As more staff work from home, cybersecurity threats grow stronger. Managed security services might just be the solution for SMEs.

As more staff work from home, cybersecurity threats grow stronger. Managed security services might just be the solution for SMEs.

Are managed security services the key to cybersecurity for SMEs?

Cybercriminals continue to be a menace to organizations all over the world, and having adequate cybersecurity measures is now becoming a priority for businesses around the world. However, managing cybersecurity can be a struggle for most businesses —but managed security services (MSS) are changing this.

While larger enterprises can afford to have multiple layers of cybersecurity protection, small and medium enterprises (SME) may not be so lucky. According to reports, most SMEs in Southeast Asia still lack cybersecurity protection for their businesses. One of the main reasons for this is because cybersecurity is often an afterthought for most of them.

Most businesses address cybersecurity reactively when they need to actually have a proactive approach instead. Not only will this keep businesses prepared, but they’ll also be able to use more advanced threat detection methods to deal with tougher threats.

Cybercriminals are aware that businesses are still only reactive towards cybercrime. Earlier this year, Check Point Software Technologies’ research on cybersecurity threats in APAC found that, as compared to May 2020, cyberattacks have increased by an alarming 168% in May this year.

When the pandemic forced businesses to remote working environments, most organizations, especially SMEs spent a large chunk of their finances on business continuity tools. This included ensuring employees have the right devices to work remotely and also increased their adoption of cloud services.

For cybersecurity though, most companies do not have the right skillsets to ensure their businesses and data are well secured and protected. Complicating this is that APAC currently does not have enough cybersecurity professionals. However, global tech giants such as AWS, Microsoft, and Cisco are partnering with regional organizations and higher learning institutions to help bridge the digital skills gap.

People work in a call centre of Covidom, a new remote medical monitoring app, inside the Paris public hospitals’ (AP-HP) Campus Picpus on March 30, 2020, in Paris, during a strict lockdown in France aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

So what’s the security solution then?

The answer is simple. Businesses can get someone else to do it for them. As more SMEs embark onto the cloud, their services can be managed from anywhere. As such, they can also choose to outsource their cybersecurity.

MSS are managed service providers offering security services to organizations — these companies can monitor and manage an organization’s security devices and systems. Throughout the years, most SMEs have already outsourced most of their IT services. So it is not new for them to even outsource their cybersecurity.

There are myriad MSS providers today, from large established tech vendors like IBM and Secureworks to smaller firms such as LifeTech. Services provided include managing firewalls, intrusion detection, VPNs, vulnerability scanning, and anti-viral services.

They can also help SMEs adopt a zero-trust approach to security. Most of these services are the common areas businesses are weak in when it comes to having robust cybersecurity profiles.

Here are three reasons why MSS could be a solution for your enterprise.

  • Talent management — Narrowing the security skills gap is going to take some time, but till then, the best solution is to outsource cybersecurity to the experts.
  • Reduce cybersecurity management costs — A common problem SMEs face is how much cybersecurity protection they need. With MSS, they need not worry about updating their security software or investing in more cybersecurity solutions. MSS ensures that protection and security patches are updated constantly.
  • Immediate intrusion alerts — MSS will notify businesses immediately should they detect active threats, and will also assist to remove suspected threats.
  • Compliance management — With data privacy laws getting stricter, SMEs may struggle to meet all set compliance and regulations. MSS helps them manage this by ensuring data is well protected and secured based on local requirements.
  • Focus on other areas — As MMS focuses on cybersecurity, businesses can shift their focus towards business development and implementing other technologies for better efficiency.

The challenge now is getting SMEs to understand the importance of seeing cybersecurity as a priority for their business, instead of an afterthought. As such, managed security services with their customized solutions and lower costs can afford SMEs the best solution for their cybersecurity needs.

While consumers make easy targets, unprotected businesses are far more valuable to cybercriminals. Ignoring cybersecurity is as good as leaving your front door wide open to anyone.