Most organizations recognize the threats they face online and are not comfortable with that risk, but fail to do anything about it. It is that kind of inertia that ultimately leads to cyber-security breaches. The increase of cyber-crime activity and sophistication means the urgency to act is greater now than it has ever been.
Some companies have found an innovative way to address their cyber-security needs through outsourcing, and you may be surprised to learn the reasons why:
Cyber-security is a specialized field within IT. The skill set is broad and technical, encompassing network security, platform security, application security, and industry-specific compliance. It takes years of experience to be able to appreciate and prioritize risks and be capable of remediating them properly.
Most companies do not have the expertise in-house to do justice to the task of protecting their IT assets from external threats.
Security Talent Is Hard To Find
There is zero unemployment in the IT Security industry. That’s right, zero. Cybersecurity talent is in great demand right now and it is both rare and expensive.
This means that the chances of quickly finding an individual who is both available and prepared to jump in and start addressing your company’s security and compliance needs are slim.
It also means that the odds of retaining them after they are up to speed are not good either.
Let’s be frank, this is not an area of responsibility in which you can afford to compromise. You can invest a lot of time seeking the ideal candidate and still find yourself frustrated. Good enough is simply not good enough.
It is very challenging in the current environment to find and engage top-flight talent.
It May Not Be A Full-time Job
Of course it depends on company size and needs, but most medium size firms and indeed many large firms do not need full-time security specialists. Consider that the nature of the work requires an initial investment of time assessing risk, establishing priorities, and formulating a cost-effective long-term plan, after which time the activities become periodic and/or incident driven. Specifically:
- Risk and vulnerability assessments need only be performed periodically
- Cybersecurity remediation is usually handled by regular IT staff such as system administrators, network engineers, and developers
- Monitoring can and should be automated
- Incident response should be intermittent, and are largely handled by IT Staff
- Governance is conducted only periodically
The cybersecurity role is just not a full-time job in many firms.
It Can Save Money
The above realities mean that having full-time cybersecurity staff is simply a luxury that most companies can’t afford, and that is a common reason for the inertia we mentioned at the beginning of the article. The alternative is to engage qualified consultants to do the work on a part-time basis. The good news is that the cost of having strong qualified expert on retainer is likely to be far less expensive that the loaded salary of a full time employee.
For many firms, it is more cost-effective to outsource the task of IT security and compliance than it is to hire the required staff.
It Can Be Outsourced
It is possible to outsource cybersecurity and still retain full control of both your security and operations. Obviously you need to choose a partner that you trust, and one that is committed to keeping you safe and making the relationship work.
Fences make good neighbors, and NDAs, SLAs, and good contracts help make for good business partnerships, but our point here is that the nature of the work lends itself nicely to outsourcing.
A good partnership between IT and your cybersecurity outsource partner will exhibit the following characteristics, even if some or all of your IT is outsourced:
|Cybersecurity Partner||IT Department or Partner|
|Will drive IT Security strategy and work activities||Support cybersecurity activities, retaining control of access and operations|
|Will assess and report on network, server, and application vulnerabilities and suggest fixes||Will analyze and remediate findings|
|Will organize and govern Policies and Procedures to improve security and maintain Compliance||Govern certain Policies and Procedures internally|
|Monitors network and/or hosts for suspicious activity, notifies IT of events/incidents||Investigates and resolves events, incidents|
When properly managed, it is entirely possible to fully retain control of your infrastructure and operations while engaging an external partner to secure those operations and ensure compliance.
With proper planning and management, cyber-security and compliance can be effectively outsourced.
About Affinity IT Security
We hope you found this article to be useful. Affinity IT Security is available to help you with your security testing and train your developers and testers. In fact, we train developers and IT staff how to hack applications and networks.
Perhaps it was a network scan or website vulnerability test that brought you here. If so, you are likely researching how to find, fix, or avoid a particular vulnerability. We urge you to be proactive and ensure that key individuals in your organization understand not only this issue, but also are more broadly aware of application security.
Contact us to learn how to better protect your enterprise.