Outsourcing Vs In-House Cybersecurity Operations


Operations in cybersecurity are a simple concept. Operations in business refers to everythin...

Operations in cybersecurity are a simple concept. Operations in business refers to everything a company does to carry out its objective. 

Yet, in order to do that, the business must also safeguard the assets required to achieve its objectives, and that's where cybersecurity comes into play. 

Cybersecurity operations are the organisational activities required to secure the total company — and, in particular, its information assets — against cybersecurity threats. Internet information and resources need to be protected. 

Protecting the organization's information, websites, databases, business processes, and communications is the primary objective of cybersecurity operations. In order to achieve this, they keep an eye on both internal and external activities on the network in order to spot any potential dangers or malicious conduct. 

As a result of new technologies and shifting consumer needs, numerous networks grew, leaving cybersecurity without a centralised blueprint to follow. The disruption caused by the internet made it imperative for businesses to strengthen their security operations and assemble them under one roof. Companies were forced to examine their security architecture more closely as a result of the volume of alarms produced by intrusion detection/prevention systems, firewalls, and other systems. 

Companies were concerned not just that alerts weren't being examined due to a lack of educated personnel, but also that the volume of alerts was simply too high for prompt diagnosis. Organizations were frightened of what they didn't understand in terms of threat monitoring. 

Outsourcing Cybersecurity Operations

Outsourcing cybersecurity operations involves entrusting the responsibility of safeguarding your digital infrastructure and sensitive information to a specialized third-party service provider. 

Outsourcing or internal development are the two options available to these firms for building security operations centre (SOC) capabilities. Monitoring network alarms is an acceptable technique to outsource cybersecurity tasks. Outsourcing cybersecurity operations entails signing a contract with a managed security service provider to have them examine network alarms for any harmful activity. The MSSP discards those that are not malicious, while those that might actually be damaging are reported. 

Outsourcing Pros:

Expertise and Specialization

Cybersecurity firms are dedicated to staying abreast of the latest threats and security best practices. By outsourcing to them, you gain access to a team of experts with specialized knowledge and experience in tackling a wide range of cyber threats.

Cost Efficiency

Maintaining an in-house cybersecurity team can be expensive due to the need for specialized talent, ongoing training, and advanced tools. Outsourcing can often provide cost savings, as you pay for services as needed without bearing the full burden of hiring, training, and overhead costs.

24/7 Monitoring

Cyber threats can emerge at any time. Many outsourcing providers offer continuous monitoring and rapid response, ensuring that your systems are protected around the clock.

Focus on Core Competencies

Outsourcing cybersecurity lets your internal teams concentrate on their primary tasks, enhancing overall productivity and efficiency.


The MSSP (managed security service provider) already has the facilities and tools required to do the job, saving more time and the upfront expense of building out an Internal SOC.

Planning ahead

Outsourcing cybersecurity operations can provide security analysis capabilities while an organisation builds its own in-house SOC.  

Outsourcing Cons:

How much analysis is the MSSP going to provide?

Outsourcing cybersecurity operation functions does not usually provide features such as multi-tier analysis of alerts or an incident response service. Instead, many outsourced cybersecurity operations only provide the equivalent of a Level 1 cybersecurity operations analysis.  

What happens to alerts that the MSSP cannot clear?

 The MSSP may only be able to analyse a subset of alert logs generated by an organisation. Alerts from certain applications such as