Big companies are targets of hackers because of the sheer number of information they hold.
But it also makes sense that hackers also love smaller-sized businesses, just because they are usually easy targets. In short no business on the web is safe.
Cybersecurity solutions usually involve: Automated Security, or Managed Security.
For the first, automated security uses automation and/or Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically handle the routines and tasks that are essential to cybersecurity.
These tasks include, but not limited to: analyzing security events, examining security alerts to determine whether they are false alarms, and responding to recognized threats through machine learning.
While this solution may be sufficient, automated security is a lot harder to handle. What's more, AI and automated tools require qualified personnel - something small businesses often lack. For most small businesses, they must also know that AI automated security can never replace human intelligence outright because it lacks the ability to parse vague commands or respond creatively to new threats or unrecognized event.
This is why Automated Security may appeal more to enterprises with a solid core security team which may be overtaxed.
While large businesses often have enough resources to cover weaknesses whenever there is one, their counterpart, which includes small businesses and those that just got traction, they can struggle with difficulties.
For these small businesses, particularly those lacking an IT staff, they may outsource their cybersecurity to third-party vendors. One of which, is typically known as 'Managed Security Service', or simply as MSS.
Using MSS, businesses rely on a company providing such a service (called Managed Security Service Provider, or MSSP) to manage their security by alleviating the pressures they face daily related to information security such as targeted malware, customer data theft, skills shortages and resource constraints.
Using MSSP, businesses essentially outsource their cybersecurity team and capabilities to a third-party.
This third-party should have access to top-notch capabilities and threat intelligence to help detect and remediate issues found on their clients' network.
And since Managed Security can offer 24/7 threat monitoring, patch management, and emergency response, a feat usually impossible for in-house cybersecurity teams, Managed Security should appeal better to small businesses that lack IT staff or resources.
What's more, MSS is also considered a more systematic approach to managing a business' security needs.
This is because the services may be conducted in-house or outsourced to a service provider that oversees other companies' network and information system security.
Functions of a managed security service include round-the-clock monitoring and management of intrusion detection systems and firewalls, overseeing patch management and upgrades, performing security assessments and security audits, and responding to emergencies.
There are numerous of products available from a number of vendors to help organize and guide the procedures involved.
With the many choices to choose from, small businesses can divert the burden of performing the chores manually, which can be considerable, away from administrators.
But whether or not automation or managed should be chosen for a particular business, the first step in the decision-making process is to answer the following:
- How much time is needed for managing security tasks?
- How many staffs are there responsible for the job? Are they overwhelmed?
- Is there any dedicated staff for the job? Or does managing security task involves employees with multiple role?
While the industry clearly favors AI and automation, small businesses should know their capacity and limit. If they don't have enough resources and knowledge to use automation, they are wiser to opt for MSSPs to enhance their managed approach by using automated-security technology.