4 Challenges Organizations Face When Operationalizing Cybersecurity

4 Challenges Organizations Face When Operationalizing Cybersecurity

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Hwei Oh
6 min read
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As the tech landscape becomes increasingly vast yet more interconnected and bad actors utilize more advanced techniques, the process of building a security strategy and implementing that strategy is becoming ever more complex. Although new point solutions and service offerings are emerging to address some of those complexities, it doesn’t do much to help businesses that don’t have the expertise, time, or budget to operationalize a whole security tech stack.

This speaks to the larger problem of operationalizing cybersecurity. As the industry continues to mature and adapt to the modern cybersecurity needs of organizations, the issue is less about getting the right security and protection, and more about ensuring the existing solutions and partners are being utilized to the best of their capabilities. Too often, organizations are purchasing solutions that don’t fit their environment, are too complex for their short-staffed departments, or take so much time to implement that they end up creating more difficulties than they’re solving.

Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of outsourced managed security services. Here, we’ll go over the top four challenges businesses face in operationalizing cybersecurity strategies, and how they can overcome these challenges with the right partner.

Challenge 1: Vendor selection and tool management require time and support.

Regardless of whether a business’s security team is in-house or outsourced, the first step in operationalizing a security strategy is to select security tools to protect the organization. Assuming a business knows which specific tools they need — which is a big assumption in and of itself — weeding through the hundreds of vendors that offer those specific solutions can eat up time and resources many departments don’t have. 

However, even the selection and purchase of security software isn’t enough to keep you safe. Once vendors are selected, each tool needs to be managed by an in-house security professional. Without a dedicated security professional managing those relationships and addressing the security alerts coming in from the tools, businesses can’t assume they are secure. The result is that these tools may be providing a false sense of safety, which opens your operation to more risk.  

Challenge 2: Organizations lack robust, experienced cybersecurity teams.

The cybersecurity talent gap remains an issue in 2024 as many security professionals burn out and aren’t replaced with new talent. ISC2 reported that the cybersecurity workforce gap reached a record high in 2023 with 4 million professionals still needed. With more open roles than security professionals available, talent is often too expensive for many businesses. That means many businesses are either relying on small security teams to handle massive amounts of work, or they are asking IT or other tech team members to handle their security efforts.

While IT professionals, engineers, and developers are incredibly capable, they aren’t highly trained in the specific skills required of a security professional, and therefore can’t be counted on to implement complex security strategies or properly handle more advanced security solutions.

For example, one of the biggest shortcomings of security tools is that they simply alert organizations when a breach is suspected; but they do nothing to find, stop, or remediate the breach. Those responsibilities still fall on internal security teams. As threats become more frequent and complicated, teams that lack security expertise struggle to respond to these security alerts; with the result that they can’t fully utilize the tools they have.

Challenge 3: Too much noise leads to burnout.

While businesses without an in-house security team struggle to respond to security alerts, businesses with in-house teams aren’t much better off. Due to the small size of most security teams, a sophisticated tech stack may result in an unforeseen challenge. Security tools provide alerts in real-time, which allows teams to respond to suspected breaches immediately. However, these tools also have an incredibly high rate of false alarms. 

This results in teams experiencing an overwhelming number of alerts — too many to address which can lead to poor efficiency and productivity. If there’s too much noise, teams might start to ignore a tool, which means they can eventually miss the alert that notifies them of an actual breach.

Ultimately, this alert overload can lead to serious burnout. Bad actors are working around the globe and around the clock so security teams are getting inundated with alerts 24/7. When the hours become long and the days become stressful, employees walk; and, as we’ve already seen, few people are signing up to step into these highly demanding roles.

Challenge 4: Cybersecurity is hard to scale, and needs are hard to predict.

Security threats grow and evolve every year, which means businesses need to keep up with trending threats to ensure their security strategy evolves with the new risks. This can be an overwhelming prospect for businesses without an in-house security team or with a team that’s already stretched thin. It may even lead businesses to forgo key security solutions thinking their tools will become obsolete in a few years’ time.

Some organizations face the challenge of outgrowing their point solutions as the business grows. For instance, if a cybersecurity solution is designed to work best with small businesses, it may not have the capacity to handle the workload as clients grow into medium or enterprise-sized clients. Similarly, if vendors charge by the users or by the data points they are handling, services may become too expensive or too complicated as a business grows.

Finally, if businesses grow to the point that they need to upgrade their cloud architecture or significantly change their digital footprint, they’ll likely need to revisit their security tools. Then it’s back to square one and the vendor selection stage, where they yet again need to spend months looking for the right tools to address their new needs.

Partnering with a managed security service to alleviate operational challenges.

Fortunately, all these challenges — and more — can be solved by partnering with a managed security service provider. The challenges covered here apply to the traditional cybersecurity model, which involves buying points solutions and managing those solutions in-house or outsourcing the management to an MSSP or MDR. However, a managed security service is a new offering that is meant to correct the challenges intrinsic to the old ways of working and allow businesses to partially, or fully, outsource their security efforts to a third party.

A good managed security service partner will not only provide 24/7 detection and response services, but they will find and manage ALL your cybersecurity tools for you. They should also offer human support to remediate breach alerts rather than provide only automated monitoring services that then require action from your team.

When looking for a partner, make sure the managed security service partner is designed to work with companies of your size, in your specific industry. By finding a partner that understands your environment, they’ll be familiar with the tools that address your specific needs. They should also understand your existing (or nonexistent) security architecture and offer services that remove the burden from your organization rather than adding more responsibilities to your plate.

Finally, be sure to look at how quickly and easily the managed security partner can get your security posture up and running. The best can stand up a security program in a few weeks or less, so don’t settle for anything else. You’ll also want to look at the billing structure to ensure you can continue working with your security partner if and when your business grows.

SolCyber is the first-of-its-kind outsourced security program partner. With our Foundational Coverage, MDR++, or security monitoring services, businesses can increase their security posture with little to no effort and rest assured their private data is actually safe.

Ready to increase your security posture? Reach out to the experts at SolCyber today.

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Hwei Oh
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