Cybercrime has been increasing exponentially and hackers are constantly trying to steal customer information and proprietary secrets to publish or sell the data. The costs of a security breach can be massive. Lost competitive secrets, losing the trust of users and clients, fraud, downtime, and public relations nightmares are just some of the dangers.
Finding the expertise and maintaining the tools to protect your systems 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is far too costly for most organizations and is even an unnecessary use of resources for companies that can afford it. Although outsourcing security is a complicated and frightening proposition for a lot of IT professionals, organizations are increasingly turning to managed security providers. That’s why Gartner has predicted an increase in managed security services to jump from $8 billion in 2011 to $14.9 billion by 2015 (http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1844114).
Companies may be a little scared to hand over infrastructure security to a managed service provider but most of the time they will be better-protected and save more money than they would maintaining security themselves and here’s why:
- Expertise: People with the specialized skills and training in security are hard to find and oftentimes very expensive to employ. It’s also a challenge for a company to retain top security talent because security is a waiting game with months of monitoring punctuated by a few critical hours of activity. Situations like these can significantly reduce the engagement and longevity of employed specialists. Security companies however, have the resources and the demand to hire and engage top-talent and maintain specialists that can handle the various aspects of enterprise security.
- Only pay for what you get: Service providers normally charge based on the number of devices that they must secure or volume of work done. As a result, companies can shift resources from capital expenditures to operational expenditures and only pay for what they need. This avoids the ongoing costs of security employee payrolls, constantly updating software and maintenance of the hardware necessary to effectively combat cybercrime.
- Experience: Security service companies manage threats and attacks on a daily basis. This allows them to learn from each incident and provide better coverage for all of their clients. They are also able to allocate resources to the research and development of cutting edge technologies and tactics to prevent and mitigate attacks.
- Focus on your business: Outsourcing allows companies to be more hands off with their security and focus on their own products and services instead of allocating more resources than necessary to protecting their data.
There are certainly areas and functions that organizations shouldn’t outsource. Management of firewalls is one of those tasks because it varies from issue to issue and requires a custom response nearly every time. But in general, outsourcing can help you maintain network integrity and compliance for far cheaper than you could yourself. Unless you’re a security company yourself, it normally makes more sense to do what you do best and leave the security to the pros. It all comes down to specialization and the economies of scale: security companies have the demand, resources and talent to provide a far higher level of security while spreading the costs out amongst their clients.