Many startups and small businesses assume they’re safe from cyber attacks because of their size. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
A whopping 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Only 14% of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks as highly effective.
Startups and small businesses don’t have the same resources as big corporations. But in many cases, they carry the same types of sensitive data sets that criminals want to get their hands on.
To solve this problem, many startups outsource their cybersecurity to a third-party. Typically, these are managed security services providers (MSSPs) or Security as a Service (SECaaS) providers.
If you want to learn how to keep your startup secure and compliant with SECaaS, find out more below.
What Is Security as a Service?
SECaaS is a type of business outsourcing. It allows you to outsource complex security issues to a team of third-party experts, so your internal IT team can focus on core tasks. It also helps you save on security costs.
Some startups choose to augment their own security teams with a SECaaS provider. Others choose to outsource their entire security apparatus.
The simplest example of SECaaS might be cloud-based antivirus software. But most SECaaS companies can provide affordable, enterprise-level security.
What Makes SECaaS Different from SOCaaS or an MSSP?
The terms SECaaS and SOCaaS are sometimes used interchangeably. They are similar, but they refer to two different models.
SOCaaS stands for “Security Operations Center as a Service.” In this model, a SOCaaS provider provides monitoring, detection, and analysis of security threats. Many SOCaaS providers practice Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). This is a process of identifying deviations and threats in event logs and other data, then responding with security controls.
An MSSP is a Managed Security Services Provider. Managed Services Providers recognized a need in their market for more security services. They then enhanced their general IT offerings with security services.
There are two key differentiators between SECaaS providers and the rest of these models. These are the level of service and the way services are delivered.
Security as a Service provider typically has more operational capabilities. “As a service” implies a cloud-based service, such as a virtual node or application. These may provide a firewall, authentication, or encryption and decryption services.
What Are the Benefits of Security as a Service?
Not long ago, every business had to do cybersecurity in-house and onsite. They installed their own software and managed their own security teams. They even used their own proprietary tools to keep their networks safe.
Some businesses even neglected to invest in cybersecurity because they didn’t think they were at risk.
But today, most companies understand that no one is safe. Since most businesses can’t muster the kind of in-house capabilities that the threat landscape demands, SECaaS is now more of a necessity than a commodity.
Thankfully, the Security as a Service comes with numerous benefits:
Access to the Latest Security Tools
It can be hard for startups and small businesses to get their hands on expensive security tools. But security providers have arrangements with state-of-the-art cybersecurity brands to offer solutions to all their customers. Some even have their own advanced tools.
If you need the very best solutions protecting your data, you can get them from an outsourced provider without having to pay a premium.
An Instant Team of Security Experts
The cybersecurity talent gap is real.
According to some estimates, there will be as many as 3.5 million unfilled positions in the cybersecurity industry by 2021. Even if you had the capital you needed to hire security staff internally, you’d have a hard time finding talent.
A SECaaS company can provide outsourced services to numerous clients. They’ll provide you with the expertise and advice you need to create a security plan and stay up-to-date on the latest threats.
Time and Money Savings
At the beginning of 2018, 86% of U.S. organizations planned to increase their cybersecurity spending in the coming year.
Enterprise-level companies may have the capital to spend vast amounts on internal cybersecurity. But small businesses and startups need the same level of protection for a fraction of the price.
Outsourcing your security to a provider is the best way to get the security you need without going over budget. What’s more, it will free up your staff to focus on core business objectives.
Depending on your business, you may need to meet specific security compliance standards, such as the following:
- FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)
- COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies)
- FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council)
- GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley)
- HIPAA (http://thephatstartup.com/money-finance/penalties-for-violating-hipaa/) and HITECH (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act)
- ISO 27001 and 27002 (guidance set forth by the International Standards Organization)
- NERC-CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection standards by North American Electric Reliability Corporation)
- NYDFS (New York State Department of Financial Services Title 23 Part 500 of the State of New York Official Compliance of Codes, Rules, and Regulations)
- NST 800-53 (National Institute of the Standards of Technology)
- PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
- SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act)
One or some of these standards and regulations may apply to your business. If so, you may need to outsource if you don’t have the right technical expertise in-house to comply.
For example, the SECaaS firm Cygilant’s Security-as-a-Service is aligned to NCUA examiner criteria and FFIEC standards – and raises Security Maturity to “Innovative” in 4 of 5 FFIEC Domains (Domains 2, 3, 4, and 5).
If your company is a financial institution, you likely work with the FFIEC. Cygilant can help you stay compliant, so no enforcement actions are taken against you.
Stay Safe: Outsource Your Cybersecurity
It can be tough for startups to admit they need help. But most startups reach the point where they can’t do everything by themselves.
At some point, every startup needs to consider outsourcing, especially when it comes to IT and Security as a Service.
Are you looking for more ways to help your business save and succeed? Get more tips from The Phat Startup Blog.