Adoption rates of connected devices and IoT technology are rising amongst enterprises looking to leverage reduced costs and agile business models. While these models enable remote work apart from giving companies the flexibility to rapidly transform their business processes, they have also strengthened the market for cybersecurity firms. Add to it that cybercriminals are increasingly becoming more advanced with new cyber threats emerging every day, and one can see why cybersecurity is a $156.24 billion market today. This market is expected to expand at a massive 14.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) as companies scramble to secure their endpoint devices, networks, databases, clouds, and computer systems.
To service this vast market, hundreds of cybersecurity firms have sprung up. Some of the most popular ones, such as McAfee, Norton, Avast, Cisco, and CyberArk, have become commonplace worldwide. After all, cybersecurity is no joke. But this brings to mind the question – What do these cybersecurity companies do? How do they work?
What Do Cybersecurity Firms Do?
Cybersecurity companies play a critical role in protecting businesses from various cyber threats. They help develop new technology and create products that can safeguard a company’s digital assets. Moreover, they also tie up with businesses to offer their expertise, software tools, penetration testing, vulnerability analysis, and systems auditing services to thwart any potential threats that might disrupt operations.
Let’s read about some of the most important services offered by cybersecurity companies.
Outsourced IT and Managed Services
Outsourced IT and Managed Services are one of the most popular services offered by cybersecurity companies. Managed services allow companies that lack the technical expertise to offload their technical tasks regarding cybersecurity to an outside company. Cybersecurity companies are paid to manage the maintenance and support of all the systems within an enterprise’s network. All the functions, right from systems monitoring and security patching to recovering lost data and repairing corrupt systems, are handled by the cybersecurity company. The primary benefit of this model of working is that SMBs can avoid paying the high upfront costs of hiring and training in-house cybersecurity experts.
Penetration testing is conducted to identify the networks and devices vulnerable to threats and require security upgrades. This process can take anywhere between a few days to several months to conduct, depending on the scope of the test.
The scope of the test is defined by the client and lists out the systems and processes that will be tested. Cybersecurity companies that conduct penetration testing can by no means go beyond the scope written down by the client. This process is to protect the integrity of the company’s data.
This test requires the tester to try and breach the client’s network or web application and determine which assets are at risk of attack. By identifying the at-threat systems and the magnitude of the risk involved, the company can take appropriate remedial action to shore up its defences.
A security audit is another service that many cybersecurity companies offer as a means of checking whether the client’s systems are adequately protected or not. While the goal of this service and penetration testing is the same, the method used is different. Penetration testing seeks to identify weaknesses by trying to breach the scoped out network or device. On the other hand, systems auditing is done to check whether the client’s cybersecurity policies, protocols, and technologies are compliant with the legal requirements and industry standards.
An expert can only perform these audits due to the detailed, highly technical, and evolving regulations set by relevant agencies and governments. Many cybersecurity companies specialize in only one type of compliance: HIPAA, FERPA, or PCI DSS.
For instance, most health insurance companies conduct a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) audit to check off technical, physical, and administrative safeguards, employee training, and enforcement of the set standards.
Development of tools and software
Many cybersecurity companies only work in the research and development domain. They develop security tools and software that are then licensed out to other cybersecurity firms or client companies themselves. These products can range from analysis tools, firewalls, and endpoint protection software to email analysis software and systems monitoring tools.
They continually upgrade their tools with dedicated research teams that monitor new cyber threats and ways to curb them.
Cybersecurity firms are responsible for the safety and upkeep of their client enterprise’s networks, systems, connected devices, clouds, and databases. Every year organizations lose billions of dollars in data breaches, malware, and ransomware attacks. These attacks take an average of 228 days to uncover, which essentially means that most victims are completely crippled, leaving them bankrupt. Moreover, companies that are unable to safeguard their data lose the faith of their customers, dealing a deadly blow to their business. That’s why most organizations choose to invest significantly in security software and services offered by cybersecurity companies.