The computing environment today is very different from what it was when everything was new and shiny. For starters, not everyone had a computer, let alone an internet connection. Heck, the biggest computing company at that time, stated that the whole world would not need more than five computers. Yet, as I sit here, I can see three computers in my vision alone and I know there are another four on the shelf behind me. Secondly, everyone worked on a trust system and, naturally, trusted each other. Cybercrime had not even been thought of, let alone invented.
Of course, as technology improved and became widespread, it caught the eyes of the criminals who are on a lookout for an easy buck. People say criminals are dumb, yet when it comes to technology, they always seem to be at least a half step in front of the good guys. This puts those who are not as or don’t have the time to be technology savvy at a huge disadvantage.
Now the greatest risk lies with the most common types of business in the world â€” the small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These businesses have more important things to concentrate on than building and maintaining their own IT infrastructure and as they generally have a small budget they may be unwilling to spend it on what most consider as being a money sink instead of being a money source.
With the internet being as good as it is nowadays, almost everything is being offered as a service on the cloud. For businesses that do not have the capability to provide their own infrastructure, these services can be a godsend.
What is much overlooked, however, is security and in these times is the new business mandate and SMBs should be looking at SaaS â€”Â not Software-as-a-Service but Security-as-a-Service. In other words, a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).Â
Check Out Top 10 Reasons Why SMBs Should Tap MSSPs:
1. Cost:Â As mentioned earlier, implementing your own IT department can be a bit of a money sink. It can be potentially expensive and requires a sizable upfront payment for the equipment and ongoing payments for the staff and equipment upgrades. Besides, having a trained staff that is security conscious and has technical know-how can drain resources. Hence, having a third party MSSP who can look after that side of things is easier on the pocket.
2. Security expertise:Â The security landscape changes all the time as new technology comes out and zero-day security exploits are found in programs and operating systems (OS). Having a company dedicated to security looking after yours means that they will be able to react to any new security holes as soon as they are found.Â
3. Monitoring: SMBs are, by definition, not large enough to be running 24/7. Given the average working day, there are sixteen hours of free time that cybercriminals can do their will. In terms of security that is an eternity. An MSSP can provide the full 24/7 coverage and will know when a breach happens as soon as it happens. Even before a breach happens, they can monitor the network for Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), which are the hardest to find and the most dangerous of all.
4. Focus: SMBs, like people, generally focus on one thing only, the product they are providing. If they have to divide their focus on extra things like security, it takes away resources from their core business. By using the services of an MSSP, the SMBs can focus on their core product and let the MSSP do what it does best, focus on its core business, the security of the SMB.Â
5. Efficiency: While I can make a cabinet or service a car, I am neither a woodworker nor a mechanic. As I don’t do these things every day all day, I will never be as efficient as someone who does. And the same goes for security. Sure, an SMB can build its own security solution, but they will never achieve the efficiency or in-depth defense an MSSP can provide. An MSSP can provide faster remediation efforts and more advanced machine learning-based threat detection technology for much less than an SMB could possibly provide.
6. Accountability: Hiring an MSSP is a win-win situation for businesses. Here’s why â€” it is the MSSP’s reputation on the line, and in the security landscape, reputation is what makes or breaks a security company. Not only that, the MSSP will also be legally liable for damages and they certainly wouldn’t want that. On the other hand, with an in-house solution, there is no way of verifying that the employee is doing their job properly. The employee could very well be surfing Facebook all day and the SMB would be none the wiser, until there is a breach.
7. Compliance: In the security world, the laws and standards are changing almost every other day. Logs have to be kept and timestamped. And what should be monitored and not monitored changes. Specific versions of the software must be used for a certain security rating as in the case of FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards), and it is far too great for a single employee to keep pace with evolving standards.Â MSSPs specialize in keeping solutions compliant with the laws of the region where the business is conducted.
8. Expansion: While using an MSSP, an SMB has more resources to focus on its core product. The end result of that is, hopefully, achieving the goal of expanding the business. When a business expands, so does the infrastructure needed to maintain the business.Â Â
9. Hardware technology: The average life of computing hardware in any business setting is around five years. It doesn’t matter that the actual hardware itself is capable of running for twenty years or so. The rate at which technology changes, makes the hardware obsolete and security-wise, this could be dangerous. This is because as software is updated, it is designed to run on the newest hardware so if the hardware is not updated neither can the software, resulting in low hanging fruit for cyber criminals. An MSSP keeps its hardware up to date to provide the best security, so the SMB doesn’t have to.
10. Mitigation: By now, you are all aware, it is never a question of if a security breach happens, it is a matter of when a security breach happens. No matter how much security business has in place, breaches can still occur. So part of any security service must be in knowing what to do when a breach happens. This means analyzing the breach, identifying how the breach happened and determining what damage has been done. Then repairing the damage from clean backups.
In today’s high-risk environment, SMBs have become easy targets of cyberattacks and sometimes responding and recovering from these attacks can take longer than expected. With cybersecurity becoming a critical business mandate, MSSPs are now being met with more acceptance by SMBs. By turning to managed security services, small businesses can be better armed against sophisticated cyberattacks and move up the cybersecurity value chain by adopting new-age security solutions. In addition, the return over the cost is much greater than trying to implement it inhouse and thus something which all SMBs should consider.Â
Do you think managed security services can help small businesses become more secure? Comment below or let us know on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We would love to hear from you!