Since the early 2000s, the annual number of data breaches in the United States increased tenfold. Source
The COVID-19 pandemic motivated cybercriminals to target organizations whose daily operations have been disrupted, resulting in a further surge of cyber attacks to business vulnerabilities.
What’s more, organizations large and small now have to deal with the rising sophistication of cyber threats such as ransomware, phishing, and distributed denial of service (DDoS). In this threat landscape, successful protection against cyber attacks requires a stack of detection and response tools, effective policies and plans, as well as ongoing security awareness training, among other things.
With so many requirements, it’s easy for organizations with somewhat limited resources to feel overwhelmed, which is why the market for managed security services has been growing at double-digit rates. But is cybersecurity as a service enough, or does it represent a potentially costly compromise?
What Is Cybersecurity as a Service (CSaaS)?
Cybersecurity as a service (CSaaS) is the practice of outsourcing cybersecurity management to a specialized provider of information security services who handle a specific part of your business operations. CSaaS is often offered in packages that may include, among others, the following services:
- 24×7 SOC Monitoring
- SIEM Solution
- Office 365 Monitoring
- Dark Web Monitoring
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Security Awareness Training
- Advanced Email Filtering
- Advanced Endpoint Protection
- Endpoint Encryption
- Vulnerability Assessments
- WAF/DNS Protection
- Device Configuration Backups
- Executive Summary Reports
According to an SMB security report based on data collected from 850 small and medium-sized businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Belgium, 77 percent of organizations anticipate that at least half of their cybersecurity needs will be outsourced in five years.
Organizations betting on CSaaS understand how severely a breach can impact their operations and recognize that a single in-house cybersecurity expert or even a small team of experts can’t sufficiently protect the growing attack surface stemming from the explosion of remote work arrangements, cloud services, BYOD policies, and other factors.
The Pros and Cons of Cybersecurity as a Service
Let’s go over some of the key advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing cybersecurity management to a specialized cybersecurity provider in order to explain whether it offers satisfactory protection on its own.
Pro #1: Cost Savings
The 2020 CISO Benchmark Study, which surveyed 2,800 IT decision-makers, found that cost-efficiency is the top reason for outsourcing. Indeed, cybersecurity as a service is far less expensive than building similar cybersecurity capabilities in-house. The global shortage of IT talent has made it very difficult to find skilled employees, and those few candidates who are available on the job market expect to be paid handsomely—something not many SMBs can afford to do.
Thanks to economies of scale, managed security service providers (MSSPs) can offer state-of-the-art protection at affordable prices. Best of all, the cybersecurity as a service model completely eliminates large upfront technology investments and replaces them with predictable monthly payments.
Pro #2: Access to Experience
It can take a long time to find the right people and set up an effective security operations team, and scaling it up or down is a whole different challenge entirely. Cybersecurity as a service, on the other hand, is instantly available, providing convenient access to a large team of cybersecurity experts, the latest tools, and more.
Because managed security service providers serve multiple clients across different industries, they have a wealth of real-world experience to draw from when fighting increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals. What’s more, they are typically available 24×7, which is rarely the case when it comes to small in-house security operations teams, let alone a single cybersecurity expert.
Pro #3: Maintained Focus on Core Business
Unfortunately, cybersecurity incidents are becoming more and more common, and even small organizations with just a few employees don’t fly under the radar of opportunistic cybercriminals anymore. This relentless pressure is making it difficult to maintain focus on core business operations, leading to decreased productivity and diminished customer experience.
With CSaaS, organizations don’t have to worry about network monitoring, log management, software update installation, and all other time-consuming processes that are necessary for keeping cyber threats at bay. Instead, they can invest their time and effort into growing their business and making their customers happier.
Con #1: Reduced Control
Organizations with an in-house cybersecurity team get to enjoy complete control over their data and cybersecurity activities. They can allocate their resources however they see fit without having to consult their requirements with a third party. In-house cybersecurity staff can also be utilized to perform other IT duties when necessary, providing extra flexibility that may come in handy in critical situations.
However, having full control over cybersecurity can be a double-edged sword because it makes it easier to make avoidable mistakes caused by a lack of experience.
Con #2: Lack of Organization-Specific Knowledge
All organizations are different, and their cybersecurity defenses should reflect the unique nature of their business. That’s easy to achieve with in-house cybersecurity experts because they will naturally have organization-specific knowledge and a deep understanding of its day-to-day business activities, employees, and IT assets.
While it’s certainly possible for a managed security service provider to have a deep understanding of its customers, such relationships take a while to blossom.
Takeaway: Choose the Right Cybersecurity as a Service Provider
A well-designed CSaaS offering can add instant benefit to organizations large and small!
Cybersecurity as a service can deliver complete protection against the latest cyber attacks, but it must be provided by a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) who is determined to fully understand the needs of its customers and be their trusted partner.
The MSSP must be engaged with each customer and proactively adjust its service offering based on customers’ changing needs and constantly evolving cyber threats.
Read 4 Benefits of an MSSP for more information.
A well-designed CSaaS offering is something organizations large and small can instantly benefit from in several important ways, including those described in this article. We at OSIbeyond offer enterprise-grade managed cybersecurity solutions designed for small to medium-sized organizations. Our solutions can provide your organization with sophisticated cybersecurity program that reflects your individual needs and requirements, protecting you against all common security threats.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about our CSaaS offering, which is available in two packages, one for organizations looking to start their cybersecurity program and the other one for organizations that don’t want to take any chances when it comes to keeping sensitive data and systems secure.