Outsourced cyber security is becoming hugely popular for businesses due to the significant rise in cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the ever-evolving technology, making it vital for businesses to be proactive in having the best cyber security plan. Cybercrime can impact large or small businesses, from ransomware attacks to data breaches.
In 2022, 39% of businesses in the UK experienced a form of cybercrime, and those are just the businesses that reported it. The average cost to a small business was £4,200 from cyberattacks, whilst for large and medium businesses, the number increased to £19,400.
As a result of the increase in cybercrime, businesses are becoming more reliant on outsourcing cyber security to a team of experts.
This article discusses the pros and cons of outsourced cyber security compared to an in-house IT department.
What is Outsourced Cyber Security?
Outsourcing cyber security has become the go-to choice for many businesses within the UK. By outsourcing cyber security, businesses have access to the expertise and knowledge of cyber security consultants a phone call away without the need to hire an in-house team.
Cyber security management services are designed to deliver comprehensive protection for organisations of any size.
Outsourced Cyber Security services include:
- Cyber Essentials
- Firewall as a Service (FaaS)
- Password Management as a Service (PMaaS)
- Secure IT – Cyber Security Training
- Vulnerability Management (VMaaS)
Cyber Essentials is a government cyber security program to enhance the security of online businesses in the UK. The certification demonstrates businesses prioritise the safety of customer and supplier data.
Cyber Essentials Plus is an advanced version of the basic Cyber Essentials certification, and whilst the protections put in place are the same, the technical side requires a hands-on approach from cyber security consultants.
Firewall as a Service (FaaS)
A firewall is the key line of defence against external threats. Positioned between your network and external networks, like the internet, it scrutinizes inbound and outbound traffic and responds accordingly by allowing or denying traffic access.
The Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) model offers a payment plan where you’re not required to purchase a particular hardware or software. Instead, you’re charged a reasonable monthly fee for cloud network security protection that’s updated regularly, ensuring you have the most effective defence against cyber security threats. Another advantage of this model is that you’re charged solely based on your usage, allowing even small businesses to access cutting-edge security measures.
Protection with Firewall as a Service (FaaS)
Firewall as a Service will help reduce the impact against
- DDoS attacks
- Unsuitable websites
Password Management as a Service (PMaaS)
It’s a regrettable fact that passwords that are easy to remember are also easy to crack. Complex passwords consisting of random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols are highly secure but also tend to be written down on a piece of paper. On the other hand, shorter, simpler, and more predictable passwords are easier to recall but more susceptible to guesswork.
A Password Management Service offers an uncomplicated solution to generate robust passwords that do not require memorization. PMaaS provides a solution to store strong passwords and makes logging in as simple as a click of a button. With two-factor authentication as just one layer of protection, Password Management helps boost cyber security management and reduce cyber security attacks.
Benefits of Password Management as a Service
Additional benefits of Password Management as a Service:
- Seamless browsing: Installation of a plugin for popular web browsers to autofill your login details. This enhances a user’s experience whilst reducing cyber security threats.
- Copy and paste passwords: Complex passwords are easy to use when a copy-and-paste feature is implemented.
- Secure Portal: A secure portal requiring two-factor authentication to enter is ideal for reducing cyber security threats.
Secure IT – Cyber Security Training
Secure IT, a cyber security training programme, is one of the best cyber security tools to empower your staff to become your first line of defence against cyber threats.
The platform identifies knowledge gaps among employees and automatically enrols them in relevant training courses. These courses are delivered to staff members through short, interactive online modules sent directly to their email inboxes.
With 82% of all data breaches caused by human error, Secure IT is the perfect cyber security awareness course for businesses at an affordable price.
Vulnerability Management (VMaaS)
Managing updates for the numerous applications installed on employee devices can be daunting, as there may be dozens or hundreds to keep track of. However, it is crucial to maintain up-to-date software to ensure optimal computer and network security against constantly evolving cyber threats. Vulnerability Management in cyber security enables you to identify any network vulnerabilities swiftly, allowing you to focus on remedying them rather than searching for them.
How Vulnerability Management (VMaaS) can reduce Cyber Security Threats
Vulnerability in cyber security is a consistent worry for businesses. To reduce cyber security threats, Vulnerability Management services include:
- Finding vulnerabilities in cyber security
- Resolving vulnerabilities for computer security threats
- Prioritising vulnerabilities to ensure computer and network security issues are solved as soon as possible
Outsourced Cyber Security vs In-house IT Department
If you’re looking for the best cyber security protection method, we’ll settle the outsourced cyber security vs. in-house IT department in this section.
