Cybersecurity is an increasingly important consideration for businesses of all sizes. Cyberattacks have increased in both frequency and severity in the past several years, with small businesses taking the brunt. If you aren’t protecting your business with a solid security strategy, then you’re leaving your business vulnerable to attack. All it takes is one successful phishing scheme or one brute force attack to completely compromise your system, costing you thousands of dollars (or much more) and jeopardizing your brand’s reputation.
With that in mind, you should be taking some time right now to analyze your current approach to cybersecurity. Some businesses take it purely upon themselves, attempting to manage their strategy from the ground up; they train their employees on best practices, invest in firewalls, VPNs, and other tools, and actively monitor their systems the best they can. Other businesses outsource everything, trusting an external agency to handle all their cybersecurity needs. Which is your current approach?
The businesses that take cybersecurity most seriously typically hire a professional cybersecurity consultant to help them put together and execute the best strategy. But what are the strengths and weaknesses of this approach?
The Benefits of Hiring a Cybersecurity Consultant
Hiring a cybersecurity consultant is associated with several distinct benefits, and a few are listed below.
- Analyzing your current approach. If you already have a cybersecurity strategy in place, your consultant will help you review it for weaknesses. They’ll be able to point out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, and guide you to new, more efficient approaches.
- Checking for blind spots. Even IT experts have blind spots; there are threats they’ve never heard of or don’t understand, and biases that preclude them from thinking critically. A consultant can help you check for these potential unknowns and compensate for them.
- Answering your questions. If you’re not sure about the strength of a certain approach, or if you don’t know why or how a certain strategy works, you can talk to your consultant about it. You’ll be able to ask them whatever questions you want, and improve your understanding of technology.
- Troubleshooting and responding to threats. One of the most important elements of a cybersecurity strategy is active monitoring, so you can constantly scan for threats, including suspicious traffic, planned attacks, and other points of vulnerability. A professional consultant can help you do this by troubleshooting your tactics if and when they fail and actively responding to threats when they arise. This is invaluable if you’re facing something like a ransomware attack, where you’ll have a limited amount of time to come up with a response.
- Connections to other resources. Most cybersecurity consultants will be unable to provide you with comprehensive coverage and protection by themselves. Instead, they have connections to a vast network of resources, including niche experts in the cybersecurity field. Through these connections, you’ll be able to find access to all the tools, services, and experts you need to make your strategy complete.
- Service flexibility. Most consultants offer a wide range of services, from simply auditing your existing strategy to providing a comprehensive system of solutions. No matter what your business’s needs are or what you’re trying to achieve, you should be able to find a consultant who can help you meet your goals.
- Saving money (in the long run). Hiring a consultant can be expensive, but only initially. The cost of suffering a cyberattack or losing data is far more than you’ll pay to a consultant. Additionally, consultants can help you find ways to cut costs without sacrificing your level of protection; overall, hiring a consultant will save you money.
Are There Downsides to Hiring a Cybersecurity Consultant?
Your cybersecurity consultant will help you plan, execute, and manage your cybersecurity strategy long-term, but are there any downsides to this approach?
- Cost. Cybersecurity consultants aren’t cheap—if they know what they’re doing. But as noted in the previous section, having a better cybersecurity strategy will spare you the costs of data breaches and other attacks, ultimately saving you money.
- Trust. Consultants are only beneficial if you trust them to handle the matter with expertise and reliability. The wrong consultant can do more harm than good. Fortunately, you can avoid this potential downside by vetting your candidates and checking reviews.
- Control. In most scenarios, you’ll have full control over the execution of your cybersecurity strategy even when working with a consultant; however, you’ll still be sacrificing some control.
For most businesses, hiring a cybersecurity consultant is the right move. You can hire a consultant to evaluate your current approach, help you come up with a new strategy, or just better execute your current tactics. In any case, you’ll walk away with more robust security measures, and you’ll save money long-term.