Cybersecurity breaches continue to surge with the increased use of online systems for business operations. Gartner reported that worldwide spending on IT security and risk management technology and services is expected to reach more than 188.3 billion in 2023. Yet, hiring a cybersecurity provider requires careful analysis and decision-making. You will be entrusting your network, systems, and digital assets to this cybersecurity partner, so you need to make the best possible choice. We recommend considering these screening questions before you hire a cybersecurity provider:
1. Do You Have Experience in My Industry?
Cybersecurity services are rarely a one-size-fits-all product. You should first discover if a cybersecurity vendor has clients in your industry (or a closely related one). For example, if you’re a healthcare provider, then your IT security team should demonstrate a depth of experience and knowledge with HIPAA compliance.
Your cybersecurity partner should understand the nuances of your operations to perform a thorough infrastructure assessment to determine the appropriate cybersecurity risk management strategies for your company.
2. What Are Your Data Loss Prevention Capabilities?
Before you hand over your network and systems to a cybersecurity vendor, you should learn more about their data monitoring and protection practices. Data losses can occur outside of cyber incidents, such as inadequate physical storage if you don't rely on cloud technologies. Ensure that your cybersecurity vendor uses the latest and most reliable cloud-based tools and platforms to monitor your company data securely.
Do they have playbooks for how their security team manages incident responses? Ask them to show you their documented procedures so that you can assess the maturity of their operations.
3. Have You Been Audited by a 3rd Party?
A mature cybersecurity partner will readily and regularly submit themselves to an independent assessor to validate that their processes meet cybersecurity industry standards and regulations. If you’re in a highly-regulated industry, your cybersecurity provider needs to be ready with secure systems and procedures to help you execute your compliance requirements.
At Net Friends, we participate in an annual SOC 2 Type II audit with KirkpatrickPrice to confirm that our information security practices and policies meet the industry standards stipulated by the AICPA. Learn more about it here.
4. How Well Do You Screen Your Staff?
A valuable cybersecurity vendor should be willing to inform their clients about their recruitment policies. While you may not always get full staff profiles, you should know whether they have full-time employees or contractors handling your company’s data. Many cybersecurity teams are accustomed to showing their team’s certifications and credentials. You want to be confident that their hires are trustworthy and knowledgeable professionals.
5. What Are Your Product Research and Procurement Processes?
Procurement processes are an essential component when you are screening a potential cybersecurity partner. Explore each vendor’s multi-stakeholder input and how they integrate their IT security, engineering, and operations personnel into their sourcing processes. Do they leverage their team’s experts in a formal Research & Development (R&D) process? You need a robust cybersecurity partner that thoroughly identifies and eliminates blind spots in their services; not one that may expose you to a high level of risk.
6. How Often Do You Conduct Remote Testing?
Your cybersecurity provider should conduct frequent vulnerability, penetration, incident response, and simulated attack testing. They will discover and correct any vulnerabilities in your network. Also, these tests validate their remote technology investments, procedures, and security. Your cybersecurity partner must proactively protect your company’s network and data.
7. What Risk Management Strategies Will You Bring to the Table?
A good cybersecurity vendor should perform risk and infrastructure assessments that will guide the development and implementation of your risk management and Managed Detection and Response (MDR) framework. Good cybersecurity partners will help you build your Cybersecurity Roadmap and IT budget, and implement IT security measures, such as multi-factor authentication for internet-connected resources, data encryption, and the appropriate remediation of outdated tools.
Your cybersecurity partner should also keep abreast of and safeguard your company against the latest cyber threats. Even when their operations are not at risk, the occurrence of any breach should prompt a tightening of your cybersecurity provider’s IT security processes.
Your Preferred Cybersecurity Partner
Net Friends is your best choice for exceptional managed IT security, managed detection & response services, and more. Our team of experts maintain high IT security standards, such as the SOC 2 Type II Attestation, and we also meet HIPAA Audit requirements. Our strong partnerships with leading companies such as Microsoft and Palo Alto Networks help us provide the best managed IT and cybersecurity services. Contact us today to discuss our role as your trusted cybersecurity provider to keep your company secure and profitable.
Updated: October 2022