Cost Of Ownership: Organizations recognize that security is a core component in contemporary complex and dynamic age of digital rejuvenation, specifically for the Security Operations Centre (SOC). However, effectively assessing security technologies can be challenging, especially in a highly fragmented vendor landscape.
This can lead to buying technology they cannot fully implement or use, adding complexity and frustration to an already difficult situation. Needless to say, there really are alternatives – and that’s not necessary that your enterprise to go out alone.
True Cost Of Ownership Of A SOC: Hard Technology Choices
Vendors are sometimes less than candid about how many people a company really needs to realize Return-on-Investment (ROI) from many of today’s security technologies. IT and security personnel which are under-staffed will open up more security threat than all the other organizations would.
For one thing, some cybersecurity products need more dedicated personnel with security skills than they advertise. Companies are buying cyber security solutions and quite often fail to comprehend what that really requires to execute and administer such innovative technologies efficiently in order to eliminate risk. For many security technologies, the total cost of ownership is often higher than anticipated.
In addition, businesses often must choose between focusing on security or on compliance. While the two should be aligned, the reality is that they often are not when there is insufficient budget to accomplish both objectives.
Gartner has underlined that how much an organization spends on IT is not the sole measure of IT effectiveness and is not necessarily a gauge of successful IT organizations. An enterprise might spend a considerable amount as one of its group of peers, but it may have different agendas (e.g., regulatory enforcement v’s enhanced security) which might have a different risk tolerance or risk strategy.
To top it off, there are a myriad of software products and solutions to choose from, which can make it difficult to select the right technology. In fact, one study found that some companies are using more than 75 different security vendors and products as they struggle to achieve a healthy balance between security and functionality. Despite all of these tools in use, there are still gaps.
Security’s Total Cost of Ownership
When creating a security strategy, it is critical to start by truly understanding the TCO of the technology being assessed. Endpoint protection is most often purchased on the validity of capabilities and specifications, but this ignores the inherent problem of staff and employees.
Many of the options out there require more full-time employees dedicated to the effective operation of a particular technology which can quickly drive up costs. Finding the employees with the right skill sets can also be a significant challenge.
The biggest challenge to cybersecurity recruitment is a lack of skills. Specifically, threat intelligence, technical skills, incident response and forensic investigation are in short supply. Moreover, the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 2019 estimates a shortfall of more than four million cybersecurity professionals worldwide and over 300,000 in Europe. The report notes that 65% of organizations have a shortage of cybersecurity staff.
Setting up an in-house Security Operations Centre (SOC) means gathering the appropriate tools, intelligence and people together to create an integrated solution that can withstand the test of time. It also needs to scale as quickly as the threat landscape changes. This is no straightforward undertaking. CISOs across industries frequently bemoan the lack of time and budget needed to find the right candidates.
In some cases, the recruitment itself processes can become overwhelming, resulting in a considerable distraction from a CISO’s primary function – safeguarding their organization’s systems, data, assets and intellectual property.
To staff a Security Operations Centre (SOC) on a 24/7 basis requires a minimum of 10-12 people. Employees get sick, take holidays and sometimes resign unexpectedly, and in order to ensure the 24 /7 coverage, you need a lot of people.
After locating, hiring and retaining the cybersecurity professionals to staff a Security Operations Centre (SOC), here are some of the advanced security tools and capabilities required to start building your own SOC today:
- Endpoint Forensics and Detection
- Threat Intelligence Subscriptions
- Forensic Tools
- Next-Generation IDS/IPS
- Vulnerability Scanners
- SIEM Platform
Cost Of Ownership Counting
One aspect of the cost analysis is taking a look at what help a security solution, or vendor can offer you. Just because you don’t have the full-time, dedicated staff needed in one solution doesn’t mean there are not other options available to you.
There are Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and other security solutions providers that can provide the tools you need while also supplying the skilled individuals. Many MSPs have strong partnerships for SOCs, for example, which can be a far more affordable route for many organizations than trying to take on the challenge of building a Security Operations Centre (SOC) in-house.
The fragmented vendor landscape and the promises of competing technologies can present a real risk when purchasing a security solution. It’s not as simple as checking off the appropriate boxes and then moving on. The reality of today’s modern security landscape is that the adversaries are highly sophisticated and preventative point solutions, while foundational to security good security hygiene, are routinely exploited.
The additional ability to detect adversarial behavior and critically, respond to business context to a potentially disrupting event, is an essential and often overlooked element. Calculating ROI is essential to the security solution decision-making process.
In addition to the actual technology costs, how many people will you actually need, and what skills must they have? How available is the staff that you require with that particular expertise?
Have you considered augmenting an in-house approach with partners with relevant and available skills and capabilities? If so, providers exist to help strengthen your security posture with both personnel and expertise.
Determine your Total Cost of Ownership based on your current internal resources, and that will help you understand what option works best for your organization.