Outsourced Cyber Security – The Pros and Cons
Outsourcing cyber security to a team of experts can provide numerous benefits, but it also comes with certain risks.
One of the main advantages of outsourcing cyber security is contacting a team of cyber security experts just a phone call away. Another advantage of outsourced cyber security is the cost-effective savings compared to an in-house team.
Benefits of Outsourced Cyber Security
The benefits of outsourcing computer security include:
Cyber Security Expertise and Knowledge
One of the main advantages of outsourcing cyber security is gaining access to a team of experts with years of knowledge and experience in their daily lives. Cyber security consultants deeply understand the latest threats, such as phishing in cyber security and vulnerabilities, to provide customised solutions to address specific cyber security threats. This expertise can be valuable for small businesses that lack the resources to hire and train their cyber security team.
Outsourcing cyber security can be a cost-effective way to protect a company’s assets and reputation. Outsourcing allows companies to pay for only the services they need rather than investing in expensive technology and hiring a full-time team. Outsourced cyber security to a group of experts can result in significant cost savings, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.
Not only is reducing the costs of a business overhead an advantage of working with outsourced cyber security companies but outsourced IT companies can help save businesses money through supplier contacts.
We’ve saved charities and third-sector businesses money on their Microsoft licences. Read more about how we helped Disability Wales save over 90% of their licence fees.
Computer Security Monitoring and Support
Selecting an external cyber security business that operates during business hours can ensure any issues are detected and addressed as soon as possible. The best cyber security business can quickly minimise the potential impact of a cyber-attack. Outsourced IT may provide a faster response time than an in-house team due to the resources a cyber security business has.
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is often used to discuss the timescale for a response from a cyber security consultant.
Another advantage of outsourcing cyber security is scalability. As businesses grow and their cyber security requirements typically grow too. Outsourcing cyber security to experts can adapt to meet changing requirements. This can be particularly important for startups and rapidly growing businesses that need to focus on core operations.
Access to the latest technology
The technology within the cyber security industry is constantly evolving, bringing more challenges for businesses to keep up with the latest tools and software. Outsourcing cyber security services allows businesses to access the latest technology without the cost and inconvenience of installation and usage. Access to the latest technology can aid a business that has outsourced cyber security to stay proactive in its approach to cyber security threats.
As a SonicWall partner, a Microsoft partner, a Cyber Essentials partner and a trusted partner at The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales, hearing all the latest insights and technological developments beforehand gives our customers extra peace of mind to protect against cyber security threats.
Risks of outsourced cyber security
Despite the many advantages of outsourcing cyber security services, there are potential risks to consider before deciding.
Risks of outsourcing cyber security include:
Lack of Control
One of the main disadvantages of outsourced cyber security is the need for more control over the process. Companies rely on cyber security providers to make decisions and implement solutions when outsourcing IT. This can be challenging for businesses that are used to having complete control over their operations and often feel the need for more control over the process. However, it is in the best interests of cyber security consultants to ensure that your cyber security threats are minimal.
Effective communication is critical for any outsourced service. Outsourced cyber security is no different.
Outsourced services can sometimes lead to communication challenges. Businesses need to ensure that they have clear communication channels with their cyber security provider and receive timely updates on the status of their cyber security information.
Responsiveness is also essential, as delays in addressing a cyber threat can result in significant damage. This again demonstrates the need for a Service Level Agreement (SLA) before outsourcing cyber security and IT support.
Security and Confidentiality Risks when Outsourcing Cyber Security
Outsourced cyber security also comes with security and confidentiality risks. Your business must select a reputable cyber security provider with a proven track record of safeguarding sensitive information. This is vital, as outsourcing computer security to a business that lacks basic cyber security certifications and experience can be a huge concern.
We’d recommend that the businesses you consider outsourcing cyber security have certifications such as Cyber Essentials Plus, as a bare minimum. Excellence IT is an IASME Gold Standard partner, which qualifies us to audit Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.
If a cyber security company lacks the Cyber Essentials Plus certification, how can that business guide your business through cyber security management?
