4 min read  | Cybercrime

The value of a security operations centre for SMEs

Many economists consider small and medium-sized enterprises to be the lifeblood of an economy. Studies have proven that the stability and sustainability of an economy are dependent on the success of its SMEs more than any number of multinational mega-corporations.

Unsurprisingly, then, governments across the world tend to provide significant grants, tax reliefs, and subsidies to protect SMEs against economic shocks, recessions, cut-throat competition, and other traditional business risk factors.

Today, however, many SMEs are facing a very different type of risk; one that’s posing significant challenges to their daily operations and one that can potentially drive them out of business.

What we’re referring to, here, is cybersecurity risk.

Now more than ever, SMEs are being targeted by cybercriminals given their inadequate security infrastructure, which makes them easy targets for a range of attacks including social engineering, phishing, and ransomware. 

In fact, according to recent statistics, 43% of all cyber attacks involve SMEs, and 61% of SMEs have experienced severe cyber attacks in the past year.

The truth is that the majority—as much as 83%—of small and medium-sized enterprises don’t have the financial resources or the technical expertise to secure their security posture.

The good news is that this doesn’t mean there’s no respite for these critical players in the economy. Today, even the smallest entities can leverage the technical expertise of cybersecurity experts by outsourcing their security operations centre (SOC) processes.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of doing so. 

SOCs defend companies against sophisticated cybersecurity threats

Although phishing accounts for the majority of cyber threats carried out against SMEs, we are seeing a disturbing recent trend of DDoS and ransomware attacks as well.

Kaspersky even reported that in 2019, Southeast Asian SMEs reported 1.4 million accounts of WannaCry, and cybersecurity experts warn that SMEs might be at the receiving end of more complex ransomware attacks in the not too distant future.

By outsourcing SOC processes, SMEs can ensure security 24x7x365 without having to pay top dollar for dedicated, in-house cybersecurity professionals. The very same Kaspersky report even mentioned that WannaCry attacks on SMEs across the region decreased by 64% in line with a trend of leveraging the cutting-edge support of a SOC.

They support real-time monitoring

When evaluating the security approach taken by SMEs, one of the biggest shortcomings is their inability to detect cyber threats and subsequent attacks in the absence of effective security monitoring.  

On average, SMEs take around 101 days to detect a data breach or unauthorised activity in their network; in this span of time, it’s only too easy for modern threat actors to steal data and compromise the other networks they engage with. 

One of the biggest benefits of SOCs is that they leverage advanced monitoring and threat detection tools to identify threats and detect malicious activity across business networks.

What’s more, they can also implement rapid incident response protocols to limit the lateral movement of malicious actors inside the network, preventing access to valuable information and limiting financial, systems and reputational damage in the process.

They bolster proactive threat detection

With cybercriminals resorting to more complex and sophisticated infiltration techniques, reactive incident response strategies can’t protect the sensitive data small and medium-sized businesses handle today. 

This is where the support of external security operations centre processes proves invaluable to modern companies. 

Unlike in traditional cybersecurity, modern SOCs use a combination of powerful threat-hunting tools that are powered by artificial intelligence and data modelling techniques to monitor network anomalies and predict future cyberattacks, allowing SMEs to take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity.

An external security operations centre is the best armour for SMEs against cyber attacks

In the current cybersecurity landscape, SMEs have become an increasingly easy target for cybercriminals, given their relative lack of technical nous to implement and maintain a powerful and effective cybersecurity posture.

In the new normal and beyond, outsourcing SOC processes has emerged as a potent weapon for SMEs in their fight against increasingly malicious and sophisticated threat actors.

In fact, according to a leading cybersecurity research organisation, an outsourced SOC function costs 80% less than an in-house security operations centre.