What to Consider When Outsourcing Cyber Security Services

5 min
Cybernetic Search

By Cybernetic Search

With the potential of a data breach costing global organisations an average of $5 million in 2023, cyber security has become an essential concern for businesses worldwide. In today's interconnected world, the rise in sophisticated cyber threats has made many organisations consider outsourcing their cyber security needs to external service providers. But what are the benefits of cyber security outsourcing, and what considerations should you make before partnering with a third party?

In this guide, we'll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security, when to outsource, and the factors to consider when outsourcing. Before we get into all that, let's first determine what cyber security outsourcing is.

What is cyber security outsourcing?

Outsourcing cyber security services is the process of a business partnering with a third-party vendor for specific support relating to cyber security. Organisations will rely solely on cyber security solution providers to take care of all of their security due diligence or will utilise the cyber security providers' niche services to combat specific challenges concerning the IT security needs of the business.

Cyber security outsourcing providers can support businesses of all sizes and all industries and typically focus on one or a combination of the following services.

  • Threat monitoring and analysis
  • Incident response
  • Vulnerability management
  • Security awareness training
  • Compliance support

Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security

There are many advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security. Some of the benefits of cyber security include its cost-efficiency and how it provides businesses with specialist expertise while also being a flexible solution to securing an organisation from data breaches.

However, there are also some disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security services, from the provider not fully knowing your business, the potential lack of control it provides, and how you may not be a priority in the eyes of the third party you partner with.

This section will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security to help you decide whether outsourcing makes sense for your business.

Advantages of outsourcing cyber security

When it comes to the advantages of outsourcing cyber security, three of the most significant benefits of the third-party solution are cost-effectiveness, specialist expertise, and how flexible outsourcing can be for your organisation. Let's explore these three benefits of cyber security in more detail.

1. Cyber security outsourcing is cost-effective

One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing cyber security is how cost-effective it is for your business, both from a monetary and time-consuming perspective. Of course, you can invest in permanent cyber security talent and technology as part of your in-house team, but this takes time and money to set up and manage.

Whereas, when you opt for outsourced cyber security services, your provider will already be set up with the people and the resources to support you immediately without the costs needed for onboarding or training IT security staff that you would need to account for if you were keeping everything in-house.

Cyber security outsourcing allows you the opportunity to pay for the specific services you can afford, making it a cost-effective solution without the need to commit to anything long-term that could result in financial strains on your business.

2. Outsourced cyber security gives you specialist expertise

As mentioned, outsourced cyber security providers cater to various services to combat your IT security challenges, be it compliance support or threat monitoring and analysis.

When you choose to outsource your cyber security to a third-party provider, you will be met with a team of experts with extensive skill sets and experience to support you with the most niche cybersecurity-related concerns.

You can utilise outsourced cyber security to focus on a particular area of security you need support with, or you can request assistance from a range of experts to secure your business from various cyber threats. For example, you may have concerns about malware attacks and want to turn to an outsourced company to lend their specialist expertise to implement firewalls to protect your network.

3. Cyber security services are flexible

Another one of the advantages of outsourcing cyber security is the flexibility it can offer your business. For example, if you are awaiting funds to support the long-term plans for your business and only require outsourced assistance for a short amount of time or want to trial-run outsourcing cyber security services before committing to anything long-term, let’s say for six months, then you can.

With the flexibility of the various services you can outsource, as mentioned in point two, cyber security outsourcing also gives you the flexibility to seek support from your provider around the clock, with 24/7 assistance. This flexibility is especially beneficial if your business is located or operates in various countries.

Cyber security outsourcing companies also allow you to scale at your own pace. Suppose you require support filling your cyber security contract jobs and want to bring interim cyber and IT security experts into your business to support your operations. In that case, outsourcing gives you this flexibility, again without the need to onboard or overstretch your hiring budget.

Disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security

To give you a balanced view of the solution, you should be aware of some potential disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security. In this section, we'll explore how certain cyber security providers may lack the awareness of your business, you may not feel totally in control of everything, and you may not always be the provider's main priority.

