Advanced highlight top five factors to consider when outsourcing security

Published 2/9/2016 by Advanced, Editor

Survey shows that an increasing number of companies are open to the idea of outsourcing

Almost two-thirds of organisations are considering outsourcing all, or parts of their security operations in light of growing and diversifying cyber-security threats. This is according to a survey of 300 IT decision makers sponsored by mission-critical IT services provider Advanced.

41% of respondents said that they would consider outsourcing any part of their organisation’s security apparatus, with 20% admitting they were undecided. In contrast, 39% stated that they would not.

With more and more organisations looking to tighten their security controls, Advanced have identified five key factors that should be assessed when choosing whether to outsource security.

  • Skills – Security talent is in increasingly short supply, making it difficult to both recruit and retain skilled IT security professionals. It is also a challenge for businesses to ensure that their security staff’s skills keep up with ever changing threats. Organisations struggling to recruit security staff should consider outsourcing to an experienced partner who can provide access to the specialist expertise they need.
  • Costs – As a result of the security skills shortage, salaries for those with the right expertise are rising, with some consultants commanding daily rates of thousands of pounds. In the research mentioned above, cost was identified as the biggest obstacle in recruiting security staff. Using a third-party provider can reduce the expense of hiring and training in-house security staff.
  • What to outsource – Outsourcing security is not a question of all or nothing. Due to concerns about safeguarding data, organisations should carefully consider which functions are more suitable for them to outsource than others. The most popular tasks to move out of in-house include penetration testing (83%), security audits (80%) and training and awareness programmes (49%).
  • Responsibility for data – There is confusion among business executives surrounding where authority for data security should reside. Impending changes to EU data protection regulation will mean that any company or individual that processes data is responsible for its protection, including third parties such as cloud providers. Organisations looking to outsource therefore need to be confident that the supplier can meet their security needs and minimise the risk of a data breach.
  • Network health – Before deciding whether or not to outsource, it is important for organisations to understand the state of their network and their security needs.

Roy Wood, Managing Director, IT Services at Advanced comments, “With high-profile data breaches occurring on a regular basis, and skilled security professionals becoming more difficult and expensive to recruit, outsourcing all or some of the security operation is an increasingly attractive option to many organisations.

However, businesses face different types of risks and evolving compliance requirements. They should therefore carefully consider the reputation and credentials of specialist third party providers before deciding whether to outsource their security functions.”