In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how managed security services can solve small to mid-sized businesses’ (SMB) challenges.
Many years ago, securing the enterprise was far easier. Everything was tucked securely behind the corporate perimeter. Corporate assets were all on-premise, with few (if any) true cloud solutions. There was no remote workforce with iPads and handheld devices to secure, monitor, and protect. Back then, the corporate firewall and end-to-end security tools could, for the most part, be trusted to protect it all. Now, it’s far more complicated.
Today’s Organizational Security Challenge
“Easy” hardly describes today’s organizational security challenge. Organizations face constantly shifting threats. They have a far greater attack surface and infrastructure complexity to address, with fewer experts to manage it. For SMBs, the complexity problem isn’t much different than what we see in the large enterprise—it’s just a matter of scale. And although there are thousands of vendors in the market, there are no end-to-end security solutions.
As a result, more SMBs are looking to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to relieve the burden. Let’s review the potential benefits of managed security for the SMB.
The SMB Security Problem
Organizations of all sizes are reaching for greater efficiencies and effectiveness. They’re embracing new technologies to keep up with the pace of change to stay competitive. Remote efficiency tools all have tradeoffs, of course. They enable employees to work in remote locations and stay connected while traveling, but they increase risk and the burden of security management.
While IT solution landscape has also evolved to offer greater efficiency and effectiveness, it too has become more complex. A typical SMB may have hybrid wide-area networks (WANs), countless platforms, and DevOps environments and processes that may not be tightly integrated with security functions.
The Cloud Security Challenge
Cloud is everywhere. Cloud solutions – from Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) – have given SMBs many of the capabilities that large enterprises have. Companies can almost instantly spin up data processing, storage, and management capabilities.
But each cloud provider has a shared responsibility model for security (the customer owns part of the security burden), and these are becoming increasingly complex. Managing cloud security requires deep expertise per cloud platform. SMBs, like large enterprises, are increasingly likely to have a multi-cloud platform strategy. According to a recent study, 64 percent of SMB organizations leverage more than one cloud provider.
In summary, the corporate perimeter is gone. The network is extended to every employee with a device. Managing security for the SMB means managing an expansive terrain of growing complexity and the expanded attack surface this represents.
Tool Complexity and Skills Shortage
This isn’t to say all is lost. Some SMBs are well-funded, have sufficient expert security staff, and are able to manage these security challenges. But in our experience, these companies are the exception. It requires a hefty financial commitment and hiring security experts with a range of expertise across tools, cloud platforms, and environmental complexity. Today’s security tools are not designed to handle this complexity end to end. Companies have to evaluate and manage a wide range of security tools. Simply selecting and monitoring these tools requires a high degree of expertise and time.
The cyber skills shortage is yet another challenge: By 2022, an estimated 1.8 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled, according to ISC2. The typical internal IT priority is business productivity and continuity—security is often an afterthought. It’s essential to ensure full-time, dedicated staff do not let routine-but-essential security operations tasks, such as vulnerability management, fall through the cracks, or allow high-volume tasks, such as wading through alerts, to become so burdensome that they are not given the attention needed to secure the organization. Because SMBs are a significant target for threat actors, they must be up the challenge.
Managed Security Services for SMB: A Viable Solution
For organizations that don’t have the required expertise or adequate staffing across their organizational security demands, managed security services (MSS) offer relief. These services allow SMBs to get the expertise in areas they may lack, the manpower to address time-consuming tasks, and the ability to tap into cyber security professionals with experience across a multitude of environments.
If you’re evaluating MSSPs, the baseline should be one that provides preventative and detective safeguards, vulnerability management, monitoring, and analysis. To reduce false positives and analyst workloads, look for advanced Security Orchestration and Automation (SOAR) capabilities such as those in Delta Risk’s ActiveEye security platform. It can be a more cost-effective model to arrive at a better overall security posture than trying to over-extend existing IT resources or hire from a shrinking set of candidates.
To get the most from MSS, you should first identify the threats to your business. You can look to where you have gaps in skills or coverage by qualified staff. Then, select a managed security partner that best addresses those areas. For example, if you rely heavily on cloud infrastructure and applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, find a provider like Delta Risk that specializes in these areas.
While there may be no simple solution to SMB IT complexity, there are effective ways to address the SMB security challenge. Organizations may just need assistance—and MSSPs can fill those gaps.
Delta Risk leverages The Crypsis Group’s expertise in incident response and risk management, including cases involving ransomware, business email compromise, web server compromise, credit card data theft, and state-sponsored attacks. Delta Risk’s ActiveEye platform powers The Crypsis Group’s managed security services.
About the Author
Sam Rubin is a Vice President at The Crypsis Group, where he leads the firm’s Managed Security Services business, assists clients, and develops the firm’s business expansion strategies. Sam is an industry-recognized cyber security professional with wide-ranging expertise in data breach incident response, digital forensics, and cyber security risk management.