Butterfly overlay image

Blog | 5-minute Read

Is it time to leave your security operations to the experts?

Anna Webb profile headshot

Anna Webb

Head of Security Operations

Published: 15 May 2023

Improving your organisation’s security has never been so important. But doing it effectively can be daunting. Is it time to consider outsourcing your security operations to specialists?

How many times have you read that cyber attacks are growing in volume and sophistication?

Well, guess what – it’s true.

For instance, did you know that in 2022:

  • Phishing attacks increased by 61%1
  • Users impacted by ransomware almost doubled2

Cloud-technology, remote work, and an increase in mobile devices in the workplace have brought new efficiencies and productivity. But they also widen the attack surface, and render older security measures obsolete.

So, how do you effectively respond to and mitigate against these evolving threats?

In this blog we’ll explore the key considerations for establishing a powerful security operations centre (SOC) in your organisation. And, why outsourcing to a specialist security partner might be the answer to your security challenges.

Developing an in-house SOC requires the time, technology, and talent you may not have

The temptation for developing an in-house SOC is that you have full ownership over every aspect of your security. Operations that are entirely tailored around the needs and expectations of your organisation.

Sounds ideal, doesn’t it?

But do you have the time, resources, or internal expertise to do this effectively?

Ebony and green clock cog productivity icon on transparent background

Time

It’s not uncommon for the design, development and implementation of a fully functioning in-house SOC to take 1 or 2 years to realise.

After all, there’s a lot to think about. From requirements gathering to selecting, investing and implementing the right software and hardware. Not to mention recruiting and training staff.

It’s a significant period of investment without return.

Plus, over that time it’s likely that priorities may have changed, staff may have left, and threats may have evolved. All of which adds to ongoing costs and impacts the overall effectiveness.

Ebony and green monitor and settings icon on transparent background

Technology

To achieve the outcomes you want and need from your SOC requires having the right tools for the job.

This means taking the time to identify what technology you need for maximised detection, protection, and prevention. Which likely means having to then invest heavily in that technology.

Ebony and green people profiles triple icon on transparent background

Talent

Of course, having the right tools in place is only effective if you have the right people on board, with the required skillsets.

You have to consider if your team has this necessary experience and expertise. New technology might mean investing in training, upskilling, or recruiting professionals who can meet the challenges.

And, the reality is, they are hard to find, costly to attract, and frequently difficult to hold onto.

In-house vs. outsourced security: Which is right for you?

Understand the true cost, hidden risks, and potential savings.

So, should you give control of security operations to a third-party?

Security and the protection of your data is critical for any organisation, with breaches liable to bring severe penalties and costs.

It makes perfect sense, therefore, to be very choosy about who you work with. And how much control you want to move outside of the business.

But, be diligent in your research and select a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) with rock solid credentials, and the benefit to your business can be significant.

Not only fortifying the company against cyber attack, but helping you control costs, stay compliant, and scale as needed.

Let’s break this down.

Ebony and green lightbulb inside head on transparent background

Specialised expertise

Working with the right MSSP means you have access to security experts with deep experience and up-to-date knowledge on the latest threats. With the skills and tools for rapid detection and response.

Ebony and green ticklist icon on transparent background

Transparent accountability

Having agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs) means you have clearly defined expectations and a transparent way of measuring performance.

Not only ensuring you’re getting what you pay for, but enabling you to clearly identify risks and establish areas for improvement.

Ebony coins on transparent background

Cost control

Whether in-house or outsourced, effective security operations come at a cost. So you’ll want to get best value from your outlay.

The danger of in-house security operations is that budgets can be reactive. Unexpected costs arising from new issues to be addressed.

With a reputable MSSP this can be mitigated. You’ll know the service you’re getting and will have clarity on its cost. Making it easier to budget, and to measure its value against defined metrics.

Ebony and green person and rising arrow icon on transparent background

Operational savings

Again, this comes down to the MSSP you select (so choose with care).

But, the right partner not only provides access to industry expertise, but also market-leading tools to automate security intelligence, detection, and response.

All of which adds up to more efficient and effective security operations. Not to mention reducing your capital expenditure and reducing the risk of costly compliance issues or breaches.

Ebony and green rosette icon on transparent background

Reporting, compliance, and ROI

The best MSSPs will be able to provide you with real-time analytics and regular reporting. Allowing you to easily demonstrate ROI to those who hold the purse-strings. It’s also an effective way to keep track of your security posture.

