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    October 18, 2023

    Balancing In-House & External IT Security: The Hybrid Approach

    In the ever-changing field of IT security, organizations have to make a choice between handling cybersecurity themselves or hire outside experts. The provocative claim that "1 data breach can have the same cost as 1400 years of vulnerability scanning" underpins the magnitude and financial implications of cybersecurity risks. Therefore, it is important to know which tasks are best done within the organization and which ones are better left to outside experts.

    The Strengths of In-House Management

    Tailored Security Protocols

    By utilizing an internal cyber security team, you can tailor the defense to your needs. Tailoring the defenses to ignore normal traffic is a process that takes a lot of time and is an ongoing effort. Knowing your organization's systems, network infrastructure, and the specific risks it faces can help develop specific and effective security solutions.

    Rapid Incident Response

    Having an in-house team can enable a swifter, more coordinated response to security incidents and potential data breaches. Immediate access to critical systems and an intrinsic knowledge of the IT environment allows the internal team to promptly identify, mitigate, and analyze security incidents.

    Data Privacy

    Managing data internally provides a greater degree of control, reducing the risks associated with sharing sensitive information externally. For organizations where safeguarding data sensitivity is crucial, in-house management adds an extra layer of assurance.

    The Merits of External Expertise

    Specialized Knowledge and Experience

    External cybersecurity firms bring to the table a wealth of experience and specialized knowledge accrued from dealing with a myriad of clients and diverse cybersecurity issues. Their in-depth expertise, especially in handling advanced threats can often translate into a more robust security solution.

    Regulatory Compliance

    Outsourcing tasks like vulnerability scanning and penetration testing to external experts can help in maintaining compliance with various regulatory standards. These experts have good understanding of the various regulations and can provide insight into how an organization can best follow them.

    Cost-Effective Scalability

    Engaging external entities for specific cybersecurity tasks enables organizations to benefit from high-level knowledge without the cost of maintaining an internal team. This approach is particularly beneficial for small to medium businesses that do not have the resources to maintain a cybersecurity team of their own.

    Striking the Balance: A Hybrid Approach

    An optimal IT security strategy may lie in a hybrid approach, where organizations utilize both internal and external teams, leveraging the strengths inherent in each.

    Internal Teams Focused on Core Competencies

    Internal teams should utilize their knowledge and understanding of their organization’s network infrastructure to handle core aspects of cybersecurity that are tightly integrated with their business operations and strategies. This might include things such as data management, policy development, and incident response.

    External Experts Managing Specialized Tasks

    Entrust specialized, resource-intensive tasks like penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and compliance management to external experts. Their specialized knowledge and diverse experience can bolster the defense against evolving threats and ensure adherence to regulatory standards.

    In conclusion, combining the deep understanding of your organizational strategies and operations that your own team has with the expertise that external experts can provide can create a strong defense against a variety of online threats. By dividing the work between your internal team and external experts, you can create a cybersecurity plan that is strong, flexible, and cost-effective.


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    Geir Hørthe

    Geir Hørthe is responsible for the Nemko cyber security initiative. He has worked at Nemko for more than 30 years, in the capacity of test services, lab manager of safety, ATEX and medical departments. He has also been Managing Director at the Nemko office in London for two years. After he returned to Norway, he held...

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