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Cybersecurity Consulting

Do You Need Cybersecurity Advisory Services?

November 05, 2021

5 minutes

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Cybersecurity is an important aspect of a business security plan in today’s environment, but do you need cybersecurity advisory services? Or is it superfluous to an organizations security once a tech stack has been influenced?

In this blog, we’re going to be talking about whether you need cybersecurity advisory services in order to operate a successful strategy for business defense.

The Current State of Cybersecurity Consulting

Cybersecurity consultants are in high demand from businesses today.

Why? Because the business security landscape has shifted significantly over the last 10 years, and particularly the last five, to what is now a volatile environment for organizations of all sizes.

While it’s still demonstrably true that the biggest and most sophisticated cyberattacks target large enterprises, we’ve seen in recent years a refocusing from cybercriminals towards targeting small- and medium-sized businesses.

This has led to a substantial increase in the number of companies seeking advisory services for their cybersecurity.

Nearly 90% of business executives either currently use or plan to use managed services for their cybersecurity needs.

More Data, More Problems

This increase of attacks on SMBs has largely been as a result of data.

Simply put, businesses today hold more sensitive information on their customers than they ever have previously.

Thanks to a litany of modern solutions that can make more effective use of the data businesses handle and store, decision makers are able to utilize it for competitive gain in ways they couldn’t previously.

A common example of this would be the use of a CRM within marketing teams to analyze customer information—including demographic info—to segment and better target their audience.

In previous years, data used in these solutions may well have been left unutilized as unstructured stored data.

The use of more data and information to drive business initiatives across virtually all departments means that even smaller companies are viable targets for malicious actors to attempt to breach.

The result of this is that SMBs are being exposed and breached at an unprecedented rate today—an issue that must be dealt with or risk dire consequences; including bankruptcy.

Third-party apps are the biggest cause of cyberattacks for SMBs (14.4%), followed by ransomware (14.3%), out-of-date security technology (14%), process weaknesses (14%), and operating system vulnerabilities (8%).

How Cybersecurity Advisory Services Help

When we talk about “cybersecurity advisory services”, we’re referring to a team of experts who will help with the implementation of a strategy for business security.

To give you some context, here are some of the key positions that you should expect from a partner:

Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA)

  • Execute assessment tasks and curate/analyze resulting data
  • Perform daily monitoring tasks for deployed cybersecurity solutions

Cybersecurity Engineer (CSE)

  • Responsible for final assessment solution implementation

Cybersecurity Developer (CSD)

  • Develop and maintain custom managed IT security (MITSec) assessment and pricing tools
  • Work with the organization to improve and automate the MITSec process

Compliance Manager

  • Develop solutions and strategies to incorporate compliance into MITSec
  • Define team members and services to address client compliance concerns

Each of these positions is designed to give a business the most comprehensive expertise for their security program as possible.

The reason for this is that cybersecurity is a more complex field than it used to be—once upon a time a perfectly legitimate security plan would have been the installation of antivirus software.

The current environment dictates the necessity for a far wider variety of elements in a security program today than ever before.

Why Is a Cybersecurity Team Important?

A team for cybersecurity with dedicated roles is important for a modern company for a number of reasons.

Firstly, they each perform duties that are very different from one another—an expert in threat analysis will have a radically different skillset to a compliance officer, but both play an important part in a security strategy.

Secondly, and perhaps more significantly for SMBs in particular, is the simple cost of hiring a four-person team to operate cybersecurity in-house.

Cybersecurity Skills Shortage and What It Means

Because of the surge of increased demand for cybersecurity professionals over the last few years, a skills shortage has put into the limelight a persistent issue that has routinely caused problems with organizations for a long time—we’re referring of course to IT budgets.

In the period between 2013 and 2021, unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew 350% from one million positions to 3.5 million.

Security experts are in high demand, meaning their market value is also high and as a result costly for businesses to hire as internal employees.

For many, this has necessitated the need to hire a third-party service provider, like DOT Security, for their cybersecurity needs.

For a fraction of the price of an internal team, managed security service providers (MSSPs), can provide a comprehensive plan and remain committed as advisors for a long-term contract.

Who Needs Cybersecurity Advisory Services the Most?

Which organizations need cybersecurity advisory services and which do not depends on the structure of the business and the industry it operates in.

For example, organizations in the finance and healthcare sector would do well to have advisors at hand simply because the consequences of falling foul of compliance regulations can be devastating to a company.

As businesses hold more sensitive data and new regulations regarding privacy and data rights come into force, the need to ensure that a business is in compliance grows.

Then there are considerations that should be made about the risk factors of a business.

For example, is it an organization that has remote workers or a network with many Internet of Things (IoT) devices?

These are two common entryways into an organization, and the more reliant on either a company is, the greater need for expert help to ensure the attack surface (potential for cyberattacks) is kept as small as possible.

In addition to these concerns, cybersecurity is a constantly evolving landscape, and one of the key parts of a security professional’s job is to keep up to date with the latest threats; understanding how to best defend against them and if necessary adjust the security strategy or protocols to protect the business.

How To Know If You Need Cybersecurity Advisory Services

There’s no one way to determine whether or not a given organization needs ongoing security consulting without having a risk assessment performed on the company.

During a cybersecurity audit, a security provider will take a deep dive into every aspect of the business network and report on every possible risk factor that should be addressed.

Depending on the recommended security strategy, advisory services may be sought by the business.

The businesses least likely to require cybersecurity advisory services are those that are small, have little compliance regulation to adhere to, or don’t possess sensitive data on customers.

For more information about risk assessments and how DOT Security performs them, read our blog post.