How to Hire a Cybersecurity Company
Regardless of the company type or size, having the right cybersecurity measures in place is crucial. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to hire a cybersecurity company that meets your business needs.
From bike manufacturers to boutiques, bakeries, and beyond, every business is concerned with their company’s cybersecurity nowadays, and with good reason. Cyber attacks on the biggest businesses and companies in the world make the headlines, in part because we expect these corporate giants to be impervious to these sorts of cyber threats. But the truth is, any company or organization, including small businesses and startups, could fall prey to cyberattacks, and they can be costly. And examples of recent small-business cybersecurity breaches show that companies can lose thousands of dollars or more in a matter of seconds.
Cybersecurity, then, is the practice of establishing preventive practices and policies that protect your company’s network, digital infrastructure, data, and bottom line. From malware to phishing attacks, ransomware, and more, securing your business from online attacks is more critical than ever. But most organizations, and especially small businesses, do not have dedicated cybersecurity professionals in-house, which is where looking into the available cybersecurity firms and services comes into play. Let’s take a deeper look at cybersecurity companies and how they may provide the ideal information security solution for your business.
What Are Cybersecurity Services?
As the name would imply, cybersecurity services are dedicated, expert services focused solely on protecting your business’ data, network, and digital resources. Cybersecurity companies and firms can also help your organization develop and implement a cybersecurity policy, which can and should be a critical part of your company’s IT security procedures and practices moving forward.
Cybersecurity companies can generally work with you and your firm on any or all aspects of data protection, network security, and any other digital safety resources you can imagine. Cybersecurity companies will almost always begin the process by performing an in-depth, company-wide analysis of your existing security protocols (if any), network systems and setups, data structures and storage, and everything else related to your organization’s digital resources.
Cybersecurity services provided by a dedicated firm may also include off-site data management and file backups, risk assessments, cloud solutions, incident response, and compliance support. Many cybersecurity companies may offer managed IT services, including live support, antivirus resources, detailed reporting, and more.
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When Can You Benefit From Contracting With A Cybersecurity Company?
The answer to this question is, quite simply, before a problem occurs. For most businesses, both small and large, that means right now is a great time to work with a cybersecurity firm. And it also means that yesterday is the ideal time to begin working with a cybersecurity company.
Of course, that’s easier said than implemented. In reality, there is no bad time to begin looking for and contracting with a cybersecurity company. There are some key markers along any business’s timeline where cybersecurity becomes an even more pressing concern.
Most recently, the transition to more remote work options (including more than a year of full remote work and telecommuting for many employees) has meant that companies have a heightened awareness of the digital security risks and infrastructure needs that come with this kind of arrangement. And as employees request flex schedules, flexible workplace access, and other needs that have arisen, establishing concrete cybersecurity policies and guidelines, implementing those guidelines, and building a robust digital infrastructure that protects your company against cyberattacks are concerns that have moved to the forefront.
What Best Practices Do Cybersecurity Companies Follow?
There are a number of cybersecurity best practices that experts and companies follow, from the most basic to more advanced functions and processes. This ranges from having up-to-date antivirus protection on your entire network to implementing zero-trust policies and procedures, which are vital aspects to consider regardless of whether you are hiring an external firm or beginning the process of handling cybersecurity in your organization.
First, expert cybersecurity companies will utilize a risk-based approach to the topic. Identifying current threats and assessing your company’s assets and liabilities will allow them to create the most effective cybersecurity plan for your organization.
Next would be access. Controlling who has access to your business’s most sensitive resources helps to limit potential cybersecurity threats. This can range from basic access rights to the implementation of zero-trust security protocols, which require any and every user within and outside the organization to be authenticated continuously.
Other best practices include two-factor authentication, frequent and exhaustive data backups, comprehensive cybersecurity training for employees and vendors, and advanced network protection tools.
Should I Hire A Cybersecurity Company Or Handle Cybersecurity Issues In-House?
Depending on the size of your company and the resources available to you, your first instinct may be to lean toward building an in-house cybersecurity team. Much like with accounting, human resources, and other common examples, there are benefits and drawbacks to handling your cybersecurity needs internally.
The first and most obvious challenge to developing an in-house cybersecurity team is that you will have to find and hire qualified, knowledgeable people with the kind of in-depth training required, or you will be hiring entry-level cybersecurity positions and providing them with the training needed. Even if you have an established HR team that is intimately familiar with your organization and your security needs, it can be challenging for them to find and screen cybersecurity professionals who can hit the ground running. In addition, you are probably already aware of the overall costs associated with new employees; and the costs for qualified cybersecurity experts can be quite a bit higher.
When you have finally hired the right person who has the right expertise, the learning does not stop there. Technology is constantly evolving, upgrading, and even becoming obsolete. The expectation of this staff member will be to maintain the current status quo of your IT systems and training and learning new systems. This is expensive and could take time away from the day-to-day work they need to do. However, if you hire an outside agency, they will have this professional development framework already built into their business so that you do not miss a beat when it comes to new information.
