Modern IT security teams have a challenging job, with a constantly evolving threat landscape, and the realization that only a single cyber attack has to be successful to have a devastating effect on any company.
While this is true, many organizations are strapped for sufficient resources – especially when it comes to training and keeping an on-site, in-house security staff. In fact, according to a recent study, the cybersecurity skills shortage is going to grow, exceeding 3.5 million open positions by the year 2021.
Now is the time for organizations to begin thinking about if it makes sense to fully manage their own security operations on-site or share the cybersecurity responsibilities with an MSSP – managed security service provider, or completely outsource their cybersecurity operations.
Is building the right option?
There are a large number of organizations that currently have an in-house security operations center or SOC. This is because this is a solution that was adopted when there were few acceptable alternatives. Larger companies, that have the ability to build and scale SOCs receive many benefits in regard to having control of their data and operations, and the ability to customize the entire process based on their specific needs. Chances are, the CIOs tasked with making this decision to buy or build today, would weigh the advantages and disadvantages differently from their predecessors.
To begin with, the cost of finding, hiring, training, and even retraining staff is only going to increase as the skills shortage (mentioned above) continues to grow. While the initial cost is significant, the bigger challenges lie with the amount of time it takes to operationalize the investments and the high risk of building a security operations center that is unable to prevent security breaches.
It can take 18 months, or more, to build a SOC from scratch. Both resources and time are used in the process of hiring staff, acquiring and optimizing technology, fine-tuning the threat intelligence and the analytics and more. Just like with any other project, there is the real risk that it is going to take longer and cost more than what’s originally planned. For companies without much disposal capital, this can prove to be problematic.
Completely outsourcing this need
While building a SOC and having it on site is an appealing option for many organizations, it isn’t a solution that all companies can afford. This is when outsourcing SOC needs should be considered.
By outsourcing these needs, a company can significantly increase their scalability and save on costs associated with having to build their own cybersecurity program from the ground up.
However, just like anything else, there are pros and cons to this option, too.
The main cons are that the company becomes completely dependent on the third party and requires coordination between external and internal teams. Due to this fact alone, it’s crucial that a company that the time and put in the effort to find the right MSSP for the needs of their company.
When it comes to benefits, it doesn’t get much better than having a dedicated team of professionals available to detect any potential attack, compromise or other issues, and addressing them in a timely manner. Trying to do this in-house is not only challenging, but it can also be extremely costly.
Buy or build: what’s the verdict?
When a company is trying to determine what’s right for them – buy or build – they have to consider their budget, current team and resources. These are the factors that will determine which option makes the most sense for their organization.
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