To the backdrop of cyber threats increasing every year, accompanied by a severe skills shortage in the tech industry broadly and cybersecurity more specifically, many businesses are looking for the best ways to manage their security operations. Cybersecurity specialist business Armata, led by industry heavyweight Caesar Tonkin, recently hosted a webinar to help businesses understand the benefits of organisations outsourcing their security operations.
Tonkin has led a series of industry webinars, seeking to elevate the knowledge-sharing that’s essential for the industry to keep up with nefarious threat actors who are using ever-more elaborate technology and techniques to attack business systems. The most recent webinar was designed to give businesses deeper insight into the process of outsourcing security operations so that they make more informed decisions.
Tonkin, himself a veteran of 21 years’ IT experience, of which 13 have been focused on cybersecurity, assembled a panel that represents interests that span many countries and industries. Joining him was Chris Woods, Founder and CEO of CyberQ Group and Bevan Lane, CEO of Infosec Advisory Group.
Armata, which is part of the Vivica group of companies, offers an array of services in the industry, from cybersecurity consulting to managed services to advanced cyber defence services. “This means we are well-placed to help businesses understand the process of outsourcing their security operations. What we can say at the outset is that one must take a systematic approach. Whenever we engage with customers we work with them to assess, prioritise, look at the benefits they will get, evaluate and then get into the transition and operation phase.”
Lane said that the need to reduce costs is often one of the key considerations for businesses investigating moving towards an outsourced security arrangement. “We definitely see that the skills shortage, or resourcing squeeze, in the market, is a key factor. For instance, trying to develop a SOC from scratch is costly and complex, as is keeping it running and maintained,” he said during the webinar.
Woods agreed, adding that a SOC needs to be monitored 24/7. “You can’t have an eight or 12-hour shift as that would be futile. Also, you’d want to work with a Security Operations Centre (SOC) that services many customers in an array of industries for their width and breadth of understanding and experience. Naturally, we understand that defences are to stop a breach but if one happens at 2 am you want to be sure you have the best skills ready in real time to contain and manage the situation,” he added.
The “why”, then, was evident, and the real meat of the webinar lay in the “how” and best practice. Perhaps one of the key takeouts for businesses attending the webinar was that the decision to outsource is not just a yes or no decision, but rather one that needs to be taken methodically, and one that needs to be guided by expertise.
A host of topics were covered, from the main factors that cause businesses to want to outsource as opposed to build their own SOC, to governance and regulation reporting, the issue of false positives in an outsourced model, and much more.
Another key point, reflected by all the panellists, was that an outsourcing arrangement does not have to be an all-or-nothing affair and that often hybrid approaches work best for many businesses – however, this is a decision that needs to be taken on merit for each unique business.
The key themes that emerged were: Unpacking what is important when building a business case for outsourcing your security operations, the due diligence that should be adhered to when transitioning your security operations, how to achieve expected outcomes from your cybersecurity services partner, and what is required to raise visibility on your cyber defences in an outsourced services arrangement.
Reflecting on the successful webinar, Tonkin said: “It was most definitely a fruitful discussion and it illustrated exactly why businesses should seek out reputable cybersecurity companies with the right expertise and systems in place to advise them on the best course of action for their own businesses.
“Whether it is building an accurate business case, deciding to outsource bundles of operations or the entire stack, and drawing up SLAs to give peace of mind while containing costs, there really is no substitute for experience. This is probably where a reputable managed services provider is worth its weight in gold – they bring a broad range of expertise and ongoing experience in cyber defence in an array of industries.”