When Your Crown Jewels Are Melting in a Fire, Will the Skills Shortage Be Your Excuse?

What would you grab if your house was on fire? What do you want to ensure is the safest if your house is burglarized? I assume your family members or house guests are at the top of your list. Next might be jewelry or family photos, art or irreplaceable items, hopefully easy to grab or securely tucked away in a fireproof home safe. The worst-case scenario is that your most valued assets are scattered all over the house, meaning many important items would be lost.

Most of us benefit from our local firefighter response unit, which is there to respond to such emergencies. Many also subscribe to a security monitoring service to further manage risk, which adds a layer of vigilance for our precious assets. You protect your home jewels — it comes naturally. But you probably don’t protect your garden shed the same way.

Your Corporate Jewels Are on Fire Every Day

So how well are you protecting your corporate jewels? Your corporate house is attacked daily from the inside and out. In today’s corporate world, protecting your network, databases, endpoints and the crown jewels within them is a must, but it doesn’t come naturally and is not an easy strategy to execute. With cloud and mobile usage exploding, the perimeter of what to protect is expanding.

According to the Ponemon Institute, close to one-third of surveyed organizations in 2014 estimated that 75 percent of their employees used personally owned devices in the workplace. In other words, your corporate family members and peers are bringing and leaving the jewels outside your house — and they expect you, the security team, to have the foresight, skills, tools and technology to protect them.

The pressure on your team mounts since the crown jewels do not belong to IT or security; instead, the business lines own it. Your marketing, HR and finance teams are all expecting you to protect them, yet they want to maintain easy and fast access to information across multiple devices.

A Skills Shortage Adds to Your Risk

You need a top-gun team to monitor all this complexity. I said top-gun because your crown jewels are at stake — this isn’t your garden shed, remember? Do you really want to add the war for talent to the list of challenges on your list? A recent report from Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), titled “The Growing Cybersecurity Skills Crisis,” estimated there are as many as 1 million unfilled security jobs worldwide.

The skills shortage may not be a battle you want to fight. You have the perpetrators and insiders to worry about, and that’s where your focus should be. But you may not have the resources to build a robust security team and find the right firefighters to respond to the daily threats.

You still need that person to watch over your jewels while you are sleeping or presenting your security strategy to the board. You want the rock stars with the latest security intelligence, tools and skills to respond to the fire. Many industry leaders are trusting managed security services providers (MSSPs) with just that — and you could too.

Security Talent for Everyone

Outsourcing security does not mean you lose control. Instead, you solve the skills shortage and complement your team with top-notch talent, additional security intelligence and visibility across industries and geographies. You partner together to make your business secure, just like you entrust your home security company and your local firehouse with your own home. You know your business well, and MSSPs know their core business well — and their core business is your security.

You may not have the skills or the people to manage and monitor the many security tools in which you’ve invested. Staying current with those tools is far from trivial, especially when they become more integrated into your business processes and protect data that belongs to your peers.

Your corporate and individual reputation is at stake, so you need a strategic partner to be there with you. IBM is the top client-centric managed security services vendor in the market.

Watch the webinar: Is Your Security Staff Addressing the Top 3 Data Protection Challenges?

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Misha Santa Barbara

Program Director for Security Consulting & Systems Integration Services, IBM

In her role building cybersecurity services to drive growth for IBM, Misha executes a mix of consulting, strategy, services delivery and communications. She previously worked in corporate strategy and internal consulting roles for IBM Global Technology Services, with a focus on managed services/outsourcing, growth and emerging countries (specifically China, India, CEE and Brazil). Misha has a strategy consulting background, strong financial and analytical skill sets and international experience in Asia, Africa and Europe.