It doesn’t matter if your company is customer-facing or B2B. Your greatest responsibility is protecting both your and your consumers’ personal information. Failing to do so won’t only have serious implications for you—social, financial, ethical, and even legal implications, at that—but also for the clients who entrusted you with their most sensitive privacies. Not to mention, the technological advancements we love have inadvertently made it easier for malicious criminals to do their dirty work. That’s right, cybercrime is on the rise—making cybersecurity a full-time job. Don’t go it alone! Let Helpware spell out the risks and benefits of outsourcing your cybersecurity operations.
What Is Outsourced Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the various strategies businesses employ to prevent malicious actors from accessing data. Without cybersecurity, banks are vulnerable to financial crimes, government institutions are susceptible to stolen information, and regular customers can, quite frankly, have their lives ruined. All of this data can be used for identity theft, sold to other cybercriminals, or used to access customer accounts and commit further crimes.
Benefits of Outsourcing, and the Possible Downsides
These are just some of the reasons why cybersecurity isn’t so much an if these days, but a how. You can either handle it internally or you can outsource the job to qualified, third-party agents. The latter is nothing new for businesses, as a staggering 99% of them outsource some aspect of their cybersecurity. One of the benefits of outsourcing is that it gives businesses access to a team of qualified experts. Cybersecurity is a highly-specialized sector that requires specific, constantly evolving expertise. Teaming up with outsourced experts ensures your business always has access to the best brains in the industry to protect your clients.
Choosing to outsource cybersecurity also saves you from splitting the attention of your IT team. This enables them to fully devote themselves to internal functions. Being a jack of all trades is impressive, sure. But, when it comes to the well-being of your company and customers, it’s better to be a master of one than a master of none. Luckily for you, Helpware has those masters on hand.
Moreover, if you’re reading this, you should already know that you’re legally required to abide by your country’s data privacy regulations. Failure to comply, in addition to putting your business at a serious security risk, leaves you liable for huge fines and significant penalties.
So, do you know what the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU is? Are you clued up on the different state regulations in the USA? If not, don’t fret! There are cybersecurity teams who dedicate themselves to understanding every letter of these legal matters. This is perhaps one of the strongest reasons to outsource your cybersecurity to a competent team like Helpware. Such services grant you the peace of mind to focus on doing what you’re great at and less on the behind-the-scenes technical jargon.
That being said, as with all things in life, there are some potential downsides to consider. Not all cybersecurity firms are created equal, after all. The wrong partner may have you feeling like you’re losing control of your cybersecurity department altogether. Fortunately, this is an issue you can prevent from ever coming to fruition with proper research. Take the time to find an agent with a reputation for communication and transparency now and you’ll never have to guess what’s going on later.
Another one of the possible downsides, incidentally, stems from the benefits of outsourcing. By its very nature, outsourcing requires a third party to have access to the sensitive data of your business and customers. You’re smart enough to see how that can go sideways. Again, do your research. Find an industry authority with a proven track record of integrity before letting them in the digital door.
Is Cybersecurity Outsourcing a Good Fit For My Business?
It’s easy to assume that the smaller the business, the fewer clients there are and therefore the less susceptible it is to cyberattacks. Logical, yet unfortunately incorrect. Simply put, cybercriminals don’t discriminate—46% of the businesses they target have less than a thousand employees. Though a tough pill to swallow, yours doesn’t have to be one of them.
While crafting your team of cybersecurity experts is possible, it’s also incredibly resource-intensive. For a small business, establishing a security operations center capable of dealing with the sophisticated threats of the modern digital landscape can be daunting at best. That’s why many opt to reap the technical expertise of outsourced IT security.
Small businesses also have to consider the expertise they have at hand. Your available staff may hold cybersecurity certifications, but that education will not suffice next year or maybe even next month. If you opt for in-house cybersecurity, you will have to invest in constant training to keep your staff knowledgeable of the latest cybercrime threats.
Again, a lot of resources. Small businesses may not be able to manage or afford the long-term expenses of in-house cybersecurity. Still, crossing your arms and hoping for the best isn’t an option, either. Cybercriminals are banking on you doing just that, actually. The bottom line is that if your business is too small to properly establish an internal team, you need to outsource your cybersecurity.
Don’t feel too left out, medium and large-sized businesses. All of these benefits of outsourcing apply to you, too. Everybody wants to save money without spreading their teams too thin. Choosing to go down this route can be the most economical option for all. The less money you throw at unnecessarily expensive in-house operations, the more you can invest in improving your overall customer experience.
How Does Cybersecurity Outsourcing Work?
