Jeremy Hendy at Skurio explains how organisations are solving their cyber-security challenges with the use of specialist advice
At a time when organisations face huge pressures in managing a host of new security challenges, an external provider delivers specialist expertise and advice that is invaluable in navigating a complex threat landscape. They provide access to leading security solutions and the latest advice on best practices to prevent cyber incidents. They also deliver security training that keeps pace with the evolving tactics of threat actors. According to our survey, more than half of all organisations now outsource their cyber-security to external providers.
The cyber skills shortage coupled with the pandemic has increased the demand for skilled cyber-security professionals. The option of employing a full-time, in-house team of security specialists requires a level of investment that many businesses simply cannot afford. The costs of recruiting security professionals, as well as ongoing training to make sure staff have the most up-to-date certifications, can soon add up.
This specialist support is backed by the assurance of service delivery agreements, and SLAs provides the Board with the confidence that their organisation is addressing risk in a way that is fully accountable and transparent.
The case for specialist advice
The Covid crisis compounded the challenges of managing cybersecurity effectively. These exceptional circumstances have driven massive changes in terms of working practices and threat actors have continued to capitalise on the disruption and uncertainty. At the same time, organisations are managing more digital channels and using more third-party suppliers, so digital risk is increasing exponentially.
It’s a melting pot of challenges that can’t always be met by in-house teams. The fact is, there are not enough experienced cybersecurity professionals to go around with an estimated 4 million cybersecurity roles unfilled globally. Hackers can strike at any time and, to achieve around-the-clock monitoring of systems and infrastructure, organisations need a dedicated team on call 24/7/365. Staff attrition presents further problems; if a seasoned security professional leaves the business, they will take with them all the knowledge and expertise they have about the organisation’s security systems.
The expense and difficulty involved means maintaining an in-house security team doesn’t make sense for any but the largest organisations. Instead, businesses are trusting their security with third parties such as Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). These specialists invest in staff with specific cybersecurity skills and experience to operate best of breed solutions, enabling the business to focus on core activities rather than maintaining an in-house team. In their role as trusted advisors, independent security specialists can also validate and uncover any gaps in existing security processes.
The business value of digital risk protection
These gaps may well have resulted from the fall-out of the pandemic, which has placed an additional burden on organisations managing cybersecurity in-house. Phishing incidents, in particular, soared as cybercriminals exploited individual’s fears and concerns, giving them a free pass to organisations’ valuable data. It is now more important than ever for organisations to check for data breaches and cyber threats continuously – inside and outside the network – to understand if data has been breached, or if threat actors are planning attacks.
The latest Digital Risk Protection (DRP) services provide this early warning by identifying threats wherever they emerge, including the Dark Web, so they can be mitigated. The need for expertise in this area is critical. DRP cannot easily be done in-house, nor is it advisable to do so. If there has been a data breach, this information is likely to appear on the Dark Web as threat actors share or sell information. Accessing the Dark Web should only be carried out by trained professionals, as attempting to do so in-house will put an organisation and the person responsible at serious risk. Most respondents to our survey recognise this, with 80% stating that they do not have the right skills or knowledge to carry out DRP.
Businesses are better prepared to respond to attacks if they can see them coming. The advantages of a dedicated team of experts trained to identify these threats and backed up by SLAs, provides reassurance to the Board and key stakeholders – customers, suppliers and partners – that an organisation is taking the best possible measures to protect its data. There’s a clear business value to this, with 93 percent of IT decision makers in our research stating that DRP, specifically monitoring outside a network, improves customer trust and loyalty.
As organisations explore new ways to respond to cyber threats with limited resources, there is a greater need for specialist security providers that not only understand how to mitigate risks, but which can also deliver agility, scalability and cost-efficiencies. With more uncertainty for businesses lying ahead, outsourcing to a specialist provides organisations with assurances that their data security is in the safest possible hands.
Jeremy Hendy is CEO at Skurio
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