costs associated with having a team member work overtime or unsociable hours.
On top of finding and employing a professional with the right skills, there are the costs of paying for their continuous training, specialist tools, and more.
With managed security services, your organisation can simply buy the required skills for the times that you need them. Managed security services providers have the economies of scale that come from having a larger team in place, and that team will have a range of skills in place. As a customer, you simply benefit from the specialised skills of each individual without paying for 100% of their time.
Furthermore, a cybersecurity as a service model eliminates upfront costs, and results in a simple, unchanging monthly payment that can be budgeted ahead of time.
3. Access to the best security tools
The more effective a cybersecurity tool is, the more it will cost. As a result, some organisations may compromise efficacy in order to fit their budget. In addition, new tools come on the market all the time in response to new threats, creating further strain on fragile budgets.
Managed security services providers have deeper pockets. Because they work for a variety of clients and have a range of skills at their convenience, they have access to the newest and most effective security tools on the market. They may also be aware of tools and resources that in-house teams may not be aware of. As a customer of a cybersecurity services provider, your organisation benefits from their buying power.
4. Pay as you use
Cybersecurity needs fluctuate daily, monthly, annually, following your business’s rhythm. However, an in-house team is not flexible. If you need additional services they can become overstretched, and if for any reason demand for IT security services reduces in your organisation, members of the team can become surplus to requirements.
Cybersecurity as a service is inherently scalable. Organisations pay for the services they need, enabling them to procure more services quickly when needed, or reduce the services they receive if they no longer need them. This enables an organisation to invest the right amount of money without overspending.
Scaling up with a cybersecurity service provider is also a much quicker and easier process than the traditional route of recruiting a new person to the in-house team.
In addition, managed security services providers will provide tailored services based on the specific threats, vulnerabilities, risk profiles, and compliance requirements of the organisation.
5. Round the clock coverage
Most organisations rely on one or two IT security specialists in their organisation. However cyber attackers never sleep, and statistics show that the majority of cyber attacks take place outside normal working hours, at night, during the weekend, or before or over major holidays.
Round the clock monitoring of the network is vital for early identification of an active attack, which in turn will initiate the incident response quicker, ultimately reducing the impact of an incident on the organisation.
In an in-house model, the one or two people in the team are not able to watch the network and be on alert at all times, leaving the organisation vulnerable at the most dangerous times.
The benefits of managed security services for organisations include the ability to monitor the network 24/7. The cybersecurity services provider has a larger team designed to work in shifts to monitor their customers’ networks. It is also ultimately cheaper – one employee can monitor several organisations out of hours, reducing the financial burden.
6. A responsive partner, before, during, and after an incident
Another of the benefits of managed security services is the holistic service they provide for integrating security protections, managing an incident, and applying the lessons learned from an incident.
In the event of an incident, the cybersecurity services provider is immediately in place to support the organisation through it. They have knowledge of the systems and plans in place, and the expertise to manage the event – skills that an in-house team may not have. This will ultimately save the organisation precious time in finding an organisation to help them.
In addition, if they are involved in the incident response they will also know the lessons learned from the incident, and will be available to offer advice, and remediation support.
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