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The Importance of Smarter IT Security Partnerships

Organizations rely on technology to empower their business and stay competitive in a fast-paced world that demands forward thinking and quick decision making. As businesses’ technological capabilities advance, so do those of hackers; consequently, today’s cybersecurity landscape is increasingly complex. 

Now, organizations are becoming increasingly reliant on third party service providers to protect their business from and an expanding list of security vulnerabilities. This results in security gaps that require smart, or even tailor-made solutions to effectively protect business systems.

Building and maintaining a strong security posture that’s appropriate for a particular business’s operations, staff, and general needs has become more difficult than ever before. With an ocean of security solutions and service providers available, selecting solutions that address business-specific risks can be a lot like finding a needle in a haystack. Thus, it is essential to align with an IT security partner that brings expertise to navigate the cybersecurity landscape and plethora of solutions on the market.

An Intimidating Challenge

computer security, lock

The biggest challenge in making informed technology purchasing decisions is balancing all of the important business priorities. From business reputation and client trust,  to compliance and return-on-investment, there is a dizzying amount of factors that decision makers need to juggle.

On top of the sheer amount of options to choose from, there’s also a shortage of clarity in the industry. For technology officers and executive teams, finding an IT security solution is often a daunting task –  it requires an understanding of evolving industry jargon, product capabilities,   and identifying vendor partners that provide transparency in contrast to those who may mislead clients. 

This high barrier of entry oftentimes leads to misinformed purchasing decisions, leaving organizations stuck with tools that  aren’t a good fit or that they may not need altogether.

Internal Security Management

Some companies attempt to take on the challenge of managing IT security internally. The problem is that a lot of these organizations purchase security solutions without truly understanding what it takes to effectively implement, operate, and manage the technology. They underestimate the total cost of ownership (TCO); this leads to coverage gaps and increased vulnerabilities in addition to wasted time, energy, and resources.

If a company is considering taking cybersecurity management in-house, they must completely understand the requirements associated with building an operational security operations center (SOC).The following bullets are just a few of the many key pieces of information that must be accounted for:

  • The selected solution must align with core business needs/risks
  • The organization must have  adequate IT staff with the necessary skillset to manage the tools/capabilities
  • The TCO associated with each  tool must be fully understood, including onboarding, day-to-day management, product innovations, employee turnover, etc.

Internal cybersecurity management can be done with success, but it’s essential that the three line items above are checked prior to committing to any given tool. If a business is unsure or has any doubt, there’s a good chance that they’ll find costly gaps in the future. To learn more about the requirements for building an internal solution, read from our partner eSentire; Calculating the True Cost of a SOC.

Outsourced Security Management

On the other hand, many organizations turn to a managed security service provider (MSSP) and outsource their security needs. This is oftentimes the most cost-effective solution, but finding the right security partner presents it’s own set of challenges.

With today’s security solutions, managed detection and response is absolutely crucial when searching for an IT security partner. Many cybersecurity partners will sell clients on robust solutions, but they don’t actively monitor and manage the tools to minimize risk for their clients. This “set it and forget it” mentality can leave clients vulnerable to sophisticated attacks.

Organizations that are looking for a true IT partner want a vendor that will help them lower the overall cost of program implementation and management while managing the tools and technical activities needed to keep the organization secure. When evaluating potential partners, make sure the selected vendor meets this criteria to guide purchasing decisions and assess whether or not their expertise meets business needs.

Additionally, a strong MSSP candidate will oftentimes use a SOC that provides 24/7 monitoring support. Businesses that outsource cybersecurity functions to an IT partner with a SOC gain access to the partner’s full lineup of services, tools, and support, eliminating the burden of maintaining internal resources.

The right MSSP will also take the time to understand their clients and will share accountability with them. Business leaders are looking for a true partner, after all, and reputable MSSPs will focus on their client to determine how they can help improve operations and make their network more efficient. This oftentimes comes in the form of IT roadmap development and maintenance service in addition to a robust account management/tech consulting arm.

Final Thoughts

The technological landscape is more complex today than ever before, and finding the right security solution can be just as convoluted. Though difficult, building an internal IT security infrastructure can be done right, but it will require a diligent search through an overabundance of solutions as well as a commitment to providing the internal team with the right human resources. 

Companies always have the option to outsource their security needs, but that search can be a challenge as well. Finding the right vendor partner will demand patience and a keen eye for an IT services provider who will help identify, implement, and manage the right security solutions that meet business needs.