Hiring A Cybersecurity Company For Your Business Or Organization
Now, look at the other option—hiring a dedicated cybersecurity company to help your organization stay safe and keep things running smoothly. While there are certainly benefits to having your cybersecurity team within the company, there are also numerous upsides to contracting with a cybersecurity company to manage your security operations, vulnerability management, and much more.
For one thing, cybersecurity firms are dedicated to providing the most cutting-edge security services available. The firm’s employees are all experts in the field and are often well-versed in everything from IT infrastructure to modern cyber threats, intrusion detection, incident response, cloud security, legal issues, and more.
In addition, we know that cyberattacks can take place at any hour of the day or night, which means that 24/7 monitoring of your company’s data and digital resources is the only real path to protection. The dedicated expertise mentioned above also includes this kind of monitoring, testing, threat analysis, and reporting, all of which can help to shield your business from possible breaches.
On top of these key features, external cybersecurity companies, security operations centers, and similar firms may offer other services and related resources to help your company centralize and protect vital business information. Managed IT solutions, cloud storage, employee or end-user training, and many other options exist and are often part of the deal when you hire a cybersecurity firm.
How Much Does It Cost To Outsource Cybersecurity?
So how much will these services cost your company? That’s a complicated question to answer. Many factors can drive the costs of working with a cybersecurity company, and those costs are based on the services you need and how large your organization is.
Conservative estimates based on other companies and what they are spending on cybersecurity services give us a range to start with, which goes from approximately 5% to 20%+ of their annual IT expenditures. This does not mean cutting your IT budget by 10% and applying it to cybersecurity needs; this percentage is a useful estimate of the additional amount that external cybersecurity services will cost.
Again, other factors play a role here, including what types of services your company needs, and whether or not there has been a data breach or other cybersecurity issue. As far as hourly rates for services such as developing a cybersecurity program and protocols for your organization, reviewing data security and IT infrastructure, and so on, you can expect costs to range from $150 to $500/hour and up.
Traits To Look For In Cybersecurity Outsourced Teams
When you are investigating the options available for your business, there are a handful of important factors to look for in a cybersecurity firm. Important questions include:
- Does this company primarily focus on cybersecurity?
- Do they offer multiple types of services and customizable options?
- Do they understand your business, field, or industry?
- What certifications, if any, do they hold?
- Have they worked with similar companies before?
- Have they protected their clients from modern cyberattacks successfully?
Some of these factors will require a discussion with the cybersecurity company, as they are unlikely to publicize their client lists and the security actions they have taken on their behalf. Regardless, these questions are important for you to bring to the process and consider as you select a cybersecurity firm to work with.
Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Cybersecurity Company
Conversely, some things you should avoid or be on the lookout for when vetting and contracting with a cybersecurity company include:
- Don’t search too hard for decades of cybersecurity experience—the field is still very new
- Don’t set your expectations too high—no solution is 100% foolproof, but the risk can be mitigated
- Don’t underestimate the risks to your company—small businesses are susceptible
- Don’t take the initial risk assessment personally—every company is vulnerable
- Don’t wait until it’s too late—start the process ASAP
Now, if you’ve decided that hiring a dedicated cybersecurity firm is the right path for your company, what should you expect once the work gets started?
First and foremost, you should expect to work with a dedicated and knowledgeable group of cybersecurity experts who are genuinely interested in learning about your organization’s structure, current needs, and future growth potential.
You’ll want to work with a company that takes a measured, systematic approach to the entire process. This should almost always begin with a thorough assessment of your current cybersecurity protocols and vulnerabilities, as well as present technology usage, users and access points, data structure, and network structure.
You should also expect to be well informed by your cybersecurity vendor at every point along the way. Frequent contact and updates are key, as well as open lines of communication for questions, research, and policy development.
And of course, you should expect top-notch customer service from the cybersecurity company you choose. In addition to the open lines of communication we just mentioned, protecting your business should include support for any issues that do arise, active involvement in continuing protection and policy development, and willingness to accommodate your company’s growth and evolution (and the cybersecurity needs that come along with them).
The Right Path For Protecting Your Business
While it would be impossible to cover every possible aspect of cybersecurity resources and hiring the right firm for your business here, hopefully, this guide has given you the critical information you need to move forward with protecting your organization’s data and IT infrastructure with a qualified, experienced cybersecurity organization. If you’re ready to take the next step, you can check out our picks of the top cybersecurity companies in the United States and Canada.
About the author
Michelle is an SEO Content Strategist at UpCity. She focuses on leveraging creative and strategic marketing practices to connect users with insightful content. Prior to her role at UpCity, Michelle has worked on both agency and in-house digital marketing teams with an emphasis on content optimization and SEO analysis.