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Should You Outsource Cybersecurity or Keep It In-House's profile image


November 11, 2019

The diversity and sophistication of cyberattacks keep growing, posing threats for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Given that, it’s not surprising at all that the global cybersecurity market is expected to reach 300 billion by 20241. To avoid becoming victims of online threats, businesses need to invest in a solid cybersecurity strategy. This leads to two major options for them to choose – hiring an in-house Information Security team or outsourcing cybersecurity to third-party service providers.

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Building an In-House IT Team

Hiring an in-house team of cybersecurity specialists may benefit your business in multiple ways. For starters, you will have greater control of your cybersecurity activities, since you’re keeping your crucial data within your organization. You will also have greater control over your IT team. You can oversee their activities and prioritize certain tasks immediately. The communication is handled directly, without involving a third-party company. Most importantly, having an IT team on-site means that there is always someone who can address certain cybersecurity concerns and issues immediately.Most importantly, an in-house team has a better understanding of your business-specific activities, your workflow, industry-specific problems, seasonal peaks, and your company’s goals and expectations. Understanding your specific industry and your company, your in-house IT team will be able to create a better cybersecurity strategy, identify the best solution for reducing service downtime, understanding how configuration changes may impact your organization, and predict the potential threats in advance.
  • The disadvantages of the traditional hiring of in-house IT teams
Depending on your business size and budget, your options will be limited. For small businesses, with limited budgets and growth capabilities, hiring and retaining IT specialists with the right levels of experience is challenging. This may lead to the knowledge gap that may compromise the quality and reliability of your cybersecurity efforts.There are also rising costs. When hiring an in-house cybersecurity team, be prepared to allocate more resources to it. Namely, statistics say2 that the average salary of IS security engineers is $90,000 to $150,000, while wages of application security engineers go up to $210,000. However, that’s not all. Consider the additional expenses related to keeping your cybersecurity in-house, such as investing in the right tools, hardware, and software, as well as employee benefits packages.Finally, the cybersecurity technology is continuously evolving. Therefore, to dominate your cybersecurity plan, you need to keep pace with these trends. This means investing in new tools and equipment that will help your IT teams do their jobs more efficiently. Most importantly, you will need to provide them with the right workshops, training programs, and certifications – everything they need to stay on top of the cybersecurity game. This, again, comes with substantial costs.

Hiring Cybersecurity Experts

Given the complexities of hiring traditional in-house IT teams, many businesses choose to outsource cybersecurity to third-party experts. When discussing on-premise cybersecurity strategies, we mentioned that one of the most significant problems is finding experienced and knowledgeable IT talent for your organization. When hiring a third-party company, you’re working with a team of professionals. Those are skilled individuals that have already worked with numerous clients similar to you and have lots of hands-on experience. For you, this means spending less money and time on hiring, onboarding, and training processes and more time on some other aspects of your business growth strategy.Another major problem related to on-premise cybersecurity teams is that you need to invest in state-of-the-art tools and equipment, which may increase your costs. Most importantly, your worries won’t end once you purchase a piece of hardware or software. These tools require additional licensing and support that, unsurprisingly, lead to greater expenses. When outsourcing cybersecurity, you don’t need to worry about that. These agencies have already tested most of the hardware and software solutions out there and chosen advanced ones that help them meet the highest cybersecurity expectations. Most importantly, outsourcing cybersecurity results in greater stability. You will have a whole team of experts tracking your cybersecurity in real-time, 24/7. Their advanced tech and threat intelligence platforms will adapt to your company’s specific goals, helping you identify threat intelligence indicators and identify the potential threats before they become cyberattacks.
  • The disadvantages of outsourcing cybersecurity
One of the most significant challenges related to outsourcing cybersecurity lies in the fact that you’re handing your most valuable and sensitive information to strangers. In this case, read their client testimonials and check their references with their clients. Also, observe their industry certifications to check their credibility.Another problem is that there is no cybersecurity specialist on-site. A company’s cybersecurity representative will come only during the maintenance processes or emergencies. Most of the cybersecurity monitoring and maintenance can be done remotely, but in case of some severe online threats, your company’s data and performance may be compromised.

Outsourcing Cybersecurity is a Rising Necessity

nullThere are many complex jobs you should hand over to a third-party. Some of them are, for example, VPNs, vulnerability scanning, and firewall management. Hire someone who can manage your cybersecurity continuously and help you stay on top of the latest compliance and security standards. The same applies to migrate to the cloud. Instead of keeping your data on-premise, choose enterprise-level private cloud providers3 to maintain the safety of your sensitive data. Tracking DDoS attacks and content filtering are also key fields that could be outsourced to professionals.Sure, outsourcing cybersecurity, first build a strategy. Make sure you be specific when discussing what you expect from a third-party company. Do you want them to monitor the longs in real-time, conduct weekly network vulnerability checks, do monthly firewall updates? If your contract doesn’t specify what kind of services you want them to provide, don’t expect a third-party company to do that for you. Most importantly, request them to send you regular performance reports as solid evidence that your cybersecurity management is handled well.

Over to You

Irrespective of their size, most businesses are outsourcing at least some parts of their cybersecurity management to third-party services. These practices help you save money and, at the same time, improve the security of your sensitive data.   However, what aspects of your cybersecurity you would outsource depends on your specific goals, needs, and budget. Always choose credible service providers with the right industry certifications. Most importantly, don’t relax. Track their performance and, if you see that their practices don’t work for you, don’t be afraid to be pragmatic and switch to another service provider.References: 1.
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