The constant evolution of technology has led to increasingly sophisticated and frequent cybersecurity threats. As a result, the need for skilled professionals who can effectively handle these threats has never been more pressing. Sadly, there is a shortage of such experts to meet the growing demand.
The (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study revealed that the global cybersecurity workforce gap is 3.4 million people. There are over 1.1 million people in the United States alone with cybersecurity jobs, yet more than 755,000 cybersecurity job vacancies, per Cyberseek — which also found there are currently only enough cybersecurity professionals to fill 68% of the jobs that employers need.
This talent deficiency is among the most significant roadblocks companies face when addressing a cyberattack. A World Economic Forum (WEF) survey discovered that 59% of businesses would find it hard to respond to a cybersecurity incident because of a skills shortage.
To close this gap and ensure the security of their systems against cyber threats, more organizations are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) specializing in cybersecurity.
How MSPs bridge the cybersecurity skills gap
MSPs can help businesses tackle their cybersecurity limitations and weaknesses in many ways.
They can work with you to discover and mitigate current threat trends, locate gaps in existing network security, and deploy tools to address them. They can also provide vulnerability scanning and penetration testing, incident response, threat intelligence, security monitoring, and security risk assessments. Additionally, MSPs can offer automation, streamline processes — like reducing alert fatigue — provide compliance management, and give you managed detection and response (MDR).
11:11 Systems’ MDR solution, for example, combines artificial and human intelligence collected across your organization’s entire IT infrastructure to give you a more complete cybersecurity strategy. This multilayered approach helps detect, investigate, and respond to cyber threats in real-time by merging the best of managed endpoint detection and response (EDR) and security information and event management (SIEM) technology to reduce risk.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Other reasons companies seek out MSPs for their cybersecurity needs include:
- Access to expertise. MSPs have a team of skilled professionals who specialize in cybersecurity. They often have experience working with various industries and can give you valuable insights into current threat trends.
- Lower costs. Many companies can’t afford or attract the talent they need. By outsourcing your cybersecurity needs to MSPs, you can save money on hiring and training experts in-house.
- Access to the latest technology. MSPs have access to the latest tools and technologies to help you stay ahead of cybercriminals. They also stay up to date on industry trends and best practices.
- Increased efficiency. MSPs have streamlined processes for managing and responding to cybersecurity threats, so you can benefit from faster response times, reduced downtime, and more efficient use of resources.
- Scalability. An MSP can provide scalable solutions to meet your changing needs as your business grows.
How to decide the right MSP for you
However, for all the benefits they provide, not all MSPs are created equal.
When looking for a credible partner to help you bridge the cybersecurity skills gap, there are several key questions that you should ask:
- What experience do you have with our industry and compliance requirements? You want to work with an MSP with experience working with organizations in your particular industry or field. That way, they’ll have a better understanding of the unique cybersecurity risks that your business faces. They should also be familiar with any compliance regulations your industry or region has to ensure their solutions comply with all relevant standards.
- What is your approach to security? You want an MSP that takes a holistic and proactive approach to security rather than just reacting to threats as they arise. This means regularly assessing risks and vulnerabilities, implementing best practices, and staying current on the latest threats. Additionally, make sure they align with the entire NIST Cybersecurity Framework and enforce controls across all five elements: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover.
- What is your approach to incident response? How quickly and effectively the MSP responds after a cyberattack can make all the difference in minimizing damage and mitigating risks. Look for MSPs with a clear plan for responding to incidents and can act swiftly when necessary.
- How do you stay up to date on industry trends and best practices? The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, so be sure your MSP remains mindful of the latest threats and developments. Attending conferences, participating in training programs, and engaging with other experts in the industry are examples of steps you’d like to see.
- What metrics do you use to measure success? Look for MSPs with a clear system of metrics for measuring their effectiveness, such as reduced incidents, faster response times, and improved employee awareness.
- Can you provide references/testimonials from previous clients? Before committing to an MSP, ask for references or testimonials from other clients they’ve recently worked with. This can help you better understand their track record and level of expertise.
Don’t let the skills gap be your downfall
As businesses struggle to recruit and retain skilled cybersecurity professionals, the easiest — and often best — solution is turning to MSPs for support.
In doing so, you can tap into a wealth of expertise, experience, and technology, all while reducing the burden of managing cybersecurity in-house.
Of course, cybercriminals are consistently evolving their tactics and techniques, so you must do your due diligence to ensure you’re working with an MSP that best aligns with your business and needs. Know what you can and can’t handle, ask the right questions, and find the best fit.
With the right MSP partner, you can achieve peace of mind, knowing that whatever incident comes your way, the last thing you need to worry about is a cybersecurity skills gap.