Close the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with Managed Services

Many security teams struggle with the technical skills gap. It might be that your team is too small for their responsibilities, or that you’re finding it difficult to attract and retain talent. Turnover is a common issue, organizations and agencies are losing skilled individuals to more interesting or exciting jobs everyday.

Close the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with Managed Services. Source: ShutterStock
Close the Cybersecurity Skills Gap with Managed Services. Source: ShutterStock

Understanding the problem can help you mitigate its effects. Read on this article to learn:

  • How the skills gap impacts the cybersecurity industry
  • How to evaluate a managed services offering
  • How a managed service can help your team without adding headcount

Content Summary

The Impact of the Skills Gap
Overwhelmed security teams
Ineffective Security Operations
Close the Skills Gap with Managed Services
Consolidate Vendors and Tools
Help Small Teams do More with Less
How to Evaluate Managed Services
Tripwire ExpertOps
Choosing the Right Subscription Tier
Summary

Few industries have undergone as drastic a change in recent years as the cybersecurity industry. The proliferation of new types of cyber attacks, in addition to rapid progress in cloud computing and automation, sets organizations and agencies up to need more cybersecurity professionals than they can possibly find and retain given the shortage of qualified talent on the market.

This skills gap leaves security managers, directors and CISOs in a dangerous position if they place non-security IT professionals in security roles and hope for the best, as many organizations have done out of a lack of better options. One solution organizations can turn to is managed services. It is possible to maintain powerful security operations with small teams if you know where to look.

A Tripwire study found 93 percent of security professionals are concerned about the cybersecurity skills gap, and 72 percent believe it’s more difficult to hire skilled security staff to defend against today’s complex cyber attacks compared to two years ago. In addition, 81 percent believe that the skills required to be a great security professional have changed in the past few years.

The Impact of the Skills Gap

There simply aren’t enough cybersecurity professionals to meet industry demand. In order to manage the shortage of cybersecurity talent on their teams, organizations and agencies often leverage IT professionals with no cybersecurity background into cybersecurity positions.

Overwhelmed security teams

Small security teams are often overburdened with managing complex security tools to handle their most important responsibilities, like file integrity monitoring (FIM) and security configuration management (SCM). They often have too many tools to manage and not enough bandwidth to get up to speed in time to meet their compliance needs. When staff transitions, a lack of proficiency with security tools makes for awkward and incomplete hand-offs.

Ineffective Security Operations

The skills gap is much more than an HR problem. It pits underprepared IT professionals against cyber adversaries using sophisticated and ever-changing plans of attack. Not effectively leveraging the full capabilities of security tools can lead to breaches going undetected for months, costing organizations and agencies untold resources.

Close the Skills Gap with Managed Services

No organization or agency has the power to drastically alter the supply-to-demand ratio of qualified candidates in the cybersecurity industry. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the skills gap, either. Managed services can solve the skills gap problem within your organization, arming your team with the necessary security expertise to thwart cyber attacks and maintain optimal compliance configurations.

Consolidate Vendors and Tools

If your security team is underprepared, crowding their processes with too many tools and vendors is not going to help. Vendor and tool consolidation takes some time up front, but it’s well worth the effort to narrow your toolkit down to the products and services that actually help do the heavy lifting of security operations—rather than flood your team’s inboxes with unnecessary notifications.

Help Small Teams do More with Less

Less is more when it comes to using the resources of a small team wisely. Strategically implementing managed services is the best way to close the skills gap and get your security operations where they need to be. Rather than trying to recruit and train in a scarce talent market, extend your team with a dedicated engineer from your security solutions vendor. This security- as-a-service model means you’ll have an expert who stays in sync with your team, offering customized advice for improvement every step of the way.

How to Evaluate Managed Services

Once you’ve made the decision to seek out a managed services solution, how do you evaluate it to ensure that it meets all of the criteria you need? What will the total cost of ownership be compared to keeping security operations in-house— and the hiring and training that would require?