1. Cyber security providers may not know your business

When you partner with a third-party cyber security provider, their sole purpose is to support your business with its IT security needs. Therefore, they will not necessarily be aware of your organisation, your industry, the network configurations you've installed, and the employees and clients associated with your brand.

A lack of knowledge and awareness of your organisation can make it feel like the partnership with the third party is distant, where they don't fully feel like part of your company or can provide insight about anything outside of cyber security.

Of course, this may not be an issue for your business if you're happy to have that separation between your company and the outsourced cyber security service provider you've partnered with. However, if you think this could be an issue, don't let this stop you from outsourcing. If you want to increase your provider's awareness and knowledge regarding your business, communicate this to them and essentially onboard them into your company.

2. Outsourcing cyber security can lead to a loss of control

Trusting your cyber security in the hands of an outsourced provider can be a disadvantage, with the potential of it leading to a loss of control over sensitive data belonging to your business, your employees and your clients. Understandably, this may be a concern if your company has strict security requirements or a different approach to security than what the provider offers.

However, if you're concerned about the potential vulnerabilities to your data and the fact that you'll have less control over combatting threats, in that case, there are several ways to mitigate the risk of loss of control when outsourcing cyber security.

First, carefully select a provider with a good reputation and expertise to meet your organisation's specific needs. You should also get everything in writing so that you clearly understand the services the provider offers and the level of control you will have over your organisation's security. Additionally, communicate regularly with them and ask for updates on their progress when required.

3. Cyber security solution providers may not prioritise you

One of the final disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security you should know is that you may not always be a priority for the cyber security provider you choose to partner with.

Cyber security outsourcing companies will be supporting numerous other businesses simultaneously. Therefore you may be left with varying response times or told your issue is less of a priority if they are resolving more serious threats. This disadvantage can also lead to communication issues if you can't access the provider when you need them.

Again, a way to resolve this issue is to take time choosing the third party you want to partner with and find out the best lines of communication and what instances they consider a priority so you are not left feeling ignored or less critical compared to their other clients. As mentioned, many cyber security outsourcing companies work day and night, providing 24/7 support, so you may not encounter this disadvantage.

The advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing cyber security we've listed above have been addressed to give you a view of both sides of the coin and to help you consider whether outsourcing is a viable option for your business. But don't stop here. Scroll to discover when to outsource and explore the factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security.

When to outsource cyber security

Knowing when to outsource cyber security for your business should be something you dedicate time to thinking about because timing is everything. There are various things to consider that can help you decide when is the right time for your organisation to outsource cyber security. From requiring specific expertise, your need to scale quickly, and considering your budget, we will look into three key considerations to help you decide when to outsource cyber security.

1. Your business requires specific skill sets and expertise

If your business requires specific skill sets and expertise in the realms of cyber security, it may be time to consider outsourcing to a third-party provider.

For example, you may be a start-up that wants to focus on growing specific aspects of your business, like your client base or moving into particular markets, and therefore don't have the time to commit to hiring a cyber security expert in-house on a permanent deal. In this instance, you could outsource to cyber security solution providers to handle your security while you and your wider team focus on growing your business.

There may also be skills gaps in your company, and your team could have limited knowledge and expertise in cyber security and don't have the time or resources to upskill your existing employees on the latest security trends, processes and regulations. In that case, outsourcing could be the solution you need. Outsourced cyber security services can close any skills gaps in your business and provide you with expertise to keep your organisation protected and ahead of the competition.

2. There’s a need to scale your business quickly

Cyber security outsourcing is a viable solution if there's a need within your business to scale quickly. In cases where you're looking to scale at pace, you may not have the time to think about in-house cyber security. Instead, it could suit your business to outsource your security while you focus on hiring permanent staff in other areas of your organisation where growth is needed.

By outsourcing cyber security, you can scale and focus on other core areas of your organisation without neglecting the importance of cyber security. Your chosen cyber security provider will look after your data and keep it secure on a flexible, cost-effective deal whose expertise you can rely on to protect your business from cyber threats and data breaches.

3. You have the budget to outsource cyber security

Deciding when to outsource cyber security services with a third party, you must consider your budget and your business's resources. Outsourcing can save money by reducing the need to hire and train cyber security staff in-house. It can be a more cost-effective solution than hiring permanent employees that may need onboarding and potential further training and upskilling.

