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By Stephen Caldwell, CISSP
As 2019 begins, cybersecurity continues to grow as one of the most substantial and expensive threats faced by businesses. It is expected that by 2021, the cost of cybercrime will top more than 6 trillion dollars at the same time, by 2021 there are also projected to be 3.5 million unfilled information security job openings, further compounding an already massive problem.
Scarce IT talent leads to poor network security
With technical criminals becoming more intrusive and cyberattacks growing more pervasive, the demands placed upon IT professionals are on the rise, and many, if not most, businesses find themselves ill-equipped to deal with these challenges. The Internet is central to the modern global economy, requiring nearly every company to focus heavily upon their technological infrastructure. Unfortunately, for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), they are competing with massive enterprises for the same pool of highly-skilled IT professionals, and the scarcity of talent is driving up the cost, resulting in unfilled positions and poorly-defended assets. These SMBs and even some of the largest companies are increasingly placing security responsibilities on non-security personnel, and without the necessary tools and training these employees are incapable of properly securing critical information systems and networks.
With corporate networks under increased demands with overextended IT resources, the current shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals poses a nearly insurmountable dilemma for the business leadership of today, and as the supply of available trained IT security employees shrinks relative to the staff required, it is time to adopt new strategies and more creative approaches to shoring up the security posture of lucrative information assets.
So, with cybercrime on the rise and expertise at a premium, how are today’s businesses supposed to protect the systems and data that are becoming increasingly important to their success? Some believe that new technologies may be the answer, and while the advances of artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping to develop tools that can assist in cyber defense, these things are merely tools and cannot replace skilled security analyst, engineers, architects, and managers, as new vulnerabilities and attack designs are being discovered and developed at a rapid pace.
Some may try the approach of contracting cybersecurity consultants for a short-term fix, and while there can certainly be a time and place for this approach, and these experts are often some of the most skilled and experienced professionals available, it can be difficult for an outsider with limited knowledge of the internal structure, goals, and daily proceedings to truly grasp all the cybersecurity needs of a given enterprise.
The best alternative may be to outsource the load to specialized professionals and cultivate a relationship with a managed security service provider (MSSP). A quality MSSP will have a staff of dedicated cybersecurity experts whose expertise can be leveraged at a significantly lower cost than developing an in-house team and should be capable of handling any aspect of a solid security program, from the development of policies and procedures to implementing the best security technologies available. The long-term relationship nature of working with an MSSP can also ensure that the available expertise has time to develop a deeper knowledge of the systems and operations that a short-term consultant would be unable to achieve, resulting in top notch security monitoring and management, quick and effective incident response, and the ability to adapt and evolve a security program as the business matures and needs change.
The modern business landscape demands that companies take their information privacy and security seriously, and security experts are increasingly expensive and difficult to find but blowing up the budget is not required. Rather than piling security duties onto your current IT team or leveraging security consultants for an ineffective or temporary solution, develop a relationship with a world-class MSSP such as Nuspire Networks to meet your cybersecurity needs, and ensure that your data is fully protected now and in the future.