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Is It Time To Outsource Your Data Security?

by Chris Brook on Tuesday December 31, 2019

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Access to advanced technology and expertise at a cost-effective price is making managed security services an increasingly attractive prospect for many organizations.

When comes to IT security, only a small fraction of organizations have the luxury of being able to have it all. In reality, organizations need to carefully prioritize security needs while making strategic technology investments to deliver the highest levels of security for the budget available.

Unfortunately, this is rarely a straightforward exercise. With so a number of areas competing for attention, Chief Information Security Officers, or CISOs, are often faced with difficult decisions. For instance, some organizations look into advanced threat protection in order to combat the ongoing spate of recent high profile breaches; application security and testing is a regulatory requirement and therefore, non-negotiable for many. The adoption of BYOD, or bring your own device programs can add new attack vectors for cybercriminals as well but data loss prevention is always a top concern so it must be accounted for too… as you can see, it quickly adds up.

With the modern day threat environment growing all the time and resources at a stretch, CISOs are naturally exploring all options that can afford them the ability to achieve their security goals while satisfying the budget that's available to them.

One increasingly viable option is to outsource, either entirely, or partially, your security team. With a managed security service, organizations can benefit from specialist security knowledge, while handing off all issues associated with the deployment, management and monitoring of applications to a trusted third party. This practice can accelerate return on security investments, improve security, and reduce overhead and capital budgets simultaneously. While the concept of security-as-a-service is not a new one, the types of service available and the increasingly favorable protection-to-cost ratio continues to make it an increasingly attractive option.

In-house deployment vs. managed security services

Like any solution, managed service solutions aren't necessarily the right fit for every organization. For many however they can deliver an enterprise grade security solution for just a fraction of the investment required to deploy the same solution on site. Below are some of the key benefits that a managed solution can bring:

Access to the security experts

The scarcest resource, even for those with larger budgets, is usually a skilled security practitioner. These are workers who deploy, manage, and monitor security activities, and respond to incidents to minimize damage. Data security professionals are in high demand across every industry, making them a rare (and often expensive) commodity. But working with a managed services provider will give organizations access to their expertise through part of the service. This can be a major advantage, particularly for organizations with lower budgets that cannot afford their own in house experts.

Flexible deployment options

For some companies, the concern around the sensitivity of security reporting data requires that the infrastructure used must remain on-premise. If running the software in-house is impractical but outsourcing the responsibility is undesirable, a hybrid model has emerged: on-premise hosting of managed security services. In this model, the vendor supplies and manages the software used in the managed security program while the customer manages the infrastructure in its own IT environment. All data and results remain with the customer while program management responsibilities remain with the managed security service provider. This allows organizations with the IT bandwidth to securely outsource security operations to managed security providers. Upfront capital expenses are minimized, and concerns about any type of data leaving the premises are eliminated.

Faster time to value

We all want to benefit from the value of new purchases quickly. However, deploying new software solutions in-house is not always simple. Internal personnel need to learn how to operate new software and train other users. Inevitably, deployments include unexpected delays due to the organization’s lack of familiarity with the tools.

Using a managed security service provider can eliminate much of the set-up time and costs associated with this. Infrastructure changes are eliminated, and product experts take responsibility for installation, training, and rollout to all relevant employees, something that translates to faster implementation time and faster time to value. 

Getting started

Using a managed security service provider requires careful consideration whether it's right for your organization answer will depend on a few variables. For organizations with available bandwidth and resources, or with extensive infrastructure already in place, an on-premise deployment probably still makes the most sense.

On the other hand, if faster value, lower IT overhead, and additional security expertise are part of your needs, a managed service (or hybrid managed services) offering could well be the most effective way to go.

Tags: Managed Security Services

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Chris Brook

Chris Brook is the editor of Data Insider. He is a technology journalist with a decade of experience writing about information security, hackers, and privacy. Chris has attended many infosec conferences and has interviewed hackers and security researchers. Prior to joining Digital Guardian he helped launch Threatpost, an independent news site which is a leading source of information about IT and business security for hundreds of thousands of professionals worldwide.