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Managed Security Services: What you need to know

The rise of remote working makes protecting endpoints more difficult. Many companies have created vulnerabilities in their networks. Often infections can go undetected for days and weeks, costing you thousands not only in lost revenue and customers but also in reputational damages.

Security is now a top priority for organisations of all sizes. Choosing to ignore it can be an expensive decision, but balancing the cost of hiring the right people, the shortage of cyber skills in the market and investing in the best technology is challenging.

 

“Endpoint device security is the top concern IT pros have for their remote workforce.”
-The 2021 State of IT

 

Current Business Challenges
  • Cybersecurity Skills and Resource Gap

Organisations nowadays not only struggle to keep up with constantly evolving threats, but they also face a shortage of security skills and personnel to help protect business data. Almost half of UK businesses have a basic cybersecurity skills gap. 50% of organisations have a single person looking after their cybersecurity, so it comes as no surprise that only 28% of SMEs (sub-1000 employees) believe they have an effective security strategy and posture.

We already know that simply investing in the right tools is not enough. Recent Sophos research shows that more than half of organisations don’t fully benefit from their investment in advanced security technology such as EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response). While Endpoint Detection and Response is considered a must-have tool by most IT and Data Security managers, they do not have the right skills and enough resource to manage the solution in-house.

Another consideration to take into account is, who is looking after your network when you are asleep? 24/7 Security is crucial. Attackers can and will target your organisation outside of your normal working hours to maximise the damage and minimise the chances of a timely response. 75% of ransomware attacks are deployed on weekends or after 6 pm on weekdays.

 

  • Security as a barrier to innovation

A main barrier to digital transformation is the fear of increasing security and compliance risks. Yet these concerns are not entirely unfounded. Even the big players in your industry who have large IT teams can struggle with balancing the new wave of technology - supporting end-users, securing data, optimising spends. According to Forbes, “many enterprises have exposed data inadvertently when migrating to the public cloud, mostly due to a lack of experience with cloud-based security.”

Furthermore, an anti-virus is not enough to protect your business from an advanced attack. At the start of the pandemic, organisation needed to deploy remote working at all levels of the company in a matter of days. Often security was an after-thought – home networks are insecure by design. However, these vulnerabilities were at the forefront of attackers’ minds who took advantage of the crisis most often through phishing scams.

 

  • Money Talk

What is becoming apparent is that organisations are struggling with their IT budgets, which are growing year on year. Investing in the right solutions for a multi-layer security approach and also hiring the right people to manage these solutions is a challenge. The reasons for that are not just limited to the shortage of skilled people in the cyber industry. Top talent will demand a high salary with opportunities in the capital, offering a better remuneration compared to anywhere else. You also need to consider the number of people required for a 24/7/365 team. Continuously investing in your team by subsidising new accreditations is crucial for ensuring they are at the top of their game to compete with the attackers.

 


What is a Managed Security Provider and Managed Security Operations Center?
  • Managed Security Provider

As with all IT services, when it comes to cybersecurity, businesses and public sector organisations have a choice: manage the whole security piece themselves (perhaps with selective point solution support) or outsource some or all network security management to a MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider).

  • Managed Security Operations Center

Managed Security Operations Center (SOC) combines the three P’s of your cybersecurity strategy – people, process, platform. A good Managed SOC should combine the power of human and artificial intelligence using the best technology and highly accredited personnel, a 24/7 team of security experts who monitor, analyse, and respond to cyber threats. It is crucial to both react to suspicious activity and also proactively hunt for and investigate suspicious behaviours on the network.

Most organisations choose to work with a Managed Security Service Provider for one or more of the following reasons:

  • A shortage of available (or affordable) in-house cybersecurity skills
  • The scale and complexity of cybersecurity technologies required
  • The speed with which the threat landscape changes and the need for 24-7-365 protection
  • Budgetary or headcount constraints
  • A business preference to outsource what can best be delivered by a specialist provider.
What are the benefits of outsourcing your security?

There are many benefits of outsourcing cybersecurity requirements, but the top three include reducing costs, accessing a wider team of experts and focusing on core functions.

  • Reduce Costs

By outsourcing your security, your organisation will benefit from lower costs thanks to resource elasticity. You can use as much as you need when you need it without the need to pay for a full-time in-house team, industry accreditations and training. For example, at Chess, we invest more than £100k annually in the knowledge of our people.

  • Access to a wide team of cybersecurity specialists 24/7

By partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider, you are no longer responsible for cyber talent recruitment, and the shortage of highly skilled experts would not be an issue. Instead, you would have access to a large team of experts boasting the latest accreditations, 24/7, looking after your network and protecting your organisation.

  • Focus on your core business

Cybersecurity is not an operational process. It’s there to support business processes and to ensure that through a blend of preventive measures, continual monitoring, threat detection, proactive and automated updates and rapid incident response and remediation — it helps keep your business operational whilst your people focus on their core roles and on driving value.


What are the drawbacks of outsourcing your security?

There are not many drawbacks to outsourcing security. However, to fully reap the benefits of this strategy, you need to choose the right Managed Security Services Provider.

  • Trust

Entrusting another organisation with your data can be a daunting task, so choosing the right Managed Security Service Provider is essential. Select a well-recognised organisation with years of industry experience that uses leading technology

  • Loss of control

By fully outsourcing your security, you may feel like you are losing control, especially if you are empowering an outsider to respond to threats. A good managed security provider would act as an extension of your team, giving you peace of mind that there are always experts looking after your network and your security.

  • Company Culture

Working with an external agency will not necessarily be the same as working with people from your organisation. Find a provider who speaks your language and would be able to translate complex IT issues into plain English.


Introducing Sophos MTR Flex

Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) Frex provides 24/7 threat hunting, detection, and response capabilities delivered by an expert team as a fully-managed service on a monthly subscription basis. Pricing and more information available in this brochure.

  • 24/7 Proactive Security

MTR is not limited to just reacting to suspicious activity. It also involves proactive threat hunting and investigation of suspicious behaviours on the network. We handle containment and neutralisation actions and will inform you of the action(s) taken.

  • Full Device Visibility

One of the root causes of incidents in organisations is unprotected devices, which can then be exploited to identify further vulnerabilities within the network. Through MTR, you can identify all devices on the networks, including the ones that are unprotected, to take precautions.

  • Human and Artificial Intelligence

The best security approach is a combination of automated tools and human expertise. Machine learning helps to scan large quantities of data, but humans will identify the patterns that the AI will have missed and recommend actions.

About the author

Joseph Ball

Joseph Ball

Joseph Ball is a cybersecurity professional with years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Previously worked for the British giant BT where he was responsible for developing and managing the threat landscape and risk realisation, Joseph joined Chess as the Information Security Officer at the beginning of 2019.

Boasting a degree in Computer Forensic Investigations and Computer Security, he spent time advising the Police as a Special Constable where he worked with the likes of FACT and Interpol with regards to media content piracy.

Joseph is passionate about making cybersecurity easy to understand even for non-technical people. He believes that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but he will preach best practices to everyone who has a minute to spare.

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