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Partnering with Your Cybersecurity Service Provider: Your Key Role

Cybersecurity is not just about technology tools and checking the right boxes to make sure all your software is working in tandem. If it was, then security strategy would be a set-it and forget-it process. Unfortunately, there is no easy button for standing up a solid cyber defense and when you work with an outsourced cybersecurity services provider, you have a key role to play in your own security success.

In fact, instead of thinking about the cybersecurity services company you work with as a provider, you should think of them as a partner. For a partnership to function, each player has a role to live out. In this article we’re going to help you learn about your role as a client.

Building a Successful Cybersecurity Partnership

1. Embrace a Healthy Mindset About Cyber Risk

Recognize that you are a target for cyber-criminals and understand the potential impact that a cyber-attack could have on your organization. Cybersecurity is not merely about having the right technical tools in place. It’s about building a culture of security so that everyone understands that they are responsible for security and have a role to play. Be mindful that if the people in leadership don’t take security seriously, no one else will either.

2. Be Willing to Adopt Security Standards and Best Practices

Your cybersecurity service provider will have some foundational security best practices they will want you to adopt. Be open to the changes that will likely result as their standards are deployed in your IT environment and organization. You may have to adjust business processes to accommodate security. Training is vital to avoid employees’ viewing new security measures as inconvenience instead of vital risk management tactics.

3. Commit to Investment in IT Improvements

Depending on the status of your IT environment, you may have some upfront costs when you’re getting started with a cybersecurity services company. For example, any computer with out-of-support software will need to be updated. Sometimes that means that you have to upgrade the hardware too. Other improvements could include upgrading your data backup equipment or purchasing company-owned computers and phones for everyone.

4. Take Your Security Policies Seriously

Security policies detail how data and IT systems are accessed by employees, customers, and vendors. Some policies can be enforced with technical measures and some set expectations for employee behavior. If people don’t know about your policies or if they routinely go around them, they won’t protect what they’re designed to protect.

5. Enable Open Communication

If your cybersecurity services provider is your partner in defending your organization, you need to participate in meetings and spend the time necessary to become knowledgeable about cybersecurity from an executive level. You also should be upfront when it comes to sharing what’s going on in your business and be responsive in your communications.

6. Get Cyber Insurance

Because no one can 100% guarantee that you’ll never have a cyber-attack, you need cyber insurance. Cyber insurance plays an important part in your incident response plan, protecting you from potential financial losses caused by cyber incidents. Your cybersecurity services provider can help you qualify for cyber insurance by putting in place the kind of robust security strategy that underwriters are looking for.

7. Understand that Cybersecurity is a Process

The risks that your organization faces as you utilize technology to do business on a day-to-day basis change as the cyber threat landscape changes. That means that your security strategy will need to be evaluated and updated on a consistent basis.

Changes in your organization can affect security too. The open communication and trust that you establish with your cybersecurity services partner will help you to navigate these changes without compromising the security and sustainability of your business.

How to Find a Cybersecurity Services Partner

When you’re considering bringing in outsourced cybersecurity expertise, it may be difficult to determine which company is going to act as a partner instead of just a provider. One red flag in the conversations you have to vet your options would be if they don’t talk about your role. If they say “Leave it to us” without talking about collaboration, then you will be missing a key driver to your cybersecurity success – You.

Related: How to Choose a Cybersecurity Service Provider: 7 Questions to Ask

Time for Managed Cyber Defense Services

Here at Bellwether, we partner with companies to create cybersecurity strategy that enables executives to effectively manage cyber risk. If you’re not confident that your organization is set up to defend against modern cyber threats, we should talk.

Get in touch to schedule a consultation.