Over the past decade, the number of data breaches has increased almost exponentially. There seems to be an attack on a major multinational corporation every few months, the combined cost of these breaches will soon cross the one-trillion-dollar mark if better security measures aren’t introduced.
A common solution to this growing problem of cyber attacks is outsourced security solutions. Organisations around the world, both big and small, are looking to managed security services providers to take responsibility for their networks and provide functionalities that just aren’t possible with an in-house team unless there is a large budget available.
MSSPs provide businesses with the level of security that the likes of Google and Microsoft enjoy at incredibly affordable prices. They also offer a ton of other great benefits, such as:
- Regular hardware and software updates
- 24/7 customer support
- Specialised expertise and extensive experience in handling security-related situations
- Training for the in-house team
- Constant security monitoring
- Instant implementation of solutions
- Detailed reports explaining the loopholes in a network infrastructure
- Cloud hosting services
- VAPT testing
- Managed SOC (Security Operations Centre) Services
If you’re looking to secure your company’s IT systems against the possibility of a data breach, outsourcing is certainly the way to go.
However, it’s important to remember that not all MSSPs are equal, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cyber security. You’ll need to look for a vendor that can provide services tailored to your business’ specific needs and requirements.
With that in mind, here are a few important factors you’ll need to take into consideration before you go out and hire the first firm you can find.
1. Why do you need an MSSP?
Before you outsource, make sure you and your network manager are clear on what it is you want the MSSP to do, and why the need for outsourcing came about.
For a lot of organisations operating in Europe, the new GDPR is the primary reason why there is a need for improved network security. Under the GDPR, businesses are legally required to protect customer data using the latest technologies and techniques. If any company’s networks are found to be vulnerable to attacks, they could face fines in excess of 20 million Euros.
For others, it’s simply about securing confidential data and sensitive information. If a company’s trade secrets got into the hands of their competitors, they’d effectively lose all their business.
Whatever the case may be, make sure you define clear goals and objectives before going into the process. This will help you determine the eventual effectiveness of the outsourced solutions.
2. How effective are the existing in-house tools?
Hopefully, you already have a good quality antivirus and firewall installed on your networks, but what other tools are you using for cyber security?
Does your organisation regularly conduct penetration tests to locate potential vulnerabilities in the system? Is there any anti-malware protection installed? Do you regularly scan for any network intrusions?
If yes, then who’s in charge of all of these tools? An MSSP will only take responsibility for the areas of the network that you wish to outsource. Your in-house team handles the remaining portion.
If your in-house tools are adequate, you can consider outsourcing only the public part of your network where the data isn’t as crucial to the company’s internal operations. You can also consider hiring a dedicated and professional managed SOC provider for the job.
3. How much budget is available?
Most MSSPs offer a huge range of services at a wide variety of prices, and it’s important to know how much budget you have available before you hire someone.
The budget plays an important role because it forces you to prioritise according to your needs. It isn’t a big problem if you couldn’t find the money for additional remote functionality, so long as you’re making sure that all major security features get installed and implemented.
In most cases, MSSPs offer a basic package that includes security monitoring, managed firewall, and other essential tools. If you’d like incident reporting and regular penetration tests, you’ll need to pay extra.
Here, you can use the results obtained from the two questions above to make a smarter decision. Prepare a list that includes the following three things:
- All the security services required for complete protection
- The services that can be adequately managed in-house
- The services which need to be outsourced
When the list is done, you’ll have a much better idea of how many services you require and what kind of budget you have available. After that, it’s simply a matter of prioritising certain services over the others and managing the money intelligently.