Cyber Security

Your ultimate business guide to cyber security managed services

In this guide, we're exploring the critical aspects of managed cyber security services, exploring the challenges, advantages, and essential criteria for choosing the right provider. We share our expert insights on enhancing your business’s security posture, drawing on extensive experience in the field to guide you through optimising your cyber defence strategies.
A photo of Ian Welch, who is a partner & technical director for Network

Written by

Ian Welch

Ian is the Technical Director @ Network and a certified ethical hacker (CEH), security professional (CISSP) and ISO27001 lead implementer with over 25 years experience.

Updated on

May 3, 2024

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Before we dive in

Are you looking for cyber security for your business today? If so, check out our cyber security services to see if we're a good fit for your requirements. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy our guide below!

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Key Takeaways

  1. Discover how managed cyber security services can streamline your security measures, offering expert guidance and advanced threat protection tailored to your business needs.
  2. Explore the unique challenges UK businesses face with remote and hybrid working environments, and learn how effective cyber security management can mitigate these risks.
  3. Evaluate the crucial factors to consider when choosing a cyber security partner, ensuring they align with your business’s strategic goals and provide scalable, proactive security solutions.

What are managed cyber security services?

Managed cyber security services involve outsourcing your business's security management and operations to specialised providers. This approach is often more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team.

These services include comprehensive protection strategies and utilise a range of established frameworks to ensure your business's security posture is both resilient and compliant.

Here's a look at some key frameworks employed:

  • NCSC Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF): Provides a structured way of assessing your organisation's ability to manage cyber threats, focusing on governance, risk management, and incident response.
  • Cyber Essentials: A government-backed scheme that offers a strong foundation in cyber security practices to guard against the most common cyber threats.
  • The IASME Governance Standard: This standard includes a GDPR readiness assessment and is often seen as a best-practice alternative to ISO 27001, especially for smaller businesses.
  • SOC2: Designed for service providers storing customer data in the cloud, this framework ensures management of data in a way that protects the interests of the organisation and the privacy of its clients.
  • ISO 27001: This international standard provides specifications for an information security management system (ISMS) to manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted by third parties.
  • PCI-DSS: Ensures that all companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment, essentially protecting cardholder data.
A business owner looking overwhelmed as he realises he's had a cyber security breach

Do these cyber security challenges sound familiar to your business?

Your staff are anxious about phishing and malware, unsure how to identify the threats.

You’re concerned that your current cyber security measures might not be strong enough.

There’s increasing pressure to ensure customer data is more securely protected.

What solutions do managed cyber security services provide?

Managed cyber security services offer a comprehensive suite of solutions to protect your business from emerging threats and enhance your security capabilities. These solutions include:

  • Security Operations Centre (SOC): Acts as the central point for all security issues and event management, using real-time data to identify and respond to threats.
  • Network Auditing: Evaluates your network for vulnerabilities and inefficiencies, ensuring optimal operation and security.
  • Endpoint Detection & Respond (EDR): Monitors endpoint and network events to detect, investigate, and respond to potential threats.
  • Phishing Simulations: Tests employee awareness and resilience to email scams by simulating realistic phishing attacks.
  • Vulnerability Scanning: Identifies security vulnerabilities in your systems to prevent exploits before they occur.
  • Dark Web Monitoring: Scours hidden online markets to detect if your business data is being traded or sold.
  • Security Awareness Training: Provides in-depth training to educate your staff on the latest security protocols and threat prevention.
  • Penetration Testing: Simulates cyber attacks on your systems to identify weaknesses in your security posture.
  • Managed Compliance: Ensures your business meets all relevant regulatory and compliance requirements to avoid penalties and fines.
  • Ongoing Support: Provides continuous assistance and consultation to ensure your security measures remain effective.

Why cyber security services are important for businesses and their teams

Managed cyber security services offer a cost-effective solution that greatly reduces the potential damage from data breaches.

These services provide expertise in threat management and incident response, which are vital as the nature of cyber security means that incidents are inevitable.

Having a reliable security service provider means you have expert support on hand to manage these incidents, ensuring they are dealt with swiftly and efficiently to minimise impact.

This partnership allows you to focus on your core business activities with complete peace of mind, knowing that your cyber defences are managed by professionals.

What challenges do businesses face when it comes to cyber threats?

The shift to remote and hybrid working models has introduced significant cyber security challenges for UK businesses. These challenges revolve mainly around securing remote connections, managing device security, and educating employees about cyber threats.

Securing remote connections

One of the most significant risks associated with remote working is unsecured connections. Employees accessing company data via public Wi-Fi or unsecured networks put sensitive information at risk. Using virtual private networks (VPNs) is a crucial step in mitigating these risks, ensuring that data transmitted remains encrypted and secure from interception.

Managing device security

The use of personal devices for work-related tasks presents another challenge. In many cases, these devices lack adequate security measures, such as antivirus software or proper encryption, which could lead to data breaches. UK surveys have found that a significant percentage of company-supplied devices do not have necessary cybersecurity protections, which could leave them vulnerable to attacks. Managing these devices to ensure they are regularly updated and monitored is critical to protecting organisational data.

