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Security Management – A CISO’s Nightmare

CISOs and CSOs have complicated roles, with multiple areas of responsibility—but do they really need to manage their security solutions themselves?

Security is a hassle. You cannot just deploy and forget your security solution, and then hope for the best. It’s like a houseplant—you need to take care of it almost on a daily basis.

There are several aspects of this that are important to consider:

  • Time: Managing a security solution takes time. Even beyond its initial setup, there’s ongoing time requirements: making sure the solution is up to date, adding new rules and ACLs, and continual monitoring to make sure everything is working as expected. The person in charge of this is usually the organization’s CISO.
  • Multiple Solutions: Many organizations maintain multiple security solutions to defend against different threats. The more solutions you have, the harder it is for you (as the CISO) to manage them all.
  • Money: Having a staff person maintaining the security solution is costly, especially when this person is a high-level employee such as the CISO. How much is each hour of the CISO’s time worth?
  • Security: In today’s threat environment, managing a security solution requires a high level of expertise, and this standard is continually rising due to the rising complexity of potential forms of attack. Many executives believe that spending a lot of money on a high-powered security solution will ensure good protection. Unfortunately, the most expensive solutions are not always the best, and even the best solutions cannot always provide good protection if they are not managed properly.

Managed Security

In-house management of a security solution is neither simple nor inexpensive, and ultimately it might not even be effective. To solve these problems, many organizations today are moving to Managed Security Solutions. Rather than having an in-house person maintaining their security solutions, these organizations are letting the security vendor(s) manage them. This solves all the issues noted above, and has many other benefits as well.

In these organizations, there is a person (usually the CISO) that is in charge of communication with the security vendor. Serious vendors have dedicated 24/7 support teams that can handle any request, big or small, immediately, and most issues can be solved instantly via a quick phone call or a brief email.

In the best cases, one security vendor can provide and manage multiple forms of security, because some offer all-in-one platforms (i.e. a next-gen WAF, DDoS protection, and hostile bot protection, all in the same solution). This saves the CISO even more time and money.

So why isn’t everybody doing this?

If having a managed security solution is so great, then why aren’t all organizations using this approach? There are two common reasons: money and insufficient knowledge.

First, money. On the surface, it often seems that a managed security solution costs more than other security solutions.

But what about factoring in the cost of the CISO’s time? And then there’s also the opportunity cost, because the CISO can’t apply that time to other projects. When you add it all up, more often than not, the price of having a managed security solution is lower than managing a solution yourself.

As for insufficient knowledge: when it comes to security (especially cloud security), people can still be rather anxious. Old norms still control the industry, and people still think that managing their security in-house (on-premise) is safer. This is why we see so many organizations experiencing breaches that could have been avoided. (For example, the organizations didn’t have the most recent updates, or they did not have the solution configured correctly.) When the security vendor is managing your security solution, you can rest assured that your organization will have current, complete, and effective protection.

To learn more about Managed Security contact us here.

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