As a highly specialized area of information technology, cybersecurity is particularly demanding. Some organizations, especially large enterprises, prefer to invest in in-house cybersecurity because they have underutilized IT employees who can take on additional or higher-level roles or be trained to do so. Other businesses may work with the federal government, which has very strict standards and guidelines for information security.
More organizations, however, are offloading these tasks to cybersecurity companies and outsourced and managed services providers. In a fast-moving environment of changing technologies, evolving threats and ever-increasing risks, they recognize the value of accessing dedicated, proven and trusted experts, along with significantly lower costs compared to building and maintaining their own team and infrastructure.
Businesses may choose to offload the entire cybersecurity kit and caboodle — full SOC-as-a service, which involves 24/7 x 365 monitoring and management — or discrete tasks depending on their needs, internal resources and priorities. There are also many opportunities for offloading tasks in the middle of that spectrum. For example, companies may handle their own security monitoring and management, but lean on an external resource in emergency or high-priority situations to make recommendations. Conversely, external experts could be charged with continuous monitoring of a business and escalating issues to internal resources based on predetermined levels and priorities.
Offloading your cybersecurity tasks
Some examples of cybersecurity tasks that are easy to offload include:
- Penetration testing. Also known as “ethical hacking,” experts try to exploit security holes in technology infrastructure, applications, people and processes to help organizations proactively fortify their defenses. This also prevents employees with insider knowledge of IT systems from tainting the outcomes.
- Vulnerability scanning. These are conducted using automated tools, but outside experts are trained to notice anomalies that can point to problems.
- PCI scanning. Offloading this task helps ensure businesses are up-to-date and compliant with all regulations for processing credit card information.
- Cloud services security configuration. Most cloud services are set at a default security configuration, which may not be sufficient for business needs or reflect current risks and threats.
- Security analysis and recommendations. Analysis of events, alarms and tickets can help organizations pinpoint issues, vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement in tools, workflows and more, leading to greater efficiency and security.
While handing things off to a third party might sometimes seem unnecessary, it can provide your business with credibility and validation that its cybersecurity operations are up to standards and running properly.
Best practices for choosing a cybersecurity partner
If you decide to offload some or all of your cybersecurity tasks to an external resource, these are a few tips to keep in mind as you evaluate your options.
- Research the product. Low prices can be enticing, but often, you get what you pay for. Make sure the price listed includes the services you need.
- Do your due diligence on the company. In addition to reading reviews and researching the business’s reputation, find out where it is based. For example, businesses in countries or regions that are under threat of war or face political instability carry the risk of compromised operations. They may not be able to meet their responsibilities. Other countries may be under sanction, making working with businesses there inadvisable or even illegal.
- Ask for references. Hearing directly from satisfied customers can help with decision-making and provide more confidence that a resource is the right one for you.
Offloading some or all of your cybersecurity tasks makes fiscal sense. It provides your organization with an added layer of expertise and additional capacity for this challenging area of information security management. You can also free up resources for initiatives that support ongoing growth and innovation.
We at BPM are here to support that goal. Our team has solutions whether you need comprehensive cybersecurity management or a menu of a la carte options. We’re even ISO 27001-certified on NIST 800-53 moderate controls, which meets most federal information security requirements. Learn more about how to leverage BPM’s managed services to realize your organization’s vision. Visit our interactive guide.