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Managed Security Services Can Relieve the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Nov 07, 20223 mins
Managed Service Providers

As the shortage of skilled security professionals continues, more organizations are looking to outsourced, managed security services to provide defense and threat response.

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Credit: Khanchit Khirisutchalual

The skills gap facing cybersecurity is an ongoing issue that has plagued the industry for years. Recent research from (ISC)2 finds the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 65% to effectively defend organizations’ critical assets, requiring a massive influx of 2.7 million professionals to meet demand.  

The (ISC)2’s Cybersecurity Workforce Study also found the workforce gap remains the #1 barrier to meeting security needs, and 60% of participants feel that a cybersecurity staffing shortage is placing their organizations at risk. And research from the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) reveals 44% of cyber professionals say the skills gap has only gotten worse over the past few years.

Simply put, the skills gap facing the security industry is a longstanding problem that continues to vex hiring managers and shows little sign of letting up. What can organizations do to ensure they have proper defenses in place without sufficient in-house expertise?

One solution is managed security services. The global managed security services market size is projected to reach $77.01 billion by 2030, so clearly more organizations are opting for this approach.

Managed security service options can handle many, and often most, of the necessary security tasks. Offerings include services for network security, proactive threat hunting, threat response, and attack neutralization. They can also assist in preventing and recovering from incidents, including ransomware attacks.

The questions to ask

Contrary to some beliefs, outsourcing the security function still allows for control within the organization. Look for services that offer the option of choosing which response actions will be taken on a case-by-case basis. This allows the organization to remain in control of how incidents are escalated and what actions are taken. A reputable service provider should also offer weekly and monthly reports so you understand what is happening in your environment and what steps have been taken.

Another feature to ask about: rapid response services. These services can assist in the event of an incident or emergency when there is no in-house team. During these high-stakes and high-stress events, every moment is critical. The time between the initial indicator of compromise and full threat mitigation needs to be as short as possible. Finding a service to call upon in the event of a compromise means having skilled, outsourced expertise to help close that window quickly. The difference can mean just hours, to days; days in in which the criminals can commit massive amount of damage. 

The bottom line

Ultimately the answer to whether managed security services make sense is highly individualized and depends on several factors, including organization size, budget, and industry. But looking outside corporate walls to help alleviate some of the strain on security has many upsides for many companies.

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