How Do Cybersecurity Companies Make Money?- Outsourced technology support, managed services, software tools, penetration testing, systems auditing, vulnerability research, and consultancy are just a few of the services that cybersecurity organisations provide to their clients. Companies that specialise in cybersecurity may do so in one or more of these areas.
Anyone considering a career in cybersecurity should learn more about the various types of cybersecurity organisations that exist and what they do so that they may be better prepared when they join one of them or even establish their own.
Let’s take a look at some of the numerous sorts of cybersecurity services available.
Cybersecurity Service #1: Outsourced IT and Managed Service
Outsourced IT support, sometimes known as “managed service,” is one of the most popular services offered by cybersecurity organisations in today’s corporate environment. This service allows any non-technical business to outsource technical assistance responsibilities and costs that would otherwise be handled in-house to a third-party provider (the cybersecurity company.)
The cybersecurity firm makes money by providing this service at scale, which means it may serve dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of clients. As a result, the cybersecurity firm’s personnel are supporting various businesses and dividing their time between them. Cybersecurity firms that provide this service are known as “managed service providers,” or MSPs.
Types of Technical Support
A standard business, for example, can have three different forms of IT support: These can be Type 1, Type 2, or a combination of the two. Type 1 technical assistance occurs when a company employs in-house technicians that work just for the company and are responsible for only that company’s technology. This is a frequent approach for very large firms with a lot of computer systems to support, but it’s a very expensive model for smaller businesses with less technology. This is because the expenses of hiring, training, paying, and providing benefits for these expert personnel might exceed what a small business can afford to spend on technical support and maintenance. As a result, we also have Type 2 as an alternative.
Type 2 technical support is when a regular company employs a cybersecurity company to manage the maintenance and support of their technologies and the end customers who utilise them, rather than hiring a person or team internally to manage their technologies as part of their own company (hence the managed service mentioned above.) Instead, they pay a cybersecurity provider to support and maintain their systems. This is frequently accompanied with layers of guaranteed service and response times that range from basic email assistance to 24-hour phone help and beyond.
The third type is a hybrid of types 1 and 2, and it occurs when a company employs in-house experts to support their systems, but outsources certain tasks to a third-party cybersecurity firm, such as new technology instals, current technology auditing, or warranty tracking. In reality, almost every technical support duty may be outsourced to a third-party organisation, so the options for what can be kept in-house and what can be outsourced are virtually endless. Many large corporations will adopt this strategy, particularly for short-term projects or tasks for which they are unable to recruit an inside staff.
Type 2 technical assistance is the most popular option, and it is what many large firms choose because it is easier and can save money in the long term, but more significantly, it offloads the risk of maintaining and safeguarding these systems. For example, the outsourced cybersecurity firm can take care of all hardware maintenance, security patching, and system monitoring, which relieves the normal company’s concerns about security breaches and other scenarios that could compromise data confidentiality and cause downtime.
What Careers are Available at an Outsourced Managed Service Provider Company?
Depending on the size and services given by the company, there are usually at least three different sorts of occupations within a Type 2 IT support company. Helpdesk technicians, onsite technicians, and systems engineers are all available.
Service that is managed Helpdesk technician or User Support Technician is the first career option. The helpdesk technicians are the ones with whom the client firm engages the most. When a programme doesn’t operate, a document won’t save, or the client forgets how to change their desktop image, they call them. These positions necessitate strong technical abilities as well as outstanding communication and customer service abilities. They are frequently regarded as entry-level positions, and many technicians begin their careers here.
Service that is managed Onsite Technician is the first career option. On-site technicians visit clients’ physical locations to resolve issues that cannot be resolved remotely. They supervise the replacement of computers, the installation of new systems, and the repair of broken fans, keyboards, projectors, and cables, among other things. The onsite technician positions demand a high level of technical expertise and customer service skills, but they are often easier in that they know the duties and challenges they will be addressing before they arrive at the customer location, whereas the helpdesk technician does not have this advantage.
Systems Engineers are the first Managed Service career option. In a managed service provider, systems engineers have the least contact with customers but are in charge of the most crucial aspects of system maintenance, including any tasks performed on the system’s backend. They handle network maintenance and security patches for clients, for example, and are in responsibility of guaranteeing the client’s network’s security, as well as remediation, should their network be breached. Many opportunities for Systems Engineers demand several years of expertise.
