Business Decisions: Is It Time to Outsource Your Network Security?

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Most businesses grapple with the question of whether or not to outsource security. Here are some guidelines to help you decide whether this is a good idea.

You’re Going to Save Money

Yes, you’re spending money by outsourcing; but another way to look at this is that you’re saving money. How? Well, first there is the basic economics of it. You’re not paying for sick leave, health insurance, worker’s compensation, and many other benefits.

You’re also not spending money on overtime. You’re only spending money for a set number of hours and, in most cases, you’re paying for a result - not hours worked.

Companies, like Sec Tec, that specialize in security already have a framework that they work from. You’re not reinventing the wheel by outsourcing, you’re plugging into an existing infrastructure. That infrastructure is done at scale, which is why you save money on absolute security costs.

You Will Experience Amazing Uptime

With managed IT services working specifically to improve your security controls, your uptime increases. Vital systems are less vulnerable to attack and because downtime costs money, you’re not going to take the hit to productivity and sales that you would if you had to keep all of this in-house.

You Always Get What You Pay For

As with anything else, you’re going to get what you pay for. If you cheap out on the IT company, or hire someone at the lowest price point, don’t expect stellar service. No one works for free. That doesn’t mean you should overpay for service, but at the same time, you shouldn’t be paying the lowest price either.

Outsourcing Is Smart

Outsourcing tends to be a better idea all-round for security management. Each device your company employs to communicate information over the servers is a potential target for a criminal. By proactively guarding each device, you build up a security system - a “wall” - around your company.

Why You Might Not Be Ready

There are many times when outsourcing security is a great idea. On the other hand, there are times when you’re not ready. If you can’t clearly articulate your security problem or goal, you don’t know where your assets are or what data systems you’re trying to secure, or you don’t have someone onboard to own and manage the outsourced staff, then you’re not ready for an outsourced security solution.

If you’re a small business owner, you need to avoid giving managed security providers the impression that you don’t know what you need. Not only does this send up a red flag to vendors, it signals that you’re totally ignorant about the process - and often security companies see dollar signs in ignorance.

You’ll be charged for services you don’t need or receive service that’s not a good deal.

Imagine taking your vehicle to a mechanic. You walk into the shop and say, “I have no idea what’s wrong with it. I want you to comb through the vehicle and fix everything you find.”

What do you think will happen? You’ll end up with a huge repair bill, right? Would you trust that all the repair work was necessary and done at a reasonable price? Of course not. Intuitively, you know that the mechanic worked to maximize the amount of repairs and the cost to get them done.

On the other hand, if you took your vehicle into a shop and said, “Fix the brakes. Touch nothing else.” Guess what would happen? You would get your brakes fixed, and if you dug deeper into the cost of those brakes, and the labor costs, you’d end up getting a good price on the job.

Outsourcing only really works when you know what you want, and when you know the costs - just like going to the mechanic’s.

Before you sign a contract with a security company, find out a few things like:

  • What type of companies they typically work with? If they work with companies of your size, that’s perfect
  • Who else have they worked with? Specifically - get references
  • What standards, policies, and procedures do they use to keep your company safe?
  • Who will manage your account, and who will be your point of contact?
  • Reporting - what kind of reporting does the company do, what metrics do they follow, and how will you be updated?
  • What’s the overall game plan?
  • Does the security protocol scale up as your business grows?
  • What’s the exit strategy?

At the end of the day, no one cares about your company as much as you do. Keep that in mind when you outsource. Your security team doesn’t work for you, and while they might want to do a good job with your company, they’re in it for the benefit of their own firm first.

You may pay for a level of professionalism, and you should get everything that the company says they will deliver. However, you also need to manage that company, your expectations, and ultimately you’re responsible for getting the company to perform according to your wishes.

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