Can Managed Security Keep Businesses Safer?
In the last two decades, the cybersecurity industry has grown from a niche sector into a dominant force in the business world. Today, Gartner predicts that cybersecurity spending will reach $150 billion this year, almost double what was predicted in 2015. These figures highlight that the cybersecurity industry is growing exponentially and that cybersecurity protection is a top priority for businesses today. But, considering all the cyberattacks businesses are facing, this isn’t very surprising.
According to research, organizations face ransomware attacks every 11 seconds, and the cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $6 trillion this year. As a result, cybercrime has become one of the biggest threats businesses face today, making it a top priority for most CEOs and board members. However, if companies are spending more than ever on their cybersecurity defenses, why are attacks getting worse and more frequent?
A determined enforcement push from the police against, say, the illegal drugs trade causes a noticeable reduction in offenses. Or, looking at knife crime, as another example, when law enforcement cracks down on individuals carrying knives, there is a noticeable drop in crime involving knives. So, why is cybercrime different? Why are we not seeing any reduction whatsoever?
And Industry Built on Prevention
If there is one thing security professionals can agree on, it is that the cybersecurity industry is built on prevention. When a new attack is discovered, security vendors flock to offer solutions that promise to prevent that attack from happening to others. Whether it be a next-generation firewall or advanced persistent threat (APT) protection, you can bet there will be hundreds of security vendors offering up a product to solve the problem. APTs were virtually unheard of until 2010; today, the market for APT protection products has reached over $5 billion and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2024. When security issues are discovered or a new attack vector is used, a market is created, and it booms, growing faster than many other industries.
Part of what’s driving that boom is the fact that there’s a shortage of skilled people to tackle these threats. Businesses look to technology solutions to help when personnel are in short supply. While cybersecurity skills shortages are a real problem for many businesses, could developing more technology products to plug security holes exacerbate the problem?
What do I Have to Buy to Solve the Problem?
Recent data from CCS Insight revealed that organizations with 1,000 or more employees have to manage, on average, 70 security products from 35 different vendors. Considering most companies are working with a skeleton crew security team, monitoring and managing all the products and all the alerts they deliver is very challenging, to say the least. In fact, a recent study from ESG Global revealed that 36% of the cybersecurity professionals believe that their top incident response challenge is “keeping up with the volume of security alerts.” Unsurprisingly, the same study also highlighted that 34% of security professionals admit to ignoring between 20% to 50% of alerts, while 11% said they ignore more than 75% of alerts. When alerts are missed, attacks slip through unnoticed. It doesn’t matter how many security products are released every year or how many are used. If they’re ignored, they could actually be doing more harm than good.
The sheer volume of products businesses need to deploy today to protect themselves in the cybersecurity space have many turning to the services industry to manage the task. The security managed services industry has teams of experts that work 24/7/365 defending against cyberattacks. But, unlike managing security in-house, their only job is to keep their customers protected.
These experts can offer unrivalled knowledge of the attack landscape and understand how to maximize the ROI from technologies already deployed and provide visibility, actionable intelligence, and recommendations rather than simply a barrage of alerts.
Instead of merely bolting on new products to their security architecture in the hopes of plugging holes, service providers will offer entire security estates which not only fit the customer’s purpose but also are operationalized. This means companies do not have to acquire and maintain the scarce specialized cybersecurity talent tasked with understanding, architecting, deploying, managing and operating security technologies. Instead, all this expertise and operationalized technology comes straight from the service provider under committed KPIs and strict SLAs. This helps free up internal resources so the organization can focus on more revenue-generating initiatives or on staff training or innovation, which offers significant business benefits.
Cybercriminals are constantly changing their techniques, and no company is immune to cybercrime. However, new “silver bullet” security products could actually be exacerbating the problem, as they often increase the workload of already scant and stretched-too-thin security teams, compounding the problem via additional complexity. One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is by outsourcing to cybersecurity service providers, who can take this burden off internal security teams while offering unrivaled expert protection.