In the present business and political landscape, cybersecurity has finally (!!!) become cool and desirable (kind of like that Pete Davidson guy!). Of course, the recent interest in security has a direct correlation to the increase in cyber warfare, security breaches, identity theft, and other acts of digital. As such, the need for security and data protection across all organization sizes is at an all-time high. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a simultaneous skyrocketing of cyber criminal activity and increased opportunity to drive sales by boasting security posture to an increasingly aware consumer audience. With benefits like data breach avoidance, more prospective sales opportunities, more robust consumer loyalty investing in security seems like a slam dunk decision. Which begs the question… is it more valuable for organizations to hire full-time employees (FTE) for all their security needs or augment their security team with a firm that can scale up and down on manpower and expertise to ensure success?
Choosing the right security professional is a lot like choosing a good life partner: you’ve got to have aligned values, be committed to continuous evolution towards your best self, and have complimentary but different traits (or skills).
- Output of thought leadership
There are lots of examples where more is not always merrier: help desk tickets, “I had an idea”s from your boss, and in-laws during the holidays. But when it comes to savvy guardians of your data, you want it to be a party. We’ve all heard that the primary benefit of entrusting a firm to support your existing team members brings a plethora of knowledge and years of experience with the push of a button. But we like to think of it as a plethora of thought leadership and varied experience that can quickly fill in any gaps in knowledge or inefficiencies that currently exist among internal individuals with limited experience. Security firms typically diversify their employee base with experts across subsets of security environments so they can offer the most bleeding edge professional expertise in any client environment and simply rotate team members as new problems present themselves. These staff members typically have different certifications, different backgrounds, and different specialties. The advisors can then leverage each other to crowdsource comprehensive solutions to complex use cases, offering clients outstanding strategies.
- Problem Solving
More is merrier 2.0= mo’ environments, no mo’ problems. It’s like the Notorious B.I.G. would say: the more environments we come across the more problems we see (and fix). At any given time, experienced firms are working with 10’s-100’s of customers on modern solutions, which accelerates the knowledge base and expertise built around these solutions. Statistically speaking, individuals will always be capped at a maximum output due to time, energy, and resource constraints (at least until Bradley Cooper decides to share his limitless pill), so consulting firms will have greater aggregate output experiences to leverage when it comes to problem solving. Because ultimately, the more airtight your security program, the more you can capitalize on it to get to “a million sales [with your] name on a blimp”... or at least the top search on Google.
- Shortages & turnover
Circling back from B.I.G., the cybersecurity industry has an insanely high turnover rate (20% last year!). No amount of bean bag chairs or ‘bring your dog to work’ perks are going to reduce this, because studies find that security professionals typically have a higher calling and a desire for purpose (as well as hefty paychecks of course). The necessity for highly skilled professionals paired with an industry shortage makes poaching and turnover even higher than any other industry. This unfortunate reality leaves companies not only with potential security gaps, but also with high resource and time expenditure without guaranteed Return On Investment (ROI). By outsourcing parts of your security program, project execution is guaranteed, resources are conserved, and typically the specialized experience of a firm allows their professionals to get up, running, and earning the company ROI even faster. To put it more bluntly: vendors are revenue-driven and will therefore continue to invest in your company if you invest in them!
The devil’s greatest gift to customer service and marketing expenditure = Yelp (well, Yelp is outdated, but certainly opinion-sharing sites). In the age of the internet, companies are more incentivized than ever to offer exceptional service to their clients or risk irrecoverable reputational damage. For this reason alone, firms are continuously incentivized to prove their value. And in the security industry, this means robust investment into continuing education, trainings, an emphasis on service experience, and an absolute necessity to problem solve at the highest competitive caliber. Professionals have no room for lackluster performance because it could mean contract termination, or worse… being #canceled.
We are no strangers to the stigma against vendors and contractors that has historically existed, and we can all agree that hiring an employee rock star that adds value is one of the best feelings in the world, but those wins are unfortunately few and far between occurrences. Furthermore, there is no denying that the security industry specifically has become a slippery slope of talent shortages, burnout, and salaries that are getting up there in the ‘celebrity endorsement’ range. The beauty of this industry is that your success stems from having multiple security experts who are all incredibly good and vehemently passionate about different specialties related to security, compliance and data privacy. As such, hiring in-house versus hiring vendors is never an ‘either/or’ scenario: organizations like Cobalt and Eden Data are here to keep your operations running while you’re building your team and expanding your organization’s technology stack, while also serving as a trusted advisor to avoid those potholes on your road to world domination!