Cybersecurity. It's a word on the mind of business owners, executives, and managers across the globe. It seems like rarely does a month go by without news of some major data breach.
If you follow the news, it's easy to find that most businesses that suffer from them without any kind of disaster management rarely last more than a year after.
You need cybersecurity professionals on your side to help you complete the projects that project your devices, networks, and systems. However, the answer you need could lie with outsourced cybersecurity talent.
Here's why you should consider using freelancers in your cybersecurity projects.
When it comes to implementing a cybersecurity project, the two most common ways of ensuring you have the expertise that you need are to outsource for it or to hire them internally.
They both have their pros and their cons, but one of the biggest cons when it comes to hiring an internal team is the sheer cost, both financially and in time, that it takes to get them in place and on your team in the first place. You must go through the recruitment process, on-board them, and often provide some level of training.
When outsourcing to a cybersecurity partner, you can avoid most of these costs. Of course, you still must come to an agreement on their rates and how you pay them, but they can often be a lot more cost-effective.
This is especially true if you only need a cybersecurity provider for a short time or for a smaller system so you wouldn't be able to fully justify hiring a full-time team member to handle it.
Your cybersecurity risk and project management demand the work of dedicated and experienced professionals. They need to bring technical knowledge of the solutions that they use, as well as a practical understanding of how cybercriminals operate and how threats tend to make their way into a system.
When it comes to building a team internally, you might find it surprisingly difficult to find and hire the people with the skills you need. In many cases, you need to help them build that skill set through ongoing training. Furthermore, you might find it difficult to retain them over time.
Besides being more cost-effective, outsourcing can also be a lot more reliable and accessible. The expertise you need is out there waiting for you, and you don't have to invest in training or retention in order to keep working with them. They're a virtual extension of your existing IT team, simply slotting in with little hassle.
Of course, you need to do your own research to make sure you're working with providers who bring the specific expertise you need, but this market is continuously growing and platforms like TopTal make it easy to find specifically those skills you need amongst their team of freelance professionals.
Rather than simply having an internal IT team that will be able to help you patch up the holes after a breach from a cyber-attack has already taken place, you need to be able to identify threats that are underway and to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.
Prevention is always better than the cure, but there are always going to be threats you can't catch before they happen. In this case, you need strong threat detection and incident response systems in place to find them as soon as they happen and cut off unauthorized access to your systems.
With their 24/7 ability to monitor and react to incidents in real time, your outsourced cybersecurity partners could offer the quick response level of protection to your systems. Add to this their proactive network monitoring and you have a watchful eye over your systems that can help you react to threats in a much more agile manner.
The quicker you can identify threats and breaches, the sooner you can prevent their access to your network and data. As such, you can severely limit the damage caused by an intrusion.
Rarely do the needs of one company or organization completely match the needs of another, when talking about their cybersecurity. Not only can their cybersecurity scale and scope vary hugely from one end to the other, but they might work with entirely different kinds of technologies.
Whether you have a simple collection of desktops or laptops, extensive networking, a data centre, online applications and portals, or something else entirely, you will be able to find the outsourced cybersecurity partner with the expertise to match your needs.
Finding access to cybersecurity professionals who are not only highly trained, but specifically trained on top of that can be difficult, to say the least. You may have to onboard them and find training for them to understand and be able to apply their experience to your systems.
With outsourcing, there's no need for that. If the cybersecurity provider you're talking with doesn't have experience with the technology in your organization, then you can simply move on and find one that does.
You are practically guaranteed to find someone with the experience and insight you need. This is especially true of networks like TopTal, that allow you to specify the capabilities that you're looking for.
Not only do you have to consider the real threat to your virtual assets and data, and the impact it could have to consumer confidence and your organization should a cybersecurity threat be carried out to full. You also must think about the different regulatory bodies that you are responsible to.
The GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC, and so on. There are a range of regulatory codes that you may be required to follow. Not only can an outsourced cybersecurity provider help you find out who you're responsible to and why. You can also find those freelancers and teams who are specifically equipped to provide services dependant on which compliance regulation you need to follow.
As such, not only can you ensure the security of your digital assets, but you can do in a way that's fully compliant with the regulatory bodies that have the power to levy heavy fines and restrictions on your business. Again, with TopTal, you can list the specific kinds of knowledge that your cybersecurity projects require, including insight into regulatory compliance.
