Cybersecurity and sustainability are topics that don’t often come up in the same conversation. In cybersecurity, our main goal is to ensure our organization’s information technology (IT) resources are secure from outside influence and available to the various parts of our team that require them. When you get a bunch of cyber folks together, conversations often range from new tools to new malware to the latest threat intel to the coolest new podcast. When the environment comes up, we are typically talking about how to secure one, not how to save one.
While the main goals of cybersecurity are protecting systems’ integrity and availability, it can influence sustainability as well. One significant way we can make our security programs more environmentally sustainable is to work with a managed security service provider (MSSP), essentially outsourcing all of your security operations. This can include security tool management, incident response, digital forensics, threat intelligence, and more.
MSSP as a Form of Conservation
Consider, for a moment, costs that go into running a 24/7 security operations center. Power consumption is often a cost we just accept. Our computers run on electricity and so does our cool video wall. What about the lights in the building? Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to share some of those costs with our other businesses?
That is exactly what you are doing by employing an MSSP. An MSSP provides a conduit by which multiple companies can reduce their energy consumption, which benefits the environment by consolidating the security operations power usage in a single security operations center.
Another consideration is the global microchip shortage. The microchip supply chain was severely impacted by the shutdowns due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. To put it simply, chip manufacturing has been reduced while the demand for electronics has increased. By turning our operations over to an MSSP, we can reduce the footprint of computers needed to run our operation, and do our part to reduce pressure on the microchip supply chain.
Other MSSP Benefits
Conservation is one of many benefits of using an MSSP for your security operations. There are additional benefits:
- Hiring top cybersecurity talent is becoming more and more difficult. You can offload much of your cybersecurity hiring to your MSSP. A downstream effect of this reduction in hiring is the reduction of your training budget.
- Many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may find running their own 24/7 security operations center to be cost prohibitive. Using the services of an MSSP could allow such SMBs to have 24/7 monitoring without having to incur the cost of having their own operation.
- An MSSP can also provide a more robust and experienced team than you would be able to field on your own. Just by the nature of the MSSP’s work, its team members will see different kinds of alerts, investigations, and incidents giving them a depth of knowledge that analysts only working for one organization may not have.
By implementing energy-efficient practices such as using an MSSP, organizations can not only reduce their environmental impact, but also improve their overall security posture. This can lead to cost savings and increased resiliency as well as a reduced attack surface.
Shifting security operations to an MSSP could be a viable and cost-saving option for many companies. Making that change can help reduce our carbon footprint allowing our business to be more conscientious members of our communities. If more of us thought this way, cybersecurity could make meaningful contributions to more sustainable business practices across our organizations.
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