Cybersecurity is constantly evolving. As technology changes, new threats emerge, and companies are forced to find new ways to defend their organizations against those threats. Every so often, however, changes build to the point that the old way of doing things no longer works and a seismic shift is necessary.
The cybersecurity industry is currently at this inflection point where something has to change. Breaches are on the rise and attackers are increasingly successful in their efforts. Cybersecurity is becoming exponentially more complex, yet the responsibility of securing an organization continues to fall on the shoulders of executives and IT professionals with few resources and minimal expertise. To stop bad actors and secure organizations in a cost-effective way, the industry needs to rethink the way things are done. Those who have been in the game a while know that this isn’t the first time the security industry has undergone a massive shift.
The evolution of cybersecurity
Back in the day, companies bought on-premise or off-site physical servers to house their data. They would then use a combination of physical barriers and software to secure that data in a warehouse or storage room. Many companies outsourced their security efforts to an organization that specialized in hardware security. Those organizations then owned both the data and the servers the data was housed in.
Then came the cloud and everything changed. IT teams offloaded their servers and moved their data up into the cloud. This meant companies no longer owned where their data was being stored, making the responsibility of securing the data something both the cloud vendor and the company shared. To account for this, they again outsourced security to companies that could secure their network and keep the bad guys out. While this method worked for a time, it has recently become more complicated; and the cracks in the foundation are starting to show.
The state of cybersecurity today
Though a strong security posture might mean something different to different organizations, for many, cybersecurity involves hand-selecting a series of tools and point solutions to implement in-house, while outsourcing monitoring responsibilities to a traditional MSSP. But this system isn’t working for a number of reasons. The following three reasons rank at the top.
Tools are too fragmented
Most security tools and technology today are highly specialized to protect against one type of attack or to protect one element of a business. Hypothetically, a company should have a security tech stack with tools that provide the right amount of coverage in the right places. However, the responsibility of identifying a company’s needs and building a tech stack still rests on the company, usually the IT team. These are often employees who aren’t experts in cybersecurity and don’t always know which tools they need, so they pick tools based on budget and buzzwords they’ve recently heard. It’s not their fault — a massive cybersecurity talent shortage is leaving 3.4 million job opportunities vacant. Even if an executive or IT manager happens to craft a well-rounded tech stack, implementing the tools is only half the battle — they still have to manage those tools on an ongoing basis.
Security programs aren’t run by security experts
When companies are ultimately responsible for identifying vulnerabilities, choosing the right tools, assessing the credibility of a threat, shutting down a potential attack, and recouping any lost data, an in-house security team looks like a necessity. But that’s a luxury most companies can’t afford. Security is instead assigned to someone who has insufficient training. Not only will this person lack the in-depth knowledge to set up an effective security program, but they also likely won’t have time to ensure that it’s running properly while managing their other responsibilities. What’s worse, unlike functions such as accounting or IT, there’s no clear indication that a security program isn’t working until it’s too late. For instance, if there were an issue with payroll or network access, employees would immediately flag the issue. With security, on the other hand, the only time personnel are notified of a gap is when they’re breached.
MSSPs put too much responsibility on companies
Once organizations build their security tech stack, they often outsource the monitoring to a traditional MSSP. While that might work in theory, an MSSP is somewhat useless if the client company doesn’t have the right tools or strategy in place. Even in the best-case scenario, if this company doesn’t have the proper tools primed and ready alongside a sound cybersecurity approach, all a traditional MSSP can do is send an alert when they think a breach may have occurred. It’s still up to the company to verify that the threat is real and determine how to fix it. Without a team of security experts to respond to an incident, a company can do very little with an MSSP alert. In short, the reason for having an MSSP is the same reason an MSSP is limited in its usefulness.
The future of cybersecurity
As much as people would like to believe that securing an organization is as simple as plugging in a bit of code, there are many moving pieces to security. Companies need to educate their staff on secure practices and then enforce those practices over time as part of building a security-minded culture within an organization. They need systems and tools in place that are patched regularly and technology that protects devices from malicious code. They also need experts to deploy and manage that technology, adapt to new threats, and respond if something nasty happens. Lastly, they need to make sure their security is in line with newer and more complicated regulatory standards.
In reality, cybersecurity is a concept of operations that involves people, products, and processes, and it requires daily oversight. The problem is, of course, that building a concept of operations isn’t fun, so most people don’t do it. Individuals own pieces of the process and, over time, things like turnover, bandwidth issues, and a lack of support lead to the program falling by the wayside. The proof is in the pudding. Hackers are increasingly attacking and they’re getting into organizations large and small.
So how can organizations implement a successful concept of operations for security and keep it running long term? They handle it the same way they’d tackle any complex, highly technical field that falls outside of their core business; they outsource it to a new kind of MSSP — one that offers a security program as a service and ensures they’re meeting organizations where they’re needed most — whether that’s on the tech stack supplier and management side, security analytics and monitoring side, or as a fully-equipped outsourced security department.
The legacy model of managing all security efforts in-house and paying upfront for tools and software isn’t working. This model is not only outdated; it doesn’t align with the way most companies handle other complex functions that aren’t core to what they do.
For instance, many companies today outsource at least a portion of their HR and legal functions to a vendor that specializes in that area. Then, someone in-house manages that relationship. In essence, companies go from doing something to managing it. That is also the future of security.
If your company doesn’t specialize in security, you’ll outsource it to a security vendor and pay for the service per user per month. The next wave of MSSPs should take care of what you’re missing from your security strategy, such as having the appropriate tools, managing them, training your employees, monitoring your assets and environment, and responding to threats in real time. They should also address any regulatory needs — having a secure environment and disclosing any potential breaches is necessary unless an organization wants to face fines or investigations. The result is a truly secure and compliant organization.
Of course, these modern MSSPs are only now emerging, and SolCyber is the first to offer a security program as a service. We do more than monitor your data and alert you when something looks fishy. Our Foundational Coverage ensures businesses have everything they need and nothing they don’t. We provide a carefully curated tech stack, 24/7 monitoring, and we respond to and resolve threats in real time. And we do it all for a per user, per month fee.
So, if you’re ready to build up your security posture, we’re here to meet you where you’re at in your journey and build a path for you towards a truly secure organization. Give us a buzz!