Customers rely on cybersecurity partners for purchasing decisions

New research shows partners, resellers and consultants are valued as most important ‘go-to’ sources of insight

Posted 20 August 2020 by Christine Horton

Consultants, resellers and partners are the most valuable resource for customers when they are researching cybersecurity, according to research released today.

Forty-three percent of buyers turn to a trusted third party first, followed by advice from existing security suppliers (40 percent) and technology media (39 percent). All of these are considered more important than word of mouth recommendations or online sources such as video sites.

The research from digital risk protection specialist Skurio also reveals the importance of outsourcing security, with more than 50 percent of UK businesses using either totally or partially outsourced services to manage their cybersecurity. This comes at a time when skills shortages continue to affect many organisations, and there are rising wages for in-demand security specialists.

“The findings validate the extent to which businesses turn to the expertise and insights of trusted advisors at a time when they are navigating a growing number of security challenges,” says Jeremy Hendy, CEO of Skurio. “Their advice is crucial in helping businesses understand how to strengthen their protection in a fast-changing threat landscape.

“We’re facing exceptional circumstances in terms of working practices and how we need to manage cyber threats, and this is placing massive pressures on businesses of all sizes. We know that the luxury of in-house security teams, on call 24/7 to monitor for external threats, is simply out of reach for many organisations. The research highlights the importance of outsourcing to managed service providers who make cybersecurity their business.”

Lack of cybersecurity skills

According to Skurio’s research, lack of in-house expertise is a key issue for organisations. Eighty percent of firms believe that their teams lack skills and knowledge on digital risk protection. This is the ability to monitor for risks, threats, and breaches outside their network.

More than half, 52 percent, of all respondents named meeting the data security needs and expectations of their external clients as the most important factor for outsourcing protection against cyber threats. This was followed by reducing loss of customers due to data breaches and reducing lost revenue due to business interruption, or delays in trading.

The research also reveals that IT and security professionals differ in their opinions on the benefits of outsourced digital risk protection services. 50 percent of security professionals prioritise its importance in reducing lost revenue due to business interruption or delays in trading, compared to just 28 percent of IT staff. Its importance for avoiding fines was a key factor for 31 percent of security staff, compared with just 17 percent of IT staff.

“I’m not surprised that more than 50 percent of UK businesses are turning to outsourced partners for cybersecurity services,” notes Ed Williams, EMEA director of SpiderLabs at Trustwave.

“Cybersecurity has become critical for organisations just to be able to conduct business, coupled with the skills shortage, it therefore makes sense that outsourcing has come to the forefront and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. The importance of models like Managed Security Services (MSS) for finding and eradicating threats at scale and to maximise current security technology investments is only going to increase the maturity of an organisation.”