A powerful tool for proving compliance and establishing the insight needed for more accurate future investments.

The importance of flexible, scalable security operations

All businesses change over time. Periods of high activity and growth, followed by quieter, maybe leaner spells.

Which is why it’s important for your security operations to have the flexibility to react and adapt to these changes.

For in-house security operations, this can sometimes be an issue.

By their very nature they can be more rigid, with a fixed amount of resources and technology.

As your business scales up, you’ll need to invest in more talent and technology resources. Which take can take a while to enact, and may not be planned for in your budget.

And in those leaner times, you can be left with too much resource and potentially redundant capabilities.

When working with the right MSSP, you’re invariably investing in a partner who can deliver the flexibility you need.

Your service and allocation of resources will reflect the needs of your business at that time. In other words, you get only what you pay for.

Helping you better control and manage your costs.

But scalability in your security operations is NOT just about cost-control.

Your SOC team will utilise tools such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR).

Scalable SIEM / SOAR solutions, like Microsoft Sentinel, play a vital role in maintaining a healthy security posture.  Continually working to improve threat intelligence, detection, and response.

Ebony and green open eye icon on transparent background

Better visibility

As your business scales and grows, it’s inevitable that the number of security events will go up. This spike in activity can be hard for security teams to keep on top of. Leading to unidentified incidents and slow responses.

Cloud-based SIEM / SOAR solutions, like Sentinel, provide near unlimited scalability. This allows them to collect and analyse huge amounts of security-related data.

And, with the expert hand of your specialist SOC, your IT team will be better able to respond effectively against threats.

Ebony and green head with green lines and nodes icon on transparent background

Threat intelligence

Being able to handle and process exponentially large amounts of data gives organisations the ability rapidly identify new and emerging threats.

Allowing you to get on the front foot and proactively guard against potential threats, as opposed to reacting to incidents that have already hit.

Ebony and green stopwatch and tick icon on transparent background

Faster detection and response

By applying tools like Sentinel you can dramatically improve detection and response times by automating the processes.

Significantly reducing the time taken to detect and deal with an incident, which can help minimise their impact and costs.

Conclusion

Cyber threats are one of the most significant dangers facing organisations today. Attacks are frequent, sophisticated, and inevitable.

If your security operations are not up to scratch, then you leave yourself vulnerable. Opening yourself up to penalties and costs that could cripple your finances and ruin your reputation.

Which is why SOCs play such an important role in an organisations defenses. The hub from which to keep guard, monitor and respond to the threats that come their way.

And, while many organisations have well-established internal operations, there are key challenges to consider when developing a SOC for your business.

Challenges that can often be overcome by outsourcing to a reputable security partner.

With recruitment and training needs getting harder and costlier, and threats evolving at speed, retaining an effective in-house capability is tough, time-consuming, and expensive.

But select the right MSSP to manage your security and you can unlock greater efficiency, better visibility, and improved protection.

A partner that can offer ‘on point’ expertise and cutting-edge technology. The tools and the talent to keep you safe and compliant, and to scale as you need.

Helping you control your costs, safeguard your business, and free your internal team to focus on projects that drive the business forwards.

Want to learn more? Then get our FREE guide to in-house v outsourced SOC.

Key takeaways

  • Security operations are vital to your business and need to be robust against changing, frequent threats.

  • Developing an effective SOC needs time, the right technology, and talent. Do you have all three?

  • A reputable MSSP can improve security, compliance, and cost control through expert management and cutting-edge tools.

  • Scalability is vital for greater cost-efficiency as well as improving visibility for a greater security posture.

Sources: 1 – Tech Target | 2- Kaspersky

 

In-house vs. outsourced security operations: Which is right for you?

Download your 35-page guide to discover:

  • Costs and risks to build inhouse
  • Potential security benefits and savings
tag icon

Great emails start here

Sign up for free resources and exclusive invites

Subscribe to the Kocho mailing list if you want:

  • Demos of the latest Microsoft tech
  • Invites to exclusive events and webinars
  • Resources that make your job easier
Butterfly overlay image
Anna Webb profile headshot

Author

Anna Webb

Head of Global Security Operations

Anna has over 20 years’ experience in operations management, major incident management, and cyber security. CISSP qualified, Anna is officially a Security Changemaker (Microsoft Security Excellence Awards).

Butterfly overlay image

Got a question? Need more information?

Our expert team is here to help.