Is Managed Security Worth the Cost?

May 2, 2019 Eric Dosal Eric Dosal

When it comes to business operations, cost is always a factor. For example, businesses often focus solely on the cost of managed security services when searching for a new cybersecurity partner. They often ask, “Is managed security worth the cost?” or, “What is the cost of managed security?”

I have a counter ask: “How much is the cost of a data breach or interruption of service to your company?”

Knowing what the impacts of a network security breach will be can help to put the value of managed security services into context while providing an answer to the question, “Is managed security worth the cost?”

What Does a Managed Security Service Cost?

One of the most common questions business owners have about managed security services is how much those services will cost. To be honest, the answer is: “it depends.” There are far too many variables that apply to the cost of managed security services to provide a blanket, one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

In a TechTarget.com article on the average cost of an MSSP, it was noted that, “The variety and scale of managed service offerings are so broad that it’s impossible to give one figure as an industry average.”

Some of the variables that can affect the cost of a managed security service solution include:

  • The size of your organization;
  • What assets you have on your business network;
  • What level of security you need;
  • How much development your network security has to go through to reach the desired level of security;
  • Whether you have customer-facing application programming interfaces that need securing;
  • What specific cybersecurity services you need; and
  • How often you need labor-intensive recurring services (such as network security audits and penetration tests).

For example, a small business with a fairly well-developed network security architecture will probably spend less than a larger business that needs to rebuild its network security from the ground up. It should be noted that it is rare for a smaller business to have a particularly robust cybersecurity program—but it is all too common for a larger business to need to completely overhaul its network security.

So, when assessing the cost of managed security services to determine if they’re worth the cost, it may be better to compare the MSSP’s rates for service to the cost of trying to mimic those services with an in-house team.

For example, according to data from PayScale, the average salary for a cybersecurity analyst is $76,376 per year (as of April 8, 2019). Considering that a business would need an entire team of these specialists to meet their network security needs, plus paying for new security tools on top of expert salaries, the cost of bringing cybersecurity functions wholly in house can quickly skyrocket.

The Cost of a Data Breach

Instead of wondering, “Is managed security worth the cost?” it may be better to wonder if your organization can afford a data breach. According to the IBM-sponsored 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by Ponemon, “The global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4 percent over the previous year to $3.86 million.” Previously, the average cost of a data breach was $3.62 million.

This figure does not take into account any of the hidden costs of a data breach—such as a loss of business and revenue when customer confidence in the business drops.

As the cost of a data breach continues to rise, it is becoming more important than ever to have strong cybersecurity measures in place to prevent network security incidents. If a managed security service could prevent just one data breach, it would be money well spent for almost any business.

Finding a Suitable Managed Security Service Provider

Different MSSPs will have different capabilities and may charge for their services in different ways. Finding the right managed security services provider can be a challenge because of how varied these services are.

When selecting an MSSP, it may help to look for one that:

  • Offers flexibility in their service offerings based on your specific needs;
  • Is willing to learn your existing security solutions and business workflows;
  • Has a team of experienced experts who have worked with many industry verticals; and
  • Is well-regarded by their current and past customers.

A managed security service provider that has these traits will likely be able to help your company meet its own cybersecurity goals.

Do you need help protecting your business from cybersecurity threats? Reach out to the Compuquip team to learn more about how you can protect your business from the latest cyber threats.

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