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Managed security services about protecting data, not simply managing technology

By Simeon Tassev, Managing Director and Qualified Security Assessor at Galix

Johannesburg, 18 Mar 2020
Simeon Tassev, MD and QSA at Galix
Simeon Tassev, MD and QSA at Galix

The fourth industrial revolution has brought digitalisation and automation to mainstream and with this it has also brought about a dramatic increase in the amount of data we are generating. This includes client and company data, endless logs and digital activities from connected devices in the Internet of things (IOT) and everything else that forms part of a digital process. The sheer volume of data, coupled with the potential value of information, makes security more important and more complicated than ever before. Managed security services can help organisations deal with this complexity and ensure their most important business asset is adequately protected.

Information overload

Everything digital generates vast amounts of data that needs to be processed, analysed and either stored or defensibly disposed of. However, there is just so much information that actually doing any of this has become an overwhelming task for the majority of businesses. In addition, the extra controls and systems required to secure this data in fact generate even more data that also needs to then be secured. The more data you have, the more you will generate in the process of securing it.

The cloud once again adds volume to the discussion. Although cloud storage allows businesses to scale practically to infinity, it becomes critical to control the growth of information. Simply storing information in the cloud does not mean it is being managed and often it becomes something of a dumping ground. Adding to this are new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which not only generate more data, but are in fact a critical element in securing it. The number of alerts generated by information security systems grow as data volumes grow and it is not feasible to track these manually. AI needs to be used to determine the legitimate threats that need human intervention, and machine learning is essential in the ongoing improvement of this process.

This level of complexity is challenging for many businesses to deal with. Additional resources and skills are needed to manage and secure information and attaining and retaining these skills is difficult. At some point, it becomes impossible to effectively manage data while also prioritising the core business – organisations are faced with the choice of becoming information security experts or actually running their business. This is where managed security services are hugely beneficial.

Managed security is about more than just the firewall

Managed security services providers offer specialised skills and dedicated resources to assist organisations with the complexity of information security. By outsourcing this function to a service provider, organisations benefit from access to the latest technology, senior resources and high levels of expertise. It is also a cost-effective option that ensures continuity as the service provider has a pool of skills to draw on and contingencies in place.

However, it is important to make use of the right service provider for your needs. Managed security services are not just about managing technology like a firewall. It goes beyond this into providing the level of competency and skills necessary to deliver a fully managed service around protecting data. The real value of such a service comes from access to expertise and skills, resources able to give advice and plan a security strategy as an ongoing process and not a once-off occurrence.

Managed security needs a holistic approach that enables organisations to maximise the value of their information while protecting the environment in an efficient and cost-effective way.

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