The global cyber threat landscape continues to evolve rapidly, with more data breaches being reported each year. According to a report by the Identity Theft Resource Centre, data breaches reported during the year 2021 increased by 17% over the year before.
It is not just the intensity and volume of data breaches that are becoming a concern for businesses; it's the cost of these breaches as well. IBM reports that the average cyber-attack costs $3.86 million and it takes around nine months to find and contain it. Therefore, it is imperative that businesses are and should make cybersecurity and digital security solutions part of their operational culture.
The demand and the need for cyber security have led to the rise of innovative solutions, such as managed cyber security services.
Many businesses might opt to outsource some parts or all of their cybersecurity functions to external providers. Managed Security Services (MSS) are cybersecurity services offered by a third-party company to an organisation. The companies providing such services are referred to as Managed Security Service Providers. Outsourcing cybersecurity services saves cost and offers much-needed expertise and resources to protect against cyber threats.
Managed security service, in particular, is an invaluable solution for businesses that want to enhance their cybersecurity but do not have adequate resources to build an in-house information security team.
MSS can be deployed either as a fully-managed service or co-managed. The MSS providers deploy their own cybersecurity technologies and personnel to manage your systems in the former. Co-managed MSS is designed for organisations with their cybersecurity technologies but lacks the necessary expertise to manage its own cybersecurity program.
MSS providers, such as Tata Communications, offer a wide range of cybersecurity options, including around-the-clock monitoring, threat detection and containment, vulnerability assessments, cybersecurity consultations, cybersecurity asset management and compliance management.
MSS offers 24/7 monitoring of your critical systems and detects critical events in your network. Such events include unauthorised access to internal resources, malicious activities and system anomalies.
Apart from monitoring critical systems, MSS also offers cyber defence services aimed at deterring cyber-attacks from infecting such systems. It involves taking proactive steps to anticipate and counter adversarial cyber activities. MSS tools and strategies for cyber defence all have one goal: to detect and disrupt cyber threats.
Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
Another essential service you can get under MSS is the assessment of your internal network and systems to identify potential vulnerabilities and related risks. Vulnerability assessment, whose primary purpose is to minimise your risk exposure, is achieved through a series of activities that includes friendly hacking.
You can also engage an MSS provider for consulting services on matters relating to cybersecurity requirements, policies and processes.
Cybersecurity Asset Management
Furthermore, MSS can help you assess, on a real-time basis, the IT assets your company owns and potential risks to those assets. MSS can also manage your IT infrastructure, including carrying out system configurations and updates.
The regulatory landscape continuously evolves, making it challenging for some organisations to keep up. This is where MSS comes in. MSS providers can help you maintain compliance with relevant regulatory requirements.
MSS providers deploy an array of skilled professionals to manage all these services, including network engineers, cybersecurity analysts, ethical hackers and compliance auditors.
Organisations choose to work with managed security providers for availing of digital security solutions for several reasons; often, this decision is driven by their lack of adequate budget and expertise, preventing them from taking care of their own managed cyber security needs. In other cases, organisations will hire MSS providers simply because of the many benefits of outsourcing, including the broader expertise and knowledge the providers have. Reasons organisations work with MSS:
Cyber-attacks are expensive and so is the cybersecurity program. This is because budgeting for cybersecurity is not a one-time task but a series of ongoing processes. And as cyber threats evolve, the managed cyber security budget is also expected to grow. Studies estimate that cybersecurity spending is growing more than overall IT spending. According to Gartner, cybersecurity spending increased by around 10% in 2019 compared to less than 0.5% for IT spending in the same period. This has made it economically unsustainable for small and middle-level organisations to deploy their cybersecurity programs. Thus working with managed security service providers is a means of bridging the gap between their evolving security needs and budget constraints.
Organisations are also faced with putting together a group of in-house cybersecurity professionals to manage their security needs. This is because of several reasons. First, quality cybersecurity professionals command hefty salary packages, something which is not feasible for budget-constrained organisations. Secondly, the world is grappling with the cybersecurity skills shortage, making finding suitable in-house expertise challenging. According to a recent Digital Economic and Social Index (DESI) report, 55% of European organisations continue to report difficulties in recruiting cybersecurity experts.
Also read: Cloud-First World: It’s time to solve the cybersecurity skills gap
Managed security service providers have superior technological know-how and advanced cybersecurity solutions to address security incidences. Because of their vast experience dealing with varieties of threats also, managed security service providers have a broader knowledge of cybersecurity tools and strategies. In addition, managed security service providers continue to expand their scope to include emerging opportunities and challenges such as endpoint protection. Furthermore, MSS providers have adequate resources to invest in and deploy advanced capabilities such as artificial intelligence. All these coupled together mean MSS providers can offer superior cybersecurity backed up by robust digital security solutions.
Outsourcing Saves Costs
A robust cybersecurity program requires heavy investment in technology and personnel, something many organisations may struggle with. Today, organisations are spending a significant percentage of their budget on cybersecurity programs. And as the volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks continue to increase, more spending will be needed. That means investing in more effective, costly monitoring, detection and containment tools for cyber threats. It also means expanding your cybersecurity team to include more roles and responsibilities. However, working with managed security service providers means organisations will not have to worry about budgeting for on-premise cyberinfrastructure and skilled personnel for their cybersecurity needs. This allows them to repurpose saved costs.
Outsourcing allows organisations to focus on other value-driven work
At a period when over 4,000 ransomware attacks are carried out around the world daily and victims are incurring heavy damages as a result of it, many organisations are refocusing most of their efforts and resources on protecting themselves against such attacks at the expense of carrying out their core business goals. Outsourcing their cybersecurity needs allows these organisations to spend more time on their core business. Instead of having to spend nearly all their time monitoring, detecting and responding to cyber threats, the in-house IT team can provide IT support to the organisation to help meet its goals. The costs they save from outsourcing will be used to invest in ventures that promote their goals and objectives.
Today's intensity and sophistication of cyber threats require organisations to deploy cutting-edge cyber security programs to protect themselves. But due to the increasing cybersecurity spending, coupled with a cybersecurity skills shortage, some organisations are resorting to outsourcing their cybersecurity needs to manage security service providers. We at Tata Communications are your go-to managed security service providers.
Our managed cybersecurity services help you reduce risk and minimise the impact of security incidences by utilising some of the advanced cybersecurity solutions to counter current and emerging threats that your organisation might be encountering or are at risk of. Book your visit today.