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The Complete Guide to Cyber Security Outsourcing

Did you know that cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), on average, $500,000 (Cisco)? Worse, a third of SMBs affected by cyber attacks even reported paying $1 million to $2.5 million on recovery (Cisco).

For most SMBs, such costs would be astronomical and impossible to recover with their limited resources. And even if those SMBs can offset the direct costs of a breach, they will have a lot trouble overcoming the damage to their reputation and loss of customer trust.

Cybersecurity is a must for every business, but for SMBs with limited resources, maintaining a credible cyber security posture isn’t straightforward.

There are many different factors at play:

Firstly, you must maintain different systems to protect your computers, networking and mobile devices, such as anti-virus software, firewalls and mobile device management, respectively.

Secondly, you must deal with complicated and time-consuming compliance issues over how you manage data and report data breaches. Not only are lapses in this area cybersecurity gaps, but non-compliance can also result in costly penalties by regulators.

Thirdly, you must also ensure that your employees aren’t exploited as a result of insufficient training or end-user security measures. According to a 2017 survey by Shred-IT (via CNBC), 47% of company heads said user-error was the cause of a data breach at their organization.

When multi-billion dollar entities such as Equifax and Yahoo can slip-up, how will SMBs with far fewer resources fare with securing their IT systems on their own?

Besides leveraging fewer resources, SMBs also lack IT security experience. Because of this, you can only deal with the cyber threats you are aware of, not the actual number (which is much larger) in existence. Moreover, new and unfamiliar cyber threats are also emerging every day.

This lack of experience could also impact your ability to correctly implement a disaster recovery and business continuity strategy following a breach. Going it alone without the support of cyber security experts could result in mistakes which can delay or scuttle your recovery efforts.

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Reasons for Outsourcing Cyber Security

In theory, an in-house IT support team is a handspan away from dealing with your IT problems.

In terms of cyber security, your internal IT team will be familiar with your business and industry. They will have also undergone background checks and, because they work for you, they should have a higher level of investment in your company’s security.

But the theory doesn’t always match up with the reality.

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Avoid Escalating In-House IT Costs


For SMBs, the reality of limited resources, which includes financial as well as human, time, capacity, experience and infrastructure, is a serious constraint. In fact, cyber security is now more than just costly, but it’s difficult to achieve even when funding is not a factor.

For example in a Deloitte survey, 30% of businesses reported that 50% of their cyber security applicants didn’t meet their companies’ minimum qualification and experience requirements.

Hiring cyber security experts is evidently difficult; not only will it cost you in terms of time, but keeping those professionals is also expensive. There aren’t many great cyber security experts available, so it’s difficult to find them and the few available are in hot-demand by the market.

By relying on a managed service provider (MSP), you can acquire the necessary cyber security expertise right away. In fact, because a single MSP generally works with many other businesses — including others in your industry — it also brings significant experience to the table.

MSPs will quickly fill in the gaps in your awareness about cyber threats and solutions.

Contrary to the perception of internal IT being more trustworthy, IBM says that 60% of cyber attacks are caused by internal sources. This could be a result of employee error or malicious activity; but in the end, it reflects a real weakness in training, access control and vetting.

Unlike MSPs, your internal IT team is not accountable to a measurable service-level agreement (SLA). In other words, internal IT teams have a greater margin of error than MSPs (the latter must guarantee their SLA in order to keep business).


You can’t underestimate IT infrastructure. It might be manageable for some SMBs to deal with anti-virus software and firewalls on a few endpoints, but as your organization grows to include dozens — or hundreds — of such endpoints, even a single gap is a huge risk.

Managing Employees

Business growth will also result in additional hiring. You must manage dozens (or hundreds) of staff and ensure that only vetted ones have access to sensitive data and that too on a need to know basis. Segmenting staff and enabling or revoking access is a full-time task in of itself.

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Regulatory standards such as HIPAA and the GDPR have made data hosting a more complex undertaking. To adhere to these standards correctly, you would need full-time staff to manage server infrastructure on-site as well as a team of cloud experts to manage connections to and from your servers.

This is a challenge for even the largest of companies, prompting a growing number of them to outsource this work to public cloud hosting providers, such as Microsoft.

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Outsourcing Cyber Security has its Advantages

MSPs with cybersecurity services are organized and staffed to provide every necessary service — i.e., support for securing endpoints, managing firewalls, configuring cloud assets, training your end-users, ensuring compliance and spearheading recovery.

Critical to all this is your SLA with the MSP. You can hold your MSP accountable for not meeting the terms of the SLA. In fact, prior to selecting a MSP, you can look into the MSP’s past work to see if it’s consistent with its SLA commitments. You won’t have this flexibility with in-house IT.

In addition, by relying on an MSP, you won’t have to worry about any of the difficulties and costs involved in building a cyber security team — it’s already done for you. Your MSP will have spent the time and resources to train its staff, hire certified experts and vet each person.

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Cyber Security Outsourcing VS. Internal IT Security Costs

MSPs offer a flat-rate, monthly operational expense (OPEX) rate for their services. In other words, all of your cybersecurity requirements are covered under one predictable price.

This makes it easy for you to budget and plan your expenditure. It also frees you from the risks and high upfront costs involved with capital expenditure (CAPEX), i.e., where you procure and manage each cyber security system on your own.

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In effect, MSPs make effective cyber security efforts accessible to SMBs, no matter the size or industry of the SMB.

At Power Consulting, we bring more than 20 years of experience providing SMBs in finance, healthcare, education and other industries with cyber security services tailored to their unique needs and limited resources. Contact us today to see how we’ll help you stop hackers as well as avoid costly non-compliance penalties through our cyber security consulting and cyber security assessment services.


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