Outsourced cyber security gives you the flexibility to pick and choose what support you need, when you require it, and for how long. Therefore, when choosing a cyber security provider, you can consider how much time and support you can afford within your budget without worrying about overspending and overcommitting.

Once you’ve looked into these considerations and determined when to outsource cyber security, the next step is to look at the factors to consider when choosing an outsourcing cyber security company.

Factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security

Choosing the right cyber security solution providers to assist with protecting your business is a crucial decision. With various cyber security outsourcing companies to choose from, offering a range of services, there are several factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security.

From knowing what you need and doing your research, getting recommendations, reviewing the different providers, asking the right questions and finding a third-party best suited to your workplace culture, here are five factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security for your business.

1. Know what outsourced cyber security services you need

Before you start looking at providers, the first of our five factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security is to know what support you need to limit the risks within your business. Whether you require incident response support, help with vulnerability management, a cyber security training provider or another service, knowing what you need will help narrow down your options when researching.

2. Get recommendations

When researching cyber security outsourcing companies, you should get recommendations from various sources to see which third parties have the best reputation. Obtaining recommendations from those you trust will help you establish which providers you can rely on.

Here are some of the sources you could get recommendations from:

  • Online reviews
  • Employees
  • Industry partners
  • Other third-party associates, like an IT service provider
  • Competitors
  • Trade publications

3. Review the cyber security provider's credentials

When researching cyber security providers, one the biggest factors to consider when outsourcing is reviewing the credentials of the third party. Doing so ensures you can rely on the provider for expertise, security clearance, and certifications while also ensuring the provider is compliant regarding cyber security.

You should look for some certifications in your outsourced cyber security provider.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst (CTIA)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • GIAC Security Essentials

4. Ask the right questions

One of the other key factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security for your organisation is ensuring you ask potential providers the right questions. By asking questions, you will learn more about the services the third party offers and their capabilities to understand how they will meet your specific needs.

Below are some of the questions you may want to ask the cyber security provider:

  • What is your experience in the industry?
  • What are your capabilities?
  • What are your security certifications and accreditations?
  • How will you meet my organisation's specific needs?
  • What is your incident response plan?
  • What are your security procedures?
  • How will you monitor my organisation's security posture?

5. Ensure the provider fits your organisation's culture

When choosing an outsourced cyber security provider, one final factor to consider is finding a third party that shares your company's values and fits your organisation's culture. Considerations regarding your company culture are particularly important if you're thinking of bringing cyber security contractors into your business from an outsourced provider.

Here it's essential that your wider team collaborates effectively with and feels comfortable working alongside a third-party assistant, regardless of their duration with your business. The last thing you want is to partner with a provider who takes little to no interest in your organisation, with the potential to disrupt the apple cart.

So, make sure you speak to various cyber security solution providers to get an idea of who would most suit and benefit your company culture. Even if you have to do a trial run to see how outsourcing cyber security works for your business, once you find the right fit for your company culture, you have the potential to build a long-term partnership that protects your business from cyber threats in turn, ensuring the longevity of your organisation.

These factors to consider when outsourcing cyber security for your business will help you avoid running into the disadvantages we mentioned earlier and set you up for a promising partnership with an outsourced cyber security service provider you can trust.


As we've covered, outsourcing cyber security can be a good option for your business if you are not adequately protected or want a flexible and cost-effective solution to securing your data from an expert third-party provider. Knowing what to consider when outsourcing cyber security services is important to ensure you make a decision that's right for your business, your employees and your clients.

By following the tips in this blog, you can take a step closer to choosing a cyber security outsourcing provider that meets your needs and helps protect your organisation from the increased levels of cyber attacks in today's digital world.

Get in touch with a cyber security recruiter today!

Now that you know what to consider when outsourcing cyber security services, why not take the next step in your cyber security outsourcing journey? Thankfully, you don't have to take this step alone. Our specialist cyber security team are here to help. We can help you partner with a third-party provider and connect you with the market's top contractors to grow your business with all its IT security-related needs.

Get in touch with our cyber security recruitment experts to discover how we can best support you with cyber security outsourcing.