Outsourcing IT to mitigate security risks

Maintaining a state-of-the-art IT and security team is unrealistic for many organisations

As businesses become more digitalised and technology becomes more engrained in the workplace, many organisations and their IT departments struggle to keep up with the growing demand for support. Many companies are already outsourcing some or all of their IT needs, seeking specialist expertise they simply don’t have internally. Outsourcing IT is increasingly mandated by CFOs and IT leaders because it helps organisations access quality IT and security skills, and knowledge that isn’t available in-house. 

Maintaining a state-of-the-art IT and security team is unrealistic for many organisations, and IT managers can struggle to keep up with a rapid pace of technological change and digital disruption. Many organisations hesitate to embrace new technologies due to concerns they might not have the right skills and resources to manage them.

For example, security concerns hold back some organisations from adopting cloud technologies, evident in a 2018 report by Cybersecurity Insiders that revealed nine out of ten cybersecurity professionals were concerned about cloud-based security risks.

Storing valuable or classified data in the cloud can be intimidating and unfamiliar territory for many organisations, particularly if they don’t have the capacity to protect themselves from hackers, however, organisations reluctant to take up new technologies due to their inability to manage them will fall behind their competitors. 

Given the current pace of change and innovation, organisations should consider the support that works for them. External specialists can help monitor, support, and maintain their devices, software, networks, and processes. 

As organisations adopt more technology and increasingly go digital, new challenges around up-keeping and maintaining this technology will arise. Additionally, the more devices and information connected to networks and cloud databases, the higher the security risks.

Organisations that don’t have the right security knowledge, or the right security expertise within their IT team, need to consider responsible and safe options moving forward. This can often take the form of moving security and technology responsibilities to an external partner. 

Working with external security and technology professionals offers several advantages. These specialists are likely to have fresh and updated knowledge about new technologies in the market, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other predictive technologies. While an internal IT team will have plenty of skills and information, these teams often can’t adapt and keep up with the rapid pace of change and digital disruption affecting their organisations.   

Likewise, many internal security teams aren’t likely to have the latest information regarding cybercrime and malware developments, phishing attacks, or network vulnerabilities. This can leave network-connected devices improperly protected, and opens up gateways into organisations for hackers and cybercriminals. Today, no business is safe from cyberattacks so it’s important to continuously strengthen and improve organisations’ cybersecurity postures.

Depending on the needs of the business and the skills of the internal IT or security team, cybersecurity professionals can help with specific tasks or manage and monitor the organisation’s networks on an ongoing basis. Outsourcing IT and security needs to external companies will deliver higher quality tech support, security management, and access to the latest, most relevant knowledge and skills. 

Skills in security, IoT, AI, and other emerging technologies are highly valuable. It’s important for business leaders to be aware of the ways they can harness these skills by working with expert technology and security advisors and professionals. Outsourcing IT requirements lets organisations make the most of emerging technologies and securing their businesses appropriately, without needing to support a sophisticated IT, technology, or security team from within.

James Bergl is sales director, Australia/New Zealand, Datto and an executive council member ANZ, CompTIA.

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