Should My Business Outsource Cyber Security? Get the Answer with a Cyber Security Assessment
If you’ve been wondering if you should outsource security, the best way to determine a course of action is to get a cyber security assessment. The report that you get about your cyber security stature will point you in one of three directions.
- Your team is doing great and can carry on with a few new recommendations.
- Your team needs some help.
- You need to make some changes.
A cyber security assessment brings you to this three-option junction because it takes the guesswork out of evaluating your cyber defenses.
What Is a Cyber Security Assessment?
A cyber security assessment is a methodology used to determine if you have vulnerabilities that expose your organization to more risk than you can tolerate. Your goals will determine the exact scope of the assessment.
You might first think you need penetration testing or vulnerability scanning, and those tactics certainly can be part of the assessment, but sometimes you need to know more than that. As you explore where you have security gaps, you might also want to find out:
- Is your IT team doing everything they need to be doing?
- Are your people susceptible to social engineering?
- Should you be utilizing different technical tools?
- Or even - is there a cyber intruder poking around in your network right now?
Choosing the Right Cyber Security Assessment Provider
If you’re getting a cyber security assessment with the thought that it might lead to outsourcing security, then do some upfront work to pick a company that can provide an assessment that will lead to an ongoing relationship if you decide to go that route.
Ideally, you want a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) with a proven process and track record of providing ongoing cyber security strategy and services for your industry. In addition to looking for an MSSP, certifications in other industries are also indicators of cyber security expertise.
For example, if the company is a Registered Provider (RP) for the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), it’s an excellent sign that they’re experts in security best practices and processes. An experienced RP will have the ability to translate your particular risk exposure and situation into an effective cyber security strategy.
Scope of Work for a Cyber Security Assessment
When you think you may need an outsourced cyber security vendor, consider including both technical and non-technical evaluations. The reason for this is that a good half of IT security involves human behavior and how your people follow protocols to keep information and network access safe.
Non-technical security would typically be a part of a cyber assessment (or gap analysis) for regulatory compliance. If you’re not in a regulated industry, you might not be as familiar with that as you are with technical security measures like firewalls and spam filters. However, if you decide to outsource security, your non-technical security is most certainly going to be addressed, so you might as well give it the scrutiny it needs upfront.
Again, the scope of work for your cyber security assessment will be customized, but here are some areas that may be included in the technical part of the evaluation:
- Network Architecture and Protections
- Workstation Management
- Inbound and Outbound Firewall Configurations
- Patch Management Effectiveness
- Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Tools
- Backup, Restoration, and Disaster Recovery Planning
- Internal Vulnerability Scan
- External Vulnerability Scan
To Outsource or Not Outsource Cyber Security
It’s unrealistic to think that your cyber assessment will provide you with an A+, even if you have a great IT team. Cyber security (like IT management) is an ongoing process that needs continual improvement. The best-case scenario is that you and your IT team receive information you can use to make improvements, and they add to your cyber security knowledge.
It’s going to be pretty clear if your in-house or outsourced IT team doesn’t have a handle on security because the report you get from the assessment will confirm or expose gaps. The process of going through the cyber assessment report will help you in your decision to retain your team and bring in security expertise, or make changes in that department.
With your cyber assessment in hand, you’ll know that you’re making a decision based on facts and not just instinct.
Cyber Security Assessments for Southern California Businesses
Accent Computer Solutions is an MSSP and Managed IT Service provider in Southern California. We offer cyber assessments and partner with companies to create a security strategy that meets evolving cyber risks. Contact us, and we’ll get you the information you need to evaluate your security and chart a confident course forward.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.