How (and Why) to Choose a Cybersecurity Provider

A cybersecurity provider helps you keep pace with emerging cyberthreats and protect against cyberattacks and data breaches. With the right approach, you can select a cybersecurity provider that meets your expectations.

History of Cybersecurity Providers

The history of cybersecurity and cybersecurity providers dates back to the 1970s. At this time, researcher Bob Thomas created a computer program referred to as "Creeper" that would move around the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). Creeper left a breadcrumb trail wherever it went. 

Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of emails, developed a program called Reaper that found and removed Creeper. Reaper was the first antivirus software and first computer worm.

In 1987, the first commercial antivirus products were released. Over the next decade, the internet developed and grew, and people used antivirus products to protect data that they stored on it. Many people started putting their personal information online, and they risked having their personal information stolen by cybercriminals.

By the late 1990s, internet service providers (ISPs) started offering firewall appliances. This marked the beginning of managed security services providers (MSSPs).

In the early 2000s, crime organizations began to fund global cybercrime activities. To combat crime organizations, governments started developing and implementing cybercrime legislation.

Since this time, cyberthreats have continued to increase in severity and volume. The Identity Theft Resource Center reported a "record number" of data compromises in 2021, and cybercriminals continue to look for new ways to attack businesses.

What Is a Cybersecurity Provider?

A cybersecurity provider is a third party that handles your security. You can outsource certain aspects of your cyber protection to a cybersecurity provider. Or, you can partner with a cybersecurity provider that offers all-in-one cyber protection.

What Services Does a Cybersecurity Provider Offer?

  • Application Security: Helps you securely build and launch apps and make sure they comply with industry data protection requirements
  • Cloud Security: Protects your cloud data, applications, and infrastructure, helps you migrate to the cloud or safeguard your existing cloud environments, and monitors and manages your cloud environments
  • Endpoint Security: Safeguards your end-users and devices against ransomware, malware, and other cyberthreats, monitors your users and devices, and detects and resolves cyberattacks and data breaches
  • Intrusion Detection: Monitors your networks and systems and alerts you about any indicators of compromise (IOCs)
  • Managed Detection and Response (MDR): Provides threat intelligence and analytics and investigates and responds to security incidents
  • Network Security: Monitors and manages your network, makes sure only authorized users can access it, and offers tips and recommendations to maximize security across your network
  • Security Information and Event Management: Monitors and analyzes security events in real time and tracks and logs security data
  • Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR): Coordinates and executes incident response activities and identifies and eliminates security gaps in your IT infrastructure
  • Security Monitoring: Looks for suspicious activities and behaviors across your IT infrastructure and notifies you about them
  • Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment: Looks for security flaws in your IT infrastructure, analyzes security vulnerabilities, and provides you with insights on how to address them

How Cybersecurity Services Are Delivered

  • On Premises: Your services are set up on site at your business, and you manage them on your own.
  • Managed: One or more of your services are outsourced and managed by an MSSP.
  • Hybrid: Some of your services are set up on site at your business, and others are outsourced and managed by an MSSP.

Why Should You Partner with a Cybersecurity Services Provider?

  • Industry Expertise: Your services are backed by a cybersecurity provider that has industry professionals on hand to address any security issues.
  • Time and Cost Savings: You don't have to look for or pay in-house cybersecurity staff to handle your security; instead, your cybersecurity provider manages your security so you can focus on your day-to-day business activities.
  • Personalized Cyber Protection: Your cybersecurity provider learns about your business and its security requirements and offers services that line up with what you need.
  • Security Coverage: You get 24/7/365 cyberthreat protection.
  • Compliance and Auditing: Your cybersecurity provider can secure your IT infrastructure in accordance with GDPR, PCI DSS, and other industry requirements.

How to Choose a Cybersecurity Services Provider

Figure Out What You Want from Your Cybersecurity Provider

  • Evaluate your security operations
  • Determine how much money you can spend on cybersecurity — and how much you'll need to get the optimal level of cyber protection
  • Conduct surveys and questionnaires of employees and C-suite leaders to learn about any security issues that they deal with on a regular basis
  • Ask a cybersecurity provider to audit your IT infrastructure and tell you about any security gaps it finds
  • Get information from the provider on what services you can use to secure your infrastructure

Ask the Following Questions When You Meet with Cybersecurity Providers

  • How will you protect my data and systems against cyberattacks?
  • Can you tell me about your staff's cybersecurity qualifications?
  • Do you have your own security operations centers (SOCs)? If so, where are they located? And are your SOCs operational 24/7/365?
  • How do you work with customers during security incidents?
  • If a cyberattack occurs, how quickly will you respond to it? And when will I find out about the attack?
  • Can you describe a time when you put an incident response plan into action?
  • How do you onboard a new customer?
  • What do your service-level agreements (SLAs) cover?
  • How much do your cybersecurity services cost?
  • Will I be able to use my existing cybersecurity tools with your services? Or, will I need to implement new cybersecurity tools or systems?
  • Who do I contact if I have a concern or question?
  • Why should I choose you as my cybersecurity provider?

Take As Much Time As You Need to Make the Right Decision for Your Business

  • Meet with multiple cybersecurity providers, multiple times, to learn about a cybersecurity provider and how it can help you improve your security posture
  • Get quotes from several cybersecurity providers so you can see which providers offer security services that align with your budget
  • Request customer references and reach out to them to get insights into what it is like to work with a cybersecurity provider
  • Find out how long it will take a cybersecurity provider to implement its services across your operations
  • Get documentation that verifies the pricing and services that a cybersecurity provider offers

Looking for Cybersecurity Services That You Can Trust? Sophos MDR Delivers

Sophos MDR is a fully managed cybersecurity-as-a-service offering backed by threat hunters and experts that:

  • Hunt for and validate cyberthreats and security incidents
  • Provide insights into a threat's context and potential impact
  • Remotely disrupt, contain, and neutralize threats
  • Provide guidance for addressing the root cause of recurring incidents
  • And much more

To get started with Sophos MDR, please contact us today.

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