Cybersecurity Service #2: Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is another typical service provided by cybersecurity firms. Penetration testing is when a corporation hires a cybersecurity firm to test their security as it relates to their computer systems in order to figure out which ones are vulnerable to a hacker or an attack. The client firm seeking a penetration test (also known as a pen test) will indicate what components of its systems and procedures it wants tested, as well as what it does not want tested, at the start of the test. This is the scope of the penetration test.
Any penetration test requires clearly identifying and staying within the scope of the test. If a firm conducts a penetration test and mistakenly commits “scope creep,” or testing technology or processes beyond the scope’s specified bounds, the testing entity may face legal implications, especially if confidential information was exposed or systems were compromised as a result of the action.
During a penetration test, the penetrating entity will attempt to enter the client’s network, determine what systems and resources are available, and increase their privilege based on the agreed-upon procedures.
The PTES (Penetration Testing Execution Standard) divides penetration testing into seven steps: pre-engagement conversations, intelligence collecting, threat modelling, vulnerability analysis, exploiting, post-exploitation, and reporting. These methods help testers keep organised while documenting the testing process and ensuring high-quality results.
The testers begin by defining a scope, then conduct research into the company’s technologies and employee tech policies, analyse what the company’s biggest security threats are, analyse its weak points, exploit its weak points, assess the value of the compromised machines, and report all of the tester’s discoveries and security remediation recommendations to the client company.
The manner of payment for penetration testing varies based on the length of the contract. If the test is short, the testing company may just request a single payment after the final report is delivered to the client. A frequent payment technique for mid-range tests is to ask half of the cash upfront and the other half once the job is completed. Recurring payments are frequently used for lengthier or ongoing commitments (which could last a year or more).
Cybersecurity Service #3: Systems Auditing
Another source of revenue for cybersecurity firms is auditing. When a client hires a cybersecurity firm to audit their security measures and policies, they are ensuring that they are following secure policy or meeting their industry’s needed standards. Note that auditing differs from penetration testing in that auditing compares a company’s security measures to a security compliance standard, whereas penetration testing attempts to compromise a client’s computer systems by following a client-specified scope.
HIPAA is a good example of a compliance standard. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to protect medical records of patients. Medical offices will request HIPAA compliance audits to demonstrate that they are taking the necessary procedures to protect patient information.
These audits are carried out by a cybersecurity firm that is hired to go through a HIPAA compliance checklist and check off security measures such as technical safeguards, physical safeguards, administrative safeguards, employee training and awareness, and HIPAA standards enforcement.
Many organisations will specialise in one aspect of auditing compliance, such as the aforementioned HIPAA, or other standards, such as FERPA and PCI DSS, even within the field of cybersecurity audits. This is due to the fact that regulations are frequently onerous, comprehensive, and ever changing, necessitating the usage of a professional to keep up with government or other agency revisions.
Cybersecurity Service #4: Outsourced CTO, or Chief Technology Officer
Another service provided by a cybersecurity firm is acting entirely as the CTO (chief technology officer) or CIO of a client organisation (chief information officer). This is a contract in which the cybersecurity firm gives little services to the client company in exchange for acting as their technology manager, on paper, and in discussions. Reviewing security rules, negotiating software purchases, and representing the organisation to outsiders during any technology issue are all examples of outsourced CTO services. Some cybersecurity experts find this function challenging because they are in charge of representing a firm but lack the capacity to lead or manage their technology efforts in other ways that affect the CTO role.
Cybersecurity Service #5: Tools or Services for Other Cybersecurity Companies
The group of cybersecurity companies that produce and sell products, software, or other tools to cybersecurity organisations itself is a sector of cybersecurity that is frequently disregarded. Tenable, for example, offers cybersecurity analysis tools that can evaluate a system for vulnerabilities. Many of the intended users of these types of products are other cybersecurity firms that will use them to deliver cybersecurity services to their own clients.
Hopefully, this post has demonstrated that there are several methods for cybersecurity organisations to profit (and we’ve only touched on a few of them), and that number will continue to grow as cybersecurity evolves and additional cybersecurity attacks and concerns emerge. The good news for cybersecurity specialists is that the wide range of services provided by cybersecurity firms translates into a wide range of career prospects.