How to know if you need a managed network security service

At the current time, businesses are being forced to deal with a huge volume of cybersecurity threats, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated, along with a global shortage of IT staff in general and cybersecurity staff in particular. This is not a happy situation for them, but the good news is that managed network security services can help to ease the pain. Here are some ways to know if you need a managed network security service.

You can’t recruit or retain skilled cybersecurity staff

This pain point will probably be familiar to many SMBs. You offer the best salary and benefits you can afford but you still get very little serious interest and if you do find staff they generally only stay for a short while before moving on to somewhere else (possibly after you’ve invested in their training).

It’s probably very little comfort to know that it isn’t necessarily you. In fact, it probably isn’t you at all. It’s the simple fact that cybersecurity is a really fast-moving industry and anyone who wants to enjoy a career in it needs to keep updating their skills and knowledge even if they only want to stay where they are. If they want to progress, they need to work even harder.

Managed Network Security Services

Unfortunately for SMBs, it’s usually very hard for them to offer the same opportunities for further training and professional development as the big corporates and the specialist IT companies. This is one of the major reasons why it can be so hard for SMBs to hire IT staff in general and cybersecurity staff in particular.

You are worried that you need more breadth and depth of expertise

Any given employee can be a generalist or a specialist, they can’t be both. This means that the only way to maximize both breadth and depth of knowledge is to employ a team of people who can supply it. In some cases, including cybersecurity, this team will need to be quite extensive (especially if you want to ensure that there is cover for staff absences) as well as extremely expensive.

Using managed network security services provides an elegant way to resolve this issue. You get access to a team of experts as, when (and indeed if) you need them and while there is, of course, a cost in this, it is likely to be much less than you would have paid had you tried to recruit the same team internally, plus you get guaranteed service and don’t have to concern yourself with recruitment and retention issues.

You don’t have the budget for best-in-breed security tools

Best-in-breed cybersecurity tools can be very expensive, prohibitively so if you’re an SMB buying them purely for your own use. Added to this, you need to know what you’re doing to use them effectively, which means either you need to recruit and retain skilled cybersecurity professionals or you need to find people you can train. In fact, you may need to train skilled cybersecurity professionals as products are continually being updated to cope with new threats and people need to learn about the new features.

If you opt for a managed network security service, it will be the provider’s job to buy the tools and make sure people know how to use them. Obviously, they will charge their clients for this, but the cost will be spread across multiple companies rather than just one.

You’d rather your in-house staff focussed on value-add activities

Even if you don’t have a dedicated in-house IT team, somebody in your company has to be taking ownership of IT-related activities and that somebody is probably going to be spending more time than they would like on firefighting and general administration. What’s more, if they’re struggling to fit everything into their day, then it is almost inevitable that their results are going to suffer.

This means that, as a minimum, your company is not getting the best use of the time for which they are paying. At worst, you could end up on the wrong side of the law. This could be civil law, for example, if you use a piece of software without the appropriate license (for the record, software which is free for personal use may not be free if used for business purposes). It may even be criminal law, for example, if you wind up treating personal data in an inappropriate manner.

In short

Basically, if you are finding that running your own cybersecurity is causing you too much frustration and stress, then the best solution may well be to hand it over to a managed network security service.

Managed networks definition