Analysts say 2021 was a record-setting year for business deals involving cybersecurity. Nearly $30 billion in funding flowed into tech companies offering security services of some kind, according to a study by M&A advisory firm Momentum Cyber.
During the same period, tech market tracker Gartner projected global spending across a range of cybersecurity services would exceed $150 billion.
“Companies across the economy have expanded their budgets for reliable cybersecurity services,” CyberScoop editor Joe Warminsky wrote about these trends. “And as cyberthreats increase in severity and complexity, smaller firms continue to develop valuable expertise in niche areas of information security.”
Among firms driving this movement are IT managed services providers (MSPs) that offer cybersecurity services.
Researchers at CompTIA report that 87% of companies around the world outsource technology services at some level. A quarter of those organizations say they use MSPs and cite cybersecurity services—advice, deployment, integration, continuing support and related offerings—as top reasons for using technology support partners.
After IT help desk and network operations support, cybersecurity services are the third most prevalent offering by MSPs, according to CompTIA. In fact, more than a third of MSP firms polled said they are increasing investments in staff with specialized cybersecurity skills.
Whether companies aim to use internal resources or outside partnerships to meet their technology challenges, there is growing demand for targeted skills in threat management, proactive testing and regulatory compliance.
How is your organization meeting surging demand for security skills?
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: From Recoverability to Resiliency
Too often, the acronyms BC and DR are used interchangeably or as the inseparable pair, BC/DR. This tendency implies functional equivalency between the two practices. Yes, both disciplines are closely related with overlapping activities. And yes, the same technology foundation reinforces both.
But a pivotal difference is seen in their objectives.
BC pursues operational resiliency, which CIO magazine defines as “maintaining business functions or quickly resuming them in the event of a major disruption.” DR focuses more narrowly on recoverability, meaning restoring “IT infrastructure and operations after a crisis.”
Understanding this distinction is crucial when attacks like phishing, ransomware and denial-of-service campaigns pose perpetual threats to individual users, information assets and network operations.
That’s why we advocate giving strategic priority to BC when planning investments in technology services. We’re not suggesting DR is less important to your business than BC. Rather, we see recoverability as a critical milestone on the path to resiliency.
Furthermore, during DR design we recommend listing cyber incursions as your top risk. Again, we’re not arguing physical catastrophes such as fires, floods and severe weather don’t pose significant business risks. At issue here is frequency. Cyber crooks prowl every hour of every day.
IT Strategy: Put Technologists on Your IT Team
It’s not exactly breaking news that there’s a “tech skills gap” in the U.S. job market. The supply of skilled tech workers continues to fall short of demand.
According to U.S. Labor Department statistics, during any given quarter as many as half a million technology positions go unfilled.
Your company has probably felt the effects of this talent gap on your internal IT team. And as managed services providers, we stand ready to augment or supply your business with technical expertise in cybersecurity, cloud computing, network operations and other critical areas of business technology.
But tech skills are only half of what drives growth in today’s era of digital transformation. Business insight is the other. That’s why our services include consulting and support for hybrid working environments, business continuity, incident response and other management challenges you face.
We understand that both sides of an IT services relationship need staff with both technical and business savvy. With that goal in mind, we advocate that you look to hire technologists for your inside team, not just skilled technicians.
What is a technologist? Here are three key traits:
- Strategic thinker: Before they start working with technology or put technology to work, technologists step back and plan.
- Passionate problem solver: Technologists don’t see problems as obstacles to avoid. They consider problems to be opportunities for solutions.
- Dedicated to collaboration: Technologists respect their employers’ codes of conduct, appreciate the contributions of colleagues (from both inside and outside of their firm), and understand the best path to success is teamwork.
Davora works at TeamLogic IT in Plano, Texas. She is CompTIA Network+ certified and a student pursuing her Bachelor’s in Information Systems & Cybersecurity.