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What to Look for in a Cybersecurity Partner

by | Jul 19, 2022 | MyTek Blog

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Cybersecurity in the post-pandemic world is vastly different from what it was a few years back. Enterprises and SMBs are up against more sophisticated, damaging, and resilient attacks that require specialized experts to address, contain and mitigate them in time. If you’ve decided to hire a cybersecurity partner in 2022, you are on the right path. According to a report by UpCity, 58% of small businesses have been victims of cyberattacks in the last 2 years and an FBI report states that U.S. businesses have lost more than $6.9 billion in cyberattacks in 2021, up from $4.2 billion in 2020. 

Cybersecurity partners help you safeguard your assets while engineering custom products to strengthen your IT security infrastructure and offer security consultancy to rejig company-wide security standards. But finding the right one for your business can be a hassle. Given the difference the right cybersecurity team is going to make in your company, it’s important to make educated decisions. 

We’re going to help you identify the things you need to look for in a cybersecurity firm and how you can separate the best from the rest.

1. Check for relevant use cases

When you look for cybersecurity experts, chances are, you have immediate security goals in mind. It can be system audits, penetration testing, remote desktop management, security training, or something else. The first step is to find experts who have demonstrated a history of working on similar tasks. 

Read case studies on their website, check online reviews, talk to their customers, and analyze their performances in similar projects to measure how they’ll perform on your contract. An average cybersecurity firm will oversell their services without sharing details on relevant projects. However, a good partner will explain how they solved similar problems in other organizations and help you see the difference.

Getting the right fit is everything in cybersecurity and you cannot trust a partner who doesn’t have relevant experience. 

2. Verify experience in your industry

Speaking of relevancy, use cases alone shouldn’t push you to make a decision. A lot depends on the industry experience as well. For instance, healthcare security issues are vastly different from the security attacks faced by manufacturing and heavy metal industries. Go for a partner who knows the ins and outs of your industry. Ask for their training credentials and see if they’re experienced—both on paper and in the real world. This helps you kick off a project sooner and without any communication breakdowns.

Average firms try to be the jack of all trades to cast a wide net. But you don’t need standardized services, you need specialized solutions that can only be offered by firms that have the experience in servicing your industry. 

3. Analyse whether they offer ranged expertise

Once you tick off the relevancy metrics, it’s time to focus on whether they offer a range of services. Ideally, companies onboard cybersecurity partners to solve one pressing issue and then analyze whether their experience can be extended to other parts of the business as well. 

Good cybersecurity firms offer managed IT services that cover a range of security services. This includes 24×7 network and bandwidth monitoring, regular security patch installation, virtualization, proactive threat management, data storage security, and even helpdesk support. It’s important to go over the SLAs carefully and make sure the scope of work aligns with your requirements.

4. Check compliance expertise

Industries today are heavily regulated by compliance policies and you cannot afford to be on the wrong side of the law. From HIPAA and GDPR to PCI DSS, you need a cybersecurity partner that can employ compliance best practices and protect your business from financial and reputational damages. 

Good cybersecurity firms should be able to provide necessary compliance certifications and be able to exceed expectations in terms of auditing and enforcing policies to safeguard your data. When it comes to hiring experts for compliance, ask for a detailed roadmap and demos. 

5. Verify scalability and custom solutions

Average cybersecurity firms offer you the solution you know you need, good cybersecurity firms find security flaws you didn’t know existed and fix them for you. Scalability plays a big role in finding the right cybersecurity partner because hiring multiple partners for different security projects is counterproductive for your business. 

Patchworks and antivirus services alone cannot protect a business from cyberattacks. You need to make sure you hire people who use cutting-edge tools to offer bespoke solutions. Scalability is not restricted to only the tech stack, it also focuses on consultancy. Only the best cybersecurity firms can start as security partners and gradually become security consultants. They brainstorm security strategies and help businesses document policies for the future.

6. Does their vision fit into your company goals?

It’s not rare to find firms that are good at what they do, have relevant experiences, and fit the budget—but they don’t necessarily align with your business. Cultural compatibility plays a big role in the success of security partnerships. When you’re trusting someone with critical data, verify if their vision aligns with yours. Look at their communication policies, identify if they’re flexible with client requirements, and most importantly, if they’re objective in their assessments. Average cybersecurity firms will focus more on pleasing their customers but you as a customer need honest conversations regarding security. 

How do you know if you hired a good cybersecurity partner?

Getting everything right on paper is vastly different than seeing everything unfold with time. You’ll know you have made the right choice when you find all of these elements in your cybersecurity partner:

  • You’re aware of the firm’s organizational hierarchy. They follow a transparent chain of command and you know who to reach in case of an emergency
  • The cybersecurity firm frequently sits with your company to provide reports
  • They’ve constantly hit your security KPIs
  • They are eager to communicate and go out of their way to guide you. They assume the role of security experts in the room and educate your team
  • You have peace of mind after hiring them. 

Having a dedicated team who knows what they’re doing and are passionate to help their customers succeed is important, and rare. We at MyTek have built a team culture to not only plug cybersecurity loopholes in businesses but also help prepare them for the future. As the preferred cybersecurity partner for Phoenix-based businesses, we offer a wide range of managed services and scalable solutions to keep your company on the right track. Get in touch with MyTek to see how we can help you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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