Here are the most important considerations you must keep top-of-mind when assessing the overall value of a managed services cybersecurity solution:

  • Advanced FIM and SCM with enforced policy compliance
  • Advice, incident assistance and audit support
  • A designated expert assigned to your team
  • Customized security alerts and reporting
  • 24/7 visibility and dashboarding via hosted cloud infrastructure
  • Simplified waivers and change requests
  • Organizational grading and tailored recommendations

Tripwire ExpertOps

Tripwire ExpertOpsSM provides a cloud-based managed services model of the industry’s best FIM and SCM. A single subscription includes personalized consulting from trained experts and hands-on tool management to help you achieve and maintain compliance and critical asset security. It provides stretched IT teams an alternative to the difficult process of purchasing, deploying and maintaining products.

Tripwire ExpertOps effectively closes the cybersecurity skills gap at your organization or agency by providing you with continuous staffing to operate and manage your Tripwire solution at peak efficiency. Your small security team can perform at a much higher capacity thanks to ongoing support, guidance and customized reporting that adapts to meet fluctuating objectives.

Your designated Tripwire expert will serve as an extension of your team—no recruiting or training required. You’ll receive prioritization of your team’s work efforts and present progress to key stakeholders within your organization.

Together you will jointly develop a service plan that outlines communication practices, escalation procedures and any specialized requests. The Tripwire Expert will then tune and operate your FIM or SCM solution and provide:

  • Prescriptive policy and content guidance
  • Recommendations for maximizing automation capabilities
  • Prioritized remediation to reduce risk and efficiently improve compliance posture
  • Organizational grading for visibility into groups needing additional resources and attention
  • Quarterly CISO and executive review of achievements and insight into ongoing improvement

Why Go Mananged? The skills gap doesn’t have to be an operational gap. Security teams shouldn’t overburden themselves by trying to do everything on their own. They can partner with trusted vendors for managed services or subscribe to service plans where outside experts can act as an extension of the team. – Tim Erlin, VP of Product Management and Strategy, Tripwire

Choosing the Right Subscription Tier

Tripwire ExpertOps saves organizations the additional costs of licenses, training and hardware and can reduce total cost of ownership by up to 30 percent or more compared to a typical Tripwire Enterprise deployment. Annual subscription pricing includes a base fee for the service. For existing customers, you no longer need to pay for support and will receive a discounted subscription price. Tripwire ExpertOps offers three subscription service tiers:

Essential: Essential includes best-in-class FIM plus one standard policy, basic operation and monitoring. This tier provides day-to-day maintenance of the TE console and managed nodes as a managed service for clients that need change management or compliance information. This is ideal if you’re just getting started with change management or compliance practices.

Advanced: Tripwire ExpertOps Advanced builds on the essentials with two standard policies, custom app monitoring, additional change requests, analysis and Dynamic Software Reconciliation (DSR). Receive tactical tuning assistance to ensure the most important information is highlighted for action. View customized reporting dashboards with detailed analysis and results, and get dedicated problem resolution support.

Advanced Plus: The most robust and comprehensive Tripwire ExpertOps subscription also includes custom policies, process assistance and unlimited change requests, as well as DSR and the Tripwire Enterprise Integration Framework. With the Advanced Plus tier, an assigned program coordinator will work with you to develop an operational use plan with best practice recommendations, as well as assistance with change reconciliation and prioritization of suggested remediation activities.

Tripwire ExpertOps helps you spend less time managing tools and more time securing your organization.
Tripwire ExpertOps helps you spend less time managing tools and more time securing your organization.

Summary

Many security teams struggle with a skills gap. It might be that your team is too small for their responsibilities, or that you’re finding it difficult to attract and retain talent. Turnover is a common problem, with organizations and agencies often losing skilled individuals to more interesting or exciting jobs. Luckily, strategically selecting a comprehensive managed services solution closes the skills gap and allows small security teams to run successful security operations. Tripwire ExpertOps equips such teams with the advice and support needed to protect your data from cyberattacks and stay within regulatory compliance.

Source: Tripwire