One of the most important aspects of cybersecurity is the security operations center (SOC). This team is responsible for constantly monitoring your business’s network and preventing potential threats. Cyberattacks can strike at any time, so this is a 24/7 job. Furthermore, some forms of cybercrime are extremely intricate, so the team also has to investigate irregularities and respond accordingly.
You should aim for the outsourcing IT security agency to be proactive, rather than reactive. Breaches require a Herculean effort to restore stability—that’s why the best defense is a stellar offense. Moreover, lay the foundation for a successful working relationship between you and your outsourcing agency by establishing a service level agreement (SLA). This is a document outlining your outsourced SOC’s responsibilities as well as your expectations for them. Are they only responsible for threat responses? Or, do you also need them to engage in recovery and remediation in the event of a breach? With an SLA, you and your outsourced agency will always be on the same page.
Evaluate Your Security Requirements
When embarking on IT security outsourcing, you need to first understand your business and its unique vulnerabilities. Are you a financial business? Perhaps you deal with credit accounts in a clothing store? Is your business growing with the intent to scale? Answering these questions will clue you in on where the main threats to your business may come from. Cybercrime is an invisible beast that takes many forms, including phishing, malware, ransomware, and data leaks, to name a few. Which types of cybercrime your business is vulnerable to will depend on its nature and network infrastructure.
We recommend having a professional cyber risk assessment performed to reveal your business’s vulnerabilities. This involves trained IT staff reviewing your business’s network infrastructure and related functions to determine where weaknesses may lie. Then, research the varying specializations of different outsourcing agents and choose one that can best serve your specific needs.
Cybersecurity is a broad term that covers a range of functions necessary to keep your business safe. If you outsource your cybersecurity, you can choose to only outsource some functions while keeping others in-house. That being said, handle the choice to outsource only certain functions with caution. Failing to can lead to a loss of productivity. Ideally, you want to keep your security operations center unified.
Additionally, consider outsourcing your service desk functions. When clients fear their account has been compromised, they typically need help immediately, regardless of the time. Hence, outsourcing service desk capabilities to providers who can provide 24/7 service is a good idea. Other easily outsourced functions include software maintenance or testing, quality assurance, and network services, to name a few. As you’d likely guess by now, Helpware can assist with all of that.
Establish a Service Level Agreement
As stated, a service level agreement allows you and your outsourcing agency to align your goals. Think of it as an added layer of protection for your business. This is important because some scrupulous agencies attempt to lure clients in by advertising hard-to-pass-up prices. However, in the fine print lie hidden costs or stipulations that services you believed were part of the deal aren’t. With an SLA that both you and your outsourcing agency have collaborated and signed off on, you’ll avoid these unpleasantries entirely.
You should also aim to iron out the uncomfortable details in your SLA, too. Who’s to blame in the event of a breach? Is the agency on the hook, or are you willing to accept that not even the best team is infallible? The SLA also acts as a form of quality control, establishing precisely what level of protection, monitoring, and threat detection you expect.
Find the Right Cybersecurity Agency
Identifying an efficient cyber security outsourcing agency is no easy task. Fortunately, you can follow some best practices to lead you on the right track. To find the right outsourcing provider for your business, diligently research to ensure they cater to your specific needs. While researching, pay attention to the experience of the agency, too. Have they been in the game for a while? A long track record of success demonstrates that the agency has the skills to keep your business protected, even in the ever-changing landscape of modern cybersecurity.
You should also take note of customer reviews and references. Are other clients happy with the agency? Or, do they have a history of their clients falling victim to cybercrime? This should give you an understanding of the agency’s reliability. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to whether they have won any awards or have worked with large clients. These are indications of industry veterans who know what they’re doing. Remember, you’re dealing with one of your business’s most precious resources—data. It’s the most crucial torch you could pass; don’t do so frivolously.
Helpware—Your Partner in Cybersecurity
By now, we’re confident you can see the benefits of outsourcing for companies of all sizes and sectors. It’s simply the cheaper, more efficient solution. Outsourcing cybersecurity saves your IT team the headache of being overworked while granting you access to tech vets who will keep you out of trouble. Best of all, Helpware is the ideal solution for navigating the outsourcing route.
With Helpware, you gain access to industry-leading technology to keep you and your client’s data safe. Our safeguards include content moderation, fraud prevention, abuse detection, and profile impersonation monitoring. With these protections, trust between your business and customers will remain unscathed.
However, should you only choose to outsource some cybersecurity functions, Helpware’s still got what you need. We provide outstanding back-office support! Our skilled team includes everyone you could need to stay ahead of cybercrime—from coders to virtual assistants to researchers whose full-time job it is to stay up to date with the latest trends and threats in the cybersecurity industry.
Let’s face it. We offer too much for you to ignore. Contact Helpware to get the ball rolling on your company’s cybersecurity today.