In-house Cyber Security
In-house IT departments can be a great asset to any business. The most significant advantage of in-house IT departments is the ability for someone to be on call in case the printer goes down or update a software patch on an employee’s computer.
However, the modern workplace is now functioning remotely, or at least hybrid for most businesses, and the ability to manage entire business IT support and cyber security threats can be complex for small in-house IT teams.
Benefits of In-House Support vs Outsourced Cyber Security
The benefits of an in-house computer and network security department include the following:
Cyber Security Control
Having total control over computer security threats and management is a benefit for in-house cyber security is a benefit for most businesses. They control the general procedures and how and when things occur. For example, outsourced cyber security services may not respond immediately if there is a phishing cyber security issue. Having an in-house IT team is an advantage in this situation.
Whilst this can be a benefit, it can also be detrimental if IT teams are inexperienced or not up to date with the latest cyber security threats and attacks. Having a team of cyber security consultants a phone call away can help resolve issues promptly, and it may even save your data.
Computer and Network Security
Sometimes, employees are more likely to be trusted with sensitive data than outsourced cyber security companies. Whilst this is a general statement, building a relationship can be challenging for businesses looking to outsource their IT and cyber security services.
However, this is the same for all businesses looking to outsource services, and employing a staff member to join an in-house team can be more challenging to trust.
Therefore, trust in computer and network security is an advantage of in-house IT support if a business has loyal employees. However, this is situational for your business rather than a one-size-fits-all.
Risks of in-house Cyber Security vs Outsourced Cyber Security
There are multiple risks to having an in-house cyber security team. These include the following:
Outsourcing IT and cyber security will reduce costs compared to hiring an in-house team. To employ an in-house IT department, there are multiple costs to consider. These include training costs and hardware and software costs. Hiring a team of in-house IT support is costlier than outsourcing IT services. Outsourcing cyber security means access to specialists at all times, one call or ticket away.
56% of organisations debated outsourcing cyber security in 2023 due to a lack of skilled employees, limiting the resources of an in-house team. It’s a statistic that’s been backed up by our own research, and we expect this number to increase in 2024. Hiring an outsourced IT support and cyber security management business takes the stress away from a business’s hiring and also reduces the time and money spent on the hiring process.
With smaller in-house IT departments, there are many times throughout the year when there will be an absence. Employees take holidays, leave their jobs or fall ill. It can also be difficult for employees who must be available around the clock incase a cyber security threat occurs.
Lack of Cyber Security Information and Training
It can be difficult for small teams to stay on top of ever-changing cyber security threats. It isn’t easy to find an employee who knows everything related to IT and cyber security, and even then, other projects or work may take up the time to allow staff to train.
If your business is a one-person department, it is likely that for larger projects, outsourced IT support and cyber security management are required for support. This is a common practice, with Excellence IT working closely with many small in-house IT departments to help with the workload and project work.
Choosing between In-House vs Outsourced Cyber Security
Choosing the right cyber security management provider is vital for businesses looking to enhance the safety and security of their data.
Here are key factors to consider when selecting cyber security consulting services:
- Expertise and experience in your industry
- Proven track record of success (Google reviews, case studies, word of mouth)
- Clear communication and responsiveness
- Robust computer and network security
- Flexibility and scalability
- Competitive Pricing
It’s also essential to thoroughly assess your company’s cyber security needs before selecting an outsourced cyber security provider. This will help ensure you choose a provider that meets your specific requirements.
Evaluating an Outsourced Cyber Security Provider
Whilst there are many factors for a business to check when evaluating a cyber security business, we recommend ensuring the basics such as Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, partnership with national cyber resilience centres, checking reviews and case studies and asking questions to see if the cyber security companies fit your requirements.
Outsourcing cyber security can be a cost-effective and the safest way to protect your company from cyber security threats. However, there are perks of an in-house IT department, too. By weighing up the pros and cons, you can decide if an outsourced cyber security business or an in-house team is the way to move forward in an ever-changing digital landscape.
If you’re considering outsourcing your cyber security needs, Excellence IT is a cyber security-focused Managed Service Provider (MSP) located close to Cardiff and Swansea and able to work all around South Wales. With over 20 years of experience, we have successfully transformed hundreds of businesses, establishing our reputation as a trusted partner in the IT landscape.
See how we’ve helped multiple businesses around the South Wales area and beyond.
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Writes about IT Support and Cyber Security.