When organizations evaluate their cyber security risks, they think of data breaches and denial of service attacks. They worry about ransom demands and how long their systems will be down. They forget about the impact a cyber attack can have on voice communications. Companies that use the internet for all or part of their voice or video conferencing may experience disruptions during a cyber event.
For many businesses, the cost of securing their networks is prohibitive. They must protect the edge, verify users, detect intrusions, and secure firewalls. Even companies that have the resources for hardware and software struggle to hire cybersecurity personnel. It’s estimated that the global shortage of security professionals is 3.4 million. That’s why more organizations are turning to managed security as a service to protect their digital assets.
What is Managed Security as a Service?
“As a service” solutions are cloud-based alternatives to in-house operations. These as-a-service (aaS) offerings deliver solutions ranging from collaborative productivity tools to artificial intelligence (AI) applications from a cloud platform. Organizations typically pay a subscription fee to use the services.
Using managed security as a service, also referred to as SECaaS, means outsourcing cybersecurity efforts to a cloud-based, multi-tenant platform. The platform provider delivers security services regardless of location, making it ideal for remote and hybrid workforces.
What Makes a Healthy Security Strategy?
Trying to understand what security services are being offered can be overwhelming when functionality looks like alphabet soup. Providers may list such features as SASE, SD-WAN, SWG, RBI, and ZTNA. However, how those letters translate into cyber protection requires more explanation. Let’s look at what services a managed security as a service (SECaaS) provider may offer.
If SECaaS providers experience disruptions in service, their customers are without protection unless the provider offers a redundant platform. The best platforms should have disaster recovery sites outside their primary location to ensure continuous operation. Quality security providers also offer disaster recovery and business continuity services to their customers.
Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) use software applications to manage networks. The applications deliver greater flexibility in managing connectivity and traffic. Because the software rests above the physical layer, administrators can stop questionable activity remotely. SD-WAN allows IT personnel to shut down a potential threat in seconds without traveling to a physical location.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
To protect against data loss, SECaaS providers monitor data access and look for unauthorized modifications or exfiltration of data. DLP policies are created to comply with regulatory requirements such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR. These policies protect personally identifiable information and intellectual property. With more companies allowing individuals to use their own devices, strong DLP tools are essential for securing digital assets.
Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Zero-trust networks operate on the assumption that no entity attempting to access the network can be trusted. Most systems assume that once users are authenticated, they are authorized to access all resources. ZTNA follows a least-privileged model. Users are restricted to resources they use daily. If they require weekly access to specific data, they must request it.
Secure Web Gateway (SWG)
A basic cybersecurity feature monitors incoming internet traffic for possible viruses. Secure web gateways check traffic going to the internet. SWGs assess web requests against security policies to block access to questionable websites or applications. SWGs use such tools as URL filtering, antivirus checks, and HTTPS inspection for stronger web security. SWG protects against those times when employees click on links without thinking.
Antivirus and Malware Protection (AV)
Managed security as a service offers antivirus and malware protection as a standard part of any service. However, inline antivirus capabilities protect streaming against malware on endpoint devices.
Making a Security Strategy Work
Many organizations have components of a healthy security system. They may have implemented a zero-trust network or SD-WAN configurations, but the problem with most security solutions is the lack of visibility. Each component may monitor and record activity, but the information is not readily available across an enterprise.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Working with a managed security system provides the end-to-end visibility that makes security strategies work. For example, a security information and event management solution (SIEM) aggregates data from multiple sources, such as intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS). If a possible intrusion is detected, technology stops the attempt, usually by terminating the connection or dropping the data.
The goal of any SIEM system is to use the collected data to identify deviations and take action. An IDS solution may detect an intrusion attempt. The SIEM sees the data and may add information from other sources for a more complete picture. The software can then generate an alert or instruct other security tools to stop the activity.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
EDR systems collect data from various endpoints, such as workstations and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. They analyze the data to determine if a potential security breach is in progress. EDR solutions monitor the network edge continuously and in real-time to prevent malicious software from infiltrating an entire network.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
Extending security monitoring to include endpoints, servers, clouds, and networks ensures end-to-end visibility. XDR capabilities provide context for detecting threats so they can be analyzed and remediated quickly.
Looking at data beyond an in-house network presents a consolidated picture of a company’s security status in real time. It helps organizations respond more quickly to potential threats and to harden their defenses for a more secure operating environment.
Why Choose Managed Security as a Service?
Perhaps the best reason for outsourcing security is its complexity. Cybersecurity is a business with the majority of cybercriminals belonging to organized crime syndicates or nation-states. Trying to combat the sophisticated capabilities of these groups can exceed an organization’s available resources.
While SECaaS protects digital assets, it also strengthens connectivity. It keeps a network running smoothly by minimizing disruptions caused by bad actors. Bandwidth may be reduced if malicious software is working behind the scenes to steal data. With strong cybersecurity defenses, intrusions can be detected to prevent degradation in performance.
Although no organizations want to experience a catastrophic failure, they should be prepared for the possibility. What happens when, in the middle of a conference call with a key customer, the connection drops because of a cyberattack? How quickly can services be restored? If security is provided by a third party with a redundant site, the primary site will fail over to the backup location with minimal impact on operations.
In addition to maintaining seamless voice connectivity, managed security as a service can provide the following benefits.
Outsourcing cybersecurity to a managed service provider reduces hardware and software expenses. Companies pay a subscription fee for the service. Many providers allow customization, so businesses only pay for what they need. Those savings can then be transferred to other aspects of business operations that need it. With a managed security as a service model, organizations receive the expertise they need as part of the subscription fee.
Software providers issue updates to improve performance, deploy new features, and fix vulnerabilities. These releases should be installed promptly. However, IT departments often delay applying updates because of the impact on operations or staffing shortages. With managed security services, updates are applied immediately to all applicable devices. Considering the widespread nature of remote and hybrid workplaces, it’s even more important to ensure prompt updates that protect your business and employees.
The complexity of the cybersecurity landscape makes it impossible for any one professional to protect a network. SECaaS companies have the cybersecurity expertise needed to cover the entire ecosystem. From zero-trust architecture to next-generation firewalls, SECaaS providers have the resources to ensure secure implementation. Look for a partner that offers SOC (Security Operations Center) services. The right provider will use AI and ML to filter events and remove noise, as well as having live SOC analysts available to investigate anything of interest.
Scalability and Agility
Cloud-based services can scale quickly. New hires can be added to subscription plans in seconds instead of the hours IT needs to provision a new workstation. Rapid implementation of new users is invaluable when it comes to business productivity and building connections among your staff. Most providers have a user interface that keeps clients informed on their security, protecting their network.
With scalability comes agility. The same flexibility that enables providers to add to an existing plan contributes to the solution’s agility. For example, regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare receive compliance updates that impact how data is protected, stored, or transmitted. Cloud-based solutions can make compliance changes with minimal impact on their clients.
The Power of Managed Security as a Service to Achieve Seamless Voice Connectivity
Managed security services can efficiently and effectively protect digital assets and maintain voice connectivity. Redundant sites and 24/7/365 monitoring ensure maximum protection. Automated tools help staff oversee the security landscape and alert administrators of potential risks. Combining communications and cybersecurity expertise, BCM One serves as a single point of contact for seamless connectivity. Contact us to learn how to secure your communications.