Phishing and social engineering

Phishing attacks have seen a marked increase, particularly with employees working remotely. These attacks often involve fraudulent emails designed to steal sensitive data. Regular training and awareness campaigns are essential to teach employees how to identify and handle suspicious emails and requests.

Human factors and internal threats

Remote work can often lead to situations where employees are less vigilant about security practices due to the informal nature of home environments. This can increase the risk of unintentional data exposure or falling victim to cyber scams. Additionally, the dispersed nature of remote work can complicate the identification and response to security breaches, making it harder to contain them efficiently.

Compliance and data protection

Ensuring compliance with data protection regulations becomes more challenging when employees are scattered across various locations. This situation requires robust policies and security measures to manage access to sensitive information and secure connections.

To navigate these challenges effectively, businesses have the option to invest in comprehensive cyber security managed services that offer advanced threat detection, incident response, and ongoing support to maintain high-security standards and protect against evolving cyber threats.

These services help in fortifying defences, managing IT compliance requirements, and ensuring that employees are up to date with their cybersecurity training.

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The top 6 benefits of working with a local managed cyber security service

When it comes to safeguarding your business against cyber threats, partnering with a managed cyber security service can offer several unique advantages. Here are six key benefits:

  1. Strategic Cyber Security Planning: Managed cyber security services contribute to the strategic planning of your cyber defence measures. They help you align your cyber security measures with your overall business objectives, ensuring that every security initiative supports your broader business goals. This approach helps in creating a resilient and adaptive cyber security posture that can evolve with changing threats and business needs.
  2. Access to Specialised Expertise: With a managed cyber security service, you gain access to specialised expertise that might be too expensive or difficult to maintain in-house. These services often employ experts who are well-versed in the latest security trends, techniques, and regulatory requirements, providing you with insights and capabilities that can significantly elevate your security posture.
  3. Scalability and Flexibility: Managed services offer scalability that can adapt to your business's growth or changing needs without the need for significant capital investment. Whether scaling up due to business expansion or scaling down in more conservative times, these services adjust to provide optimal support without compromising on security.
  4. Enhanced Incident Response and Recovery: A managed cyber security service improves your ability to respond to incidents and recover from them. These providers often have sophisticated operations centres and follow proven protocols that allow for quicker detection, analysis, and containment of threats, significantly reducing recovery time and impact.
  5. Proactive Risk Management: Instead of reacting to incidents after they occur, managed services take a proactive approach to risk management. Through continuous monitoring and real-time threat detection, they can identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities before they are exploited, thus maintaining a more secure environment.
  6. Cost Predictability and Reduction: Managed services provide cost predictability through subscription-based models, which can be more manageable than the variable costs associated with handling cyber security in-house. Additionally, by outsourcing your cyber security needs, you can reduce the costs associated with hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house team.

These benefits highlight how managed cybersecurity services can provide resilient security solutions that are cost-effective, strategic, and adaptable to the unique needs of your business, allowing you to focus on core business activities with peace of mind about your digital security.

How to choose the perfect cyber security partner for your business

Selecting the right cyber security consultancy service is important. According to a majority of our clients, one main reason they chose to switch cyber security services was due to poor communication.

Finding a new cyber security partner can be difficult, especially if you've had a bad experience in the past. Here's a checklist to help you make an informed decision:

  • Expertise and Credentials: Does the provider have a proven track record with businesses similar to yours? Look for certifications like ISO 27001, Cyber Essentials, and experience in your specific industry.
  • Their Security Solutions Suite: Does the service offer comprehensive solutions that address your specific needs? Ensure they provide essential services such as vulnerability scanning, incident response, and managed detection.
  • Consider the Scalability: Can the provider scale their services to match your business growth? Ensure that their solutions can adapt to your evolving security needs.
  • Check for Proactive Threat Hunting: Does the provider offer proactive monitoring and threat hunting services? This is crucial for anticipating and mitigating potential threats before they cause harm.
  • Review Their Incident Response Time: How quickly does the provider respond to and resolve security incidents? Fast response times are critical in minimising the impact of a breach.
  • Assess Communication and Support: How effectively does the provider communicate with their clients? Regular updates and transparent communication are essential for a strong partnership.
  • Understand Their Compliance Assistance: Does the provider help you meet necessary regulatory requirements specific to your industry, such as GDPR, PCI DSS, or HIPAA?
  • Their Reputation: What do other clients say about their service? Look for testimonials, case studies, and reviews that can provide insight into their reliability and customer service.
  • Pricing Model: Is their pricing transparent and predictable? Ensure there are no hidden fees and that their cost structure aligns with your budget.
  • Innovation and Adaptability: How does the provider stay ahead of the latest cyber threats and technologies? Your partner should be committed to ongoing learning and adaptation to new cyber security challenges.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a cyber security partner that not only meets your current needs but also supports your business's future growth and security demands.

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We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of managed cyber security services, highlighting the significant challenges, benefits, and key considerations for choosing the right partner for your business needs.

Does your business face similar cyber security challenges? How do these challenges impact your operations and team?

We'd love to hear from you and explore how we can assist. If you're considering a new security services provider, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.