One of the top reasons to build your cybersecurity team internally as part of your IT team is to have those equipped with the specific knowledge of your own technology, systems, and processes. However, you're also likely to hire those with no real practical knowledge of what cybersecurity is really all about.
It can be hard to find employees who aren't fresh out of college. Many who have the industry experience they need to be a true expert will then go off to freelance or set up a business since they can work more flexibly to their own employment needs that way.
As such, often the only way to get the latest industry intelligence is to work with those who have already have the experience and expertise. You can find those who have the security awareness, know the trends in threats, and have their finger on the pulse of your greatest vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity world.
If you're looking to carry out a new cybersecurity project, then it's likely because you have already identified a need and want to take the necessary steps to meet it. You might already have a good understanding of the scope and scale of your system, what technologies, processes, and people are needed. However, everyone is going to have a blind spot or two because cybersecurity threats are evolving so quickly..
Even if you have a good awareness of cybersecurity and you do have an internal IT team who are able to take care of your day-to-day needs, independent validation is important. Bringing a freelancer in from TopTal in order to take a closer look at your systems can be critical.
As such, it's recommended that you include a vulnerability scan or penetration test as part of your agreement with your outsourced cybersecurity partner. See if they can identify any risks that you have not met, and work with them to plug these gaps that you may have never otherwise have noticed without help.
It's important to be clear on this point: you can't simply leave everything up to your outsourced cybersecurity provider. You need to verify that their work meets your standards, first and foremost, but effective security means working in cooperation with your IT team, in-house, outsourced, or otherwise. This goes not only for you but for your whole organization.
However, with an outsourced expert ensuring that your business is safe and protected from many threats, you can focus a lot more on doing the work that helps your business grow and be protitable. You don't have to worry about your cybersecurity quite as much, since you have someone who can answer your questions and respond to your concerns, leaving you free to continue with your business's strategic plan.
Even if you have your own IT team, bringing in a freelancer to handle major cybersecurity projects allows them to be put to work on other projects that you want reviewed by an expert. While they should be involved in the project and working with the freelancer, you should always ensure your assets are being used where they have the most to offer to the business.
As mentioned, you already get some intel from your outsourced cybersecurity partner by having them inspect and validate your existing security posture and vulnerabilities. However, they can leave you a lot more informed about cybersecurity in all regards by the time your partnership with them ends.
It's only natural to have your employees work with your IT team to understand the systems and tools that they're using. With outsourced cybersecurity expertise, you can expand this to offer them security awareness training. Any experienced IT professional will tell you that human error accounts for breaches more often than phishing scams, malware, or just about anything else.
Your outsourced partner could educate both you and your team on the threats out there, how to identity to them, and how to respond to them even when your professional relationship with them ends.
Before the rise of specialist freelancing platforms that have allowed business owners and organization chiefs to get in touch with precisely the kind of help, they need, your sole options may have been to use "security as a service" software providers, or managed IT service providers.
While there's nothing inherently wrong with either, you may find that they are both limited in terms of flexibility. Depending on the needs of your organization or the scope and scale of your systems, they may not be able to provide exactly what you're looking for.
Now, platforms like TopTal have changed this situation so that, no matter what your needs are, you can try to find those specialists who are uniquely and best qualified to handle your cybersecurity projects.
These platforms enable to you to be specific about the objectives, requirements, and the scale of the project that you have in mind. Then, they find the best qualified, most available freelancers to respond to them. As such, the help you enlist can now respond much more flexibly to your needs.
The points above demonstrate all too clearly the advantages that outsourcing your cybersecurity needs can offer. The decision on whether to build your team internally, to outsource, or a mixture thereof, is still yours to make, but hopefully we've highlighted some of the most important considerations you need to make.
When we were building the financial risk management software that is discussed in our Amazon EBook Negative Equity - What the Banks Don't Tell You: How to Take Control of Your Home Loan Repayments and Budget we thought that the software had been hacked. It wasn't until we turned to Toptal software consultants that we managed to achieve the breakthrough that allowed us to finish the project.
It was then we decided to become a Toptal referring partner and if you want to know more about their services click here. This ensures that you will be hiring the top 3 percent of freelance talent.
They helped solve our IT problem. Sometimes it is necessary to outsource cybersecurity work. We have written an article about it here: 20 Critical Steps For Businesses Outsourcing Cybersecurity Projects.