Cyberattacks are relentless, evolving, and increasingly sophisticated; hardening your security posture and safeguarding your organization’s digital assets is more critical than ever. But, with business expenses rising and budgets tightening, how can companies amp up security while keeping costs down?
For many business leaders, cybersecurity remains an enigma, often overshadowed by the belief that outsourcing such services to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) comes at a premium they cannot afford. This assumption leads companies to choose suboptimal alternatives that put their operations and reputations at risk.
Imagine an SMB with a limited budget decides to go all-in on cybersecurity, believing they can handle everything in-house. They purchase top-of-the-line security tools and hire a small team of experts to manage and monitor these tools. On the surface, it may seem like their bases are covered, but in reality, this scenario is fraught with hidden costs and risks.
Can a small team handle 24/7 monitoring, including weekends and holidays? Can they stay on top of rapidly evolving threats, regularly update tools, and patch vulnerabilities? Can they keep up with the needs of a growing company that’s adding new endpoints, expanding its attack surface, and hiring remote employees? If managing those responsibilities and more proves challenging for large enterprise teams, do small ones even stand a chance?
The Consequences of Ignoring Cybersecurity for SMBs
According to Accenture, nearly half of all cyberattacks target SMBs. Even more alarming is that only 14% are equipped to mitigate an attack, and the cost of attacks causes 60% of SMBs to go out of business within six months. Further complicating the matter is an insufficient talent pool; 3.4 million professionals are still needed to meet global demand.
The Three Paths to Cybersecurity: A Closer Look
When implementing cybersecurity measures, organizations have three main options: hiring in-house experts, investing in security software without experts to oversee it, or partnering with an MSSP to manage their cybersecurity efforts. Business leaders need to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine which offers the most robust protection and ROI (return on investment).
Option 1: Hire In-House Experts
Hiring an in-house cybersecurity team is the most traditional approach. This method allows companies to have dedicated experts who focus solely on safeguarding the organization. However, it comes with high costs if experts can even be secured.
- Dedicated Expertise: In-house experts bring knowledge directly to the organization.
- Immediate Response: On-site teams can address security issues immediately.
- Custom Solutions: These teams can tailor solutions to the unique challenges and requirements of the organization, ensuring a precise fit.
- Control: Organizations maintain complete control over their security policies, strategies, and team priorities.
- High Operational Costs: Maintaining a full-time cybersecurity team is costly, including salaries, benefits, ongoing training, and equipment.
- Scale and Capacity: In-house teams might not be able to address complex and evolving threats comprehensively.
- Retention Challenges: Attracting and retaining top-tier experts is a constant challenge, leading to hiring gaps and staff turnover.
- Lack of Round-the-Clock Coverage: In-house teams may struggle to provide 24/7 monitoring and response.
Bottom Line: This option is best for enterprises with significant budgets that allow them to secure top talent and enough team members to bring diverse expertise.
Option 2: Invest in Security Software Instead of Security Professionals
Another approach some companies take is to spend their entire budget on a suite of security tools and software solutions without having experts in-house to configure, oversee, and manage them.
- Flexibility: Companies can tap into the latest security innovations and customize security tools according to their specific requirements.
- Capital Efficiency: The upfront cost of solutions can be lower than the salaries of a dedicated team.
- Lack of Expertise: Without experts to configure and manage the security tools, there’s a high chance of tool redundancy and incomplete utilization of the solutions.
- False Sense of Security: Tools alone produce a false sense of protection and can create additional vulnerabilities and blind spots that attackers can exploit.
- No Proactive Approach: Without proactive threat-hunters, analysts, or incident response experts, irrelevant alerts can become distracting, and attacks can go undetected and unmitigated.
Bottom Line: This option is akin to building a fortress without a capable gatekeeper and should never be adopted by any company that values its security.
Option 3: Hire an MSSP to Manage Cybersecurity
The third option is to outsource security to an MSSP. MSSPs offer a comprehensive approach that combines best-in-class technology, expertise, and continuous monitoring.
- Cost-Effective: MSSPs can provide enterprise-grade security at a fraction of the cost of hiring and maintaining an in-house team.
- Expertise on Demand: MSSPs have a team of skilled professionals with deep knowledge of current threats and access to a vast network of global threat intelligence sources, enabling them to stay ahead of emerging threats.
- A Dedicated SOC: The inclusion of a Security Operations Center (SOC) provides critical 24/7 monitoring, proactive threat hunting, real-time threat detection, and immediate incident response capabilities.
- Scalability: MSSPs can adjust their services as your organization grows or your security needs change.
- Compliance and Reporting: Many MSSPs offer compliance services to help meet regulatory requirements.
- Loss of Control: When cybersecurity is outsourced, businesses give up some control over their security posture.
- Security Risks: All third-party vendors pose a potential security risk, including MSSPs, which can be attractive to threat actors as they can access many of the MSSPs’ clients, therefore, asking the right questions is key.
Bottom Line: Partnering with a third-party MSSP delivers a positive ROI, rapidly strengthening their cybersecurity posture, providing constant monitoring, detection, and remediation services, and ensuring compliance; eliminating the disadvantages comes down to working with a reliable MSSP.
Allocate Your Budget Wisely
Threat actors are an ever-present reality, and companies must act decisively to protect their organizations; the consequences of inadequate cybersecurity make it clear that doing nothing is not an option. The misconception that outsourcing security services is expensive is not just costly; it can be detrimental. Hiring in-house experts or investing in security tools without expert oversight comes with hidden risks and costs that can jeopardize your organization.
Maximizing your cybersecurity ROI necessitates a holistic approach, combining technology, expertise, and continuous monitoring. Outsourcing your cybersecurity is essential, and selecting an MSSP that includes a SOC is by far the most cost-effective and comprehensive solution for businesses that want to survive and thrive in an increasingly hostile digital landscape.