For 2021 alone, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) reported 144 million new malware variants, 40,000 bot infections of German systems and a significant professionalization of cyber attacks. 40 percent of security breaches significantly impact business operations. The Security Operations Report showed that 85 percent of companies increased their budget for IT security measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need for comprehensive and specialized cyber defenses
Digitization is leading to networking beyond a company’s own operations, bringing with it structural changes. Local attacks thus quickly have a broad impact, for example on business partners or suppliers. In addition, there is a trend toward increased use of cloud technologies and remote working, so that data, applications and users are also located away from the corporate network. Cloud applications are considered prime targets for hackers, and email and collaboration tools are also vulnerable to malware. According to surveys, more than 50 percent of an organization’s software and services now reside in the cloud. IT security must therefore take into account the new requirements that this entails.
To prepare themselves accordingly, companies need increasingly comprehensive and specialized cyber defenses – around the clock. The keyword here is cyber resilience – that is, improving IT’s resistance to cyber attacks and maintaining its ability to function even under fire. Cyber Resilience aims to ensure uninterrupted business operations by increasing the level of IT security and minimizing the risks to critical infrastructure. The prerequisite is a holistic approach to security that encompasses the entire digital ecosystem. One component here involves intensive monitoring of the IT infrastructure. Solution approaches are required here that ensure immediate detection of IT security incidents and rapid response to them. Companies can thus prevent financial losses and damage to their reputation.
But many companies face a problem: budgets are tight and internal IT security teams quickly reach the limits of their capacities. This is because cyber attacks target companies of all sizes, regardless of the time of day, week or holiday. Accordingly, IT security teams must be able to respond to threats quickly and comprehensively. While they may be busy processing current alarm messages, a hacker penetrates the network at the same moment – undetected and thus doubly dangerous.
Security-as-a-Service for strong Cyber Resilience
Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) represents a targeted approach for companies and organizations to respond appropriately to IT security threats and strengthen their cyber resilience. Under SaaS, tasks are outsourced to external service providers. The range of available SaaS services is wide: tools and services offered by specialized external IT security service providers, so-called Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP), include, for example, data loss prevention (DLP), detection and response services (e.g., EDR, XDR, MDR), encryption, e-mail security, IT security assessments, security information and event management (SIEM), and vulnerability scanning.
When selecting security-as-a-service, the question should be which services can be provided in-house and which services need to be purchased in addition. With hybrid solutions, IT security service providers such as SECUINFRA offer approaches that can be flexibly adapted to a company’s needs through a modular structure. Customers can thus put together a customized package of IT security services and supplement precisely those services that they cannot cover themselves or can only cover at great expense. While companies with their own Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Operations Center (SOC) may only want to make use of additional consulting services or have their defense systems put to the test with penetration tests, smaller and medium-sized companies in particular often resort to almost complete outsourcing of their IT security. For example, it is possible to outsource management tasks for firewalls, intrusion detection or the monitoring of e-mail traffic, the monitoring of networks or the blocking of spam. The detection and closure of IT security gaps or the proactive cyber defense against hacker attacks can also be outsourced to managed security service providers. Last but not least, an external service provider can also provide the complete operation of a security operations center.
Take action before major damage is done
SECUINFRA, for example, specializes in the detection, analysis and defense of cyber attacks with its solutions and services. As part of its 24/7 Managed Cyber Defense Services, the IT security specialist has an already established co-managed SIEM service. In addition, 24/7 availability is guaranteed for the “Compromise Assessment” and “DFIR” (Digital Forensics & Incident Response) services. In concrete terms, this means for customers that the selection of proven services has been expanded once again. With the co-managed SIEM service, which includes optional 24/7 security monitoring, SIEM messages are monitored, analyzed and qualified around the clock. Based on the expertise gained from more than 120 successful SIEM projects, suggestions for countermeasures are also made. In addition, the Compromise Assessment (Compass) service identifies compromised IT systems; ideally, this is done before major damage has been done. As part of the regular review of the system landscape by the cyber defense analysts (Continuous Compromise Assessment) of SECUINFRA, the cyber resilience of companies is further significantly increased. However, if an IT security incident has taken place, fast support in resolving it is immensely important. With the DFIR service, SECUINFRA offers court-proof identification, protection, analysis and documentation of security incidents and supports incident response.
Managed Cyber Defense Services make costs transparent and IT security plannable; the services are usually offered remotely, which enables the fastest possible response times. The Security-as-a-Service approach frees companies from their own time and personnel expenses – and saves costs: In-house expenses for personnel, software, hardware, operation and maintenance of IT security solutions, for example, are therefore eliminated. The IT security team is relieved, it benefits from the service provider’s experience and simplified access to security technologies. The close collaboration between internal IT security and external service providers also results in a continuous transfer of knowledge, which improves the performance of internal teams and brings know-how up to date. Depending on the service package selected, companies can thus achieve reliable IT security protection, if necessary around the clock and 365 days a year, in order to strengthen their cyber resilience.
SaaS providers offer customized security solutions that can be tailored to a company’s needs. This outsourcing of IT security is characterized by high flexibility and modularity. With hybrid solution approaches, IT security know-how can be supplemented exactly where it is lacking in a company. This relieves the burden on internal teams, ensures cyber defense around the clock and 365 days a year, and supplements missing internal knowledge by deploying external, experienced security specialists. SaaS thus makes a significant contribution to robust and sustainable cyber resilience in companies.