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Amid all the technical and operational challenges CISOs face, there's a major cultural obstacle to overcome too. The one that says cybersecurity is negative rather than positive, a cost centre rather than a profit centre, a blocker, not an enabler. However, switching this mindset 180 degrees is critical to maximising the returns from digital investments.
As organisations reach the tipping point on their digital transformation journeys, they must embrace the notion that security can and should be a positive force that enables users, and the business as a whole, to extend digital initiatives, trial new technologies and adopt a change mindset. Unfortunately, until now, this has rarely been the case.
Security teams, understandably, have had to prioritise protecting the organisation and its users, which has meant a firm stance on restricting new technologies rather than opening their arms to them. This failure to change attitude and posture is seldom viewed as a failure because putting up barriers reinforces a safety-first approach. The real missed opportunity is failing to strike the right balance.
Ultimately, being able to shift this mindset will rely on effective security solutions and cyber hygiene that can support a new wave of digital transformation. The ability of organisations to embrace this change or rely on their existing negative mindsets when it comes to security will determine whether they open the gate to greater IT, cloud and app innovation – or slam it shut.
In an ideal world, every aspect of your IT program would be in-house, cybersecurity included. You'd have the deep pockets and the right, highly-trained personnel to make it a success. It's an admirable idea, but in today's climate of dwindling IT skills and tight budgets, it's a reality few can afford.
As a result, organisations across the globe outsource some aspects (if not all) of their security to better-equipped service providers with resources and expertise to give it the attention it deserves.
Partner selection is, therefore, critical. If the fit isn’t right, or the cybersecurity coverage is inappropriate, such partners and their services risk being maligned and resented. The key lies in creating a critical mass of value that switches security from being a burden to becoming an asset.
Outsourcing should mean alleviating your IT team of those time-consuming, repetitive, operational cyber-related tasks and empowering them to focus on the mission-critical IT innovation projects instead – the work they were hired to focus on in the first place.
This is where security can empower, rather than encumber, organisations; by being entrusted to a highly-skilled, dedicated security provider who has a team of specialists ready and waiting.
These specialists are also highly trained and keep up to date with the necessary techniques and accreditations, so your team doesn't have to. For an industry that changes as rapidly as cybersecurity, this can spare you and your team countless hours learning the latest certification on a given technology, only to have to do it all over again months later.
Thanks to a broad client base, these cybersecurity specialists are far more experienced than the average IT team. They handle and learn from alerts and breaches across their client base and build their knowledge accordingly. That data pool equals more nuanced knowledge of the threats facing your organisation, which ultimately leads to better, more considered actions taken.
Comparatively, an in-house security team would never be able to build up this level of experience without having access to numerous use-cases across peer organisations.
Perhaps the most obvious pitfall of in-house security is finding the right tools to fully handle your cybersecurity needs. There's no one size fits all option and opting to manage it all in-house would mean spending on a plethora of tools that all manage a separate aspect – be it cloud platforms that aggregate your data for threat detection or solutions that enable multi-signal ingestion across your environment – that could easily be managed by a service provider.
Otherwise, you will not only have to invest in a collection of specific complementary tools, but also put yourself at risk of creating security silos.
It's clear that outsourcing brings a whole host of benefits for modern organisations. Not least of which is enabling a quicker and safer path to cybersecurity maturity, where security removes the barriers to innovation.
Whatever your view, it would be wise to consider the possibilities of dedicated, outsourced cybersecurity services that can deliver powerful security capabilities tailored to your individual needs. This results not only in a better security perimeter but time, cost, and resource savings to boot. And it's all for the taking, providing organisations are prepared to flip their perception of security on its head.
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As eSentire’s Vice President & General Manager of EMEA, Piers Morgan leads the international expansion for global MDR security solutions. Throughout his career, Piers has been responsible for executing successful launch & GTM strategies across geographical regions, including the promotion of service-based cloud applications, software, and securing the data flow that sits within. He has also implemented, and defined, successful channel routes across global markets and enterprise support programs. A specialist in scaling organisational and service structure for growth, whilst ensuring customers, channels and alliances are delivered valued services that allow business to function in a frictionless environment, Piers holds an honours degree in Business and Marketing from West London University.