There has never been a more dangerous time for companies to do business digitally. While the transition to digital systems has greatly increased efficiencies, improved workflows, and reduced costs, the need for higher security standards has never been greater. As technologies evolve and organizations are continuously migrating their entire infrastructures to the cloud, the threat of cybersecurity breaches only increases, putting their most sensitive data at risk. Regardless of the industry they may be in, companies these days are not naive to the vulnerabilities they face from cyber criminals or the impact a cyber threat could have on their business.
For many organizations, the reason behind weak security measures comes down to one thing: money. Having in-house information security is expensive, especially when you need to have numerous InfoSec professionals to ensure that all confidential and sensitive data is properly protected.
The average salary for a qualified InfoSec expert is around the $80,000 mark; multiply that by three and you are easily looking at spending over $320,000 alone per year on just those three employees.
If you think that the threat of cyber criminals is going to decrease in the coming years, think again.
Juniper research estimates that cybercrime will cost businesses over $2.1 trillion by 2019, almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015. With so much at stake, organizations simply cannot afford to have weak security any longer, but the idea of spending more than $300,000 a year may not be feasible. That’s where Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) come in.
Managed Security Service Providers offer services for the oversight and administration of a company's security systems and processes. These services are typically conducted remotely over the cloud, and can range from things like setting up the infrastructure through security management and incident response, to specific components of the organization’s security, such as threat monitoring, data protection, and regulatory compliance.
As systems become more cloud-based, and cybersecurity threats only continue to increase in complexity, the need for an MSSP and the services they provide has never been more important. While there are many benefits to hiring an MSSP, one of the most appealing is the amount of savings they provide.
Understanding the cost savings an MSSP delivers is vital for companies in our increasingly digital age.
One of the most impactful ways an MSSP can save your company money is by eliminating breach-related costs. Whenever you have any sensitive information or confidential data, there is always going to be a risk that it will be hacked. As cyber threats continue to become more advanced and complex in nature, it’s starting to become an instance of not if your infrastructure will be hacked, but when. If you think that your business has nothing to worry about, consider the impact that massive security breaches have recently had on some of the largest enterprises in the world.
For example, the Sony hack in 2014 cost them over $40 million in damages, and that number continues to rise due to investigation costs, IT repairs, lost movie profits, and litigations.
The more recent Equifax breach in May of 2017 exposed confidential information of more than 143 million Americans, including their names, social security numbers, and even driver’s license numbers. While it is still too early to know what the exact numbers are in damages, reports have speculated that the massive data compromise may have cost the company anywhere from $200 to $300 million.
While these two examples may seem extreme, unfortunately the amount of money that cyber threats cost companies each year is probably alarming to a majority of people. According to a research published by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost per cybercrime for companies in the United States is $21 million. And this only counts for the direct cost of breaches, not to mention the value lost due to damaged perception to investors and shareholders, loss of data, and damaged brand identity.
As previously mentioned, when you hire an MSSP you don’t have to maintain a fully-staffed, full-time, on-site IT security department, which can easily save you hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on salaries alone, not to mention the cost of facilities, benefits, and other compensation.
If you would decide to try to hire InfoSec professionals to manage your infrastructure, you would also have to consider the expenses of recruiting costs to find the right talent, on top of their already high salaries. By utilizing an MSSP, you will not have to worry about the up-front fees that are required for these services. Many organizations also see cost savings with faster deployment times and improved time-to-value on security investments, further increasing your profit margins and savings. In fact, research conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that businesses saw an annual benefit of $229,511 each year due to increases in productivity.
Another way that MSSPs save your organization money is that there are no up-front costs on expensive technology. For example, if you choose to maintain security operations in-house, you could quickly spend $75,000 on the necessary cyber security and equipment before you are even up and running. With an MSSP, their facility, application, and analyst costs are distributed across their entire customer base, allowing your security operations to begin without the large up-front expense. To further increase your revenues, IDC found that for every 100 users, organizations saved $146,801 per year on infrastructure-related costs alone.
While the cost of numerous full-time InfoSec professionals quickly adds up on its own, the number of hours they can work is limited, pushing their value only so far. MSSPs offer continuous monitoring of your security systems, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, putting even the most advanced in-house professionals to shame.
Most MSSPs have operations across the world, meaning that they have a constant focus on the global landscape and are always up-to-date with the latest threats. This type of operation gives them a distinct advantage over organizations with in-house security functions as MSSPs are able to protect against advanced compromises and detect them early if a breach should occur.
MSSPs can also help save you money through consistent and reliable expenses. When you remain in charge of your own security operations, you may be surprised with new regulations and guidelines that come about. When these do pop up, you will typically have to spend unexpected costs to hire industry and compliance experts to handle any security program developments or control assessments to ensure you are following all industry requirements.
By utilizing an MSSP, they are already up-to-date with any revisions or additions that come out, so you can rest assured that your systems will always be in compliance. They are also able to conduct regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, perform routine security scans, and handle any other security functions for the organization.
When all is said and done, the most persuasive argument for hiring an MSSP comes down to the numbers. While the cost savings are easy to see, it still leaves the question, what is the overall return on investment when you hire an MSSP?
On average, companies will invest about $275,000 per every 100 users.
Organizations in the study quickly saw a return on that investment after just six months, and an overall ROI of 224% according to their three-year analysis. Overall, IDC concluded that for every 100 users, a company would save close to $400,000 annually due to business productivity, IT staff productivity, infrastructure management, and user productivity.
Cyber criminals are evolving at an incredibly fast pace, and even the largest global enterprises are experiencing gaps in their security systems. Without the proper protections put into place, keeping up with these revolving threats would take up a ridiculous amount of time and energy, not to mention manpower and salaries for qualified in-house IT specialists. While cost is typically the deciding factor that keeps companies from hiring MSSPs, there are many ways that hiring these providers actually end up saving you money. Whether it be reducing breach-related costs, decreasing money spent on employees, gaining the benefits of around-the-clock protection, no up-front costs, or the reliability of predictable expenses, understanding the cost savings an MSSP delivers is crucial.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t enlist the help from Managed Security Service Providers until a breach has already occurred. Don’t be another statistic. Reach out to a qualified and experienced MSSP today.