The ubiquity of information technology has made IT security a critical subject for organizations of all sizes. With that has come the burden of ensuring confidential data is kept away from unauthorized or criminal hands. And it is a moving target. Cybercrime has spiraled thanks to a wide range of factors, including the proliferation of Internet access, smartphones, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Compounded by readily available tools and tips, both seasoned cybercriminals and individuals with limited digital skills can deploy sophisticated attacks with ease. Businesses are subsequently left struggling to stay ahead of bad actors. While there are advantages of running IT security in-house, including cost savings, there are situations in which the prudent thing to do for the organization’s survival is to outsource their security.
Five reasons to outsource IT security
1. Your organization is in a high-risk industry
Every organization should be wary of a cyberattack. However, certain industries are especially vulnerable. That’s not just because they happen to be the target of the most sophisticated attacks but also that successful attacks can have devastating, far-reaching repercussions. Consequences could include massive loss of public confidence, revocation of business licenses, customer embarrassment, identity theft, and financial fraud.
Examples of high-risk industries include the public sector, utilities, financial services, health care, manufacturing, and retail.
If you do not want to take any chances, it may be best to contract third party IT security consultants who are well-versed in the latest technology, hacking, and cybersecurity regulations knowledge. They know what solutions and techniques are most effective against the array of threats facing you. It’s best to go with an IT security service provider conversant with the type of cyberthreats facing your industry.
2. You’ve suffered a significant cyberattack
Recovering from a cyberattack can be a long journey. It may be months or years before your customers’ trust and other stakeholders return to near their original levels. You have to identify the root of the problem, close any gaps, revise your policies, and update your security systems. All this has to be done fairly quickly without disrupting everyday operations. Your speed of recovery is a key factor in winning back customer trust.
When you outsource IT security to an organization with deep cybersecurity experience, you can get this recovery burden off the backs of your in-house staff. The outsourced IT security services provider will continuously monitor your systems while escalating anything requiring decision making to the in-house team. That way, your critical security needs are covered even as you return to everyday operations.
3. You don’t have IT security pros on your payroll
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) recognize the need for IT security but often don’t have the budget to employ security professionals for the job. Instead, they assign security duties to their IT staff. Unfortunately, this usually ends up in security matters becoming an afterthought.
As the scale and sophistication of cyberattacks increases, so does the cost of hiring highly skilled cybersecurity professionals. One report estimated the global talent gap of cybersecurity professionals at just over 4 million in 2019. Even when you hire cybersecurity professionals, the evolving nature of threats and the tech ecosystem means they have to undergo continuous training to ensure their knowledge is always up to speed.
By outsourcing your IT security, you benefit from economies of scale. The IT security services provider can afford to hire the best talent in the market because they are deployed to serve the needs of multiple customers who sign up for the service. You enjoy the expertise of professionals with years of hands-on experience but while paying just a fraction of what you otherwise would if the external team was on your payroll.
4. You want to upskill in-house IT and security staff
College degrees, professional certifications, workshops, and industry exhibitions are all important ways of upskilling your IT and IT security employees. But there’s nothing quite like the knowledge they would acquire by working with persons who are experts in the field on a day-to-day basis.
Watching how they handle security problems, the solutions they propose, and how they engage with different stakeholders within and without the walls of the organization is invaluable. The amount of cybersecurity knowledge that will rub off on your staff would be otherwise expensive to acquire via a traditional classroom-based setup.
5. You want your organization to comply with recent regulation
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018. It was the most ambitious privacy and data security regulation yet. Various countries, states, and local authorities worldwide have sought to develop their own version of the GDPR. This wave of regulations has had a major impact on how organizations do business. Noncompliance attracts hefty fines in addition to the risk of class-action lawsuits.
Sometimes the extent of new regulations is too complex for an organization to understand and comply with quickly. That’s especially so in the early months when many may not have had time to fully digest the implications and repercussions. Contracting a third-party expert to handle your IT security compliance needs following a recent regulation could be the safest way to get up to speed in the shortest time.
Both large and small organizations can outsource IT security
The cybersecurity landscape is too vast for any one organization to go it alone. Many of the world’s largest multinational corporations have outsourced some of their IT security processes to third parties. It’s a recognition that going beyond the organization’s walls may be the most prudent thing to do if that’s where the best IT security skills lie.
The high level of skills and knowledge required to respond to the rapidly evolving threat landscape is out of the reach of the majority of businesses. Outsourcing IT security can provide peace of mind that you always have a competent team keeping an eye on your systems.
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