Why Managed Security is Cost Effective
In analysis / By Lee Savery / 17 April 2020
The cyber threat to businesses remains ever-present, leading to organisations investing more in cyber security than ever before. According to Statista, large UK businesses spent an average of £277,000 on IT security in 2019. On the other end of the scale, small businesses were spending an average of £3,490.
With such costs attributed to information security, many small-to-medium-sized businesses are turning to managed security services to provide cyber security because it provides a more cost-effective service.
To understand exactly why managed security is cost effective, we must define exactly what it is.
What are Managed Security Services?
Managed security service providers (MSSP) are third-party companies that manage all the security processes of a business off-site, allowing for businesses to continue as normal with minimal disruption. An MSSP ensures that the IT of an enterprise remains up-to-date and makes them aware of any security issues and maintenance that will be taken, allowing the business to focus on security governance rather than security administration tasks.
There are a variety of security services being offered by MSSPs today including the outsourcing of security programs that focus on one component of the enterprise’s security - this could be data protection, monitoring of threats, incident response, management of network security tools or regulatory compliance.
Now we've established the meaning, we can break down exactly how managed security is cost effective from the benefits it provides.
Eliminates the Need for an IT Security Department
Recruiting a full-time IT security team is not always cost effective for smaller businesses and many SMEs cannot afford such an undertaking, so they turn to “renting” a security department through an MSSP.
This doesn’t mean a business shouldn’t have an IT department, because issues with computing are likely to come up at some point. Many enterprises choose a hybrid approach, by employing an on-site IT team and partnering with an off-site IT security provider.
Cuts Costs on Security Software
Security monitoring is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week job that requires a huge investment, not only in recruitment but also in monitoring software. Sophisticated programs that immediately detect and mitigate threats are expensive, pricing many SMEs out of the market. MSSPs have access to the latest software and will use it to protect your business for a monthly fee, saving your business a huge amount of money.
Delivers Cost Effective Expertise
Hiring someone with the knowledge and expertise required to ensure that a business remains secure isn’t easy. With cyber security threats all over the world, you need an individual who has knowledge of more than just your local base. Most MSSPs have a managed security team that is tapped into the global cyber security community and know how to react to threats, no matter where they come from.
Prevents Costs of a Data Breach
Not having the best cyber security in place leaves your business in danger of a data breach. Because bigger businesses invest heavily in cyber security, cyber criminals target smaller businesses in the likelihood that they will be more successful. A data breach can be incredibly expensive to a business, with the average cost in the US being $7.91m in 2018, according to Digital Guardian. By working with a business who manages all your cyber security, your business will remain safe and compliant.
Enables Effective Budgeting
Outsourcing managed security is also cost effective because you can accurately budget for the financial year ahead. A monthly fee remains the same, meaning there are few unforeseen costs in the IT department. Because you’ve accurately calculated this cost, you then have the flexibility to invest money in other areas for business growth.
Provides More Flexibility in the Business
For SMEs, security budgets can change throughout the year. If another part of the business has a major expense that is required, it will leave you short on cash to invest in cyber security. Working with an MSSP means you know exactly what you’re paying a month, allowing you to budget for such events. Managed service providers are usually flexible, allowing you to cut back on particular services for a time if they’re unused, allowing you to use that money somewhere else in the business.
Gives You Time to Focus on Growing Your Business
By saving money in employing a full-time IT security team, you can use that money elsewhere to further your business. Your in-house IT team can now focus on projects that will grow the business, rather than troubleshooting. With MSSPs providing the security and firewalls you need to operate safely; you can spend less time concerned with your IT infrastructure and more on the rest of your business.
To summarise, businesses are outsourcing managed security by eliminating the need to cover the costs themselves by using a trusted third-party service. With the fast deployment times of software and fixes, the time-to-value on security investments is greater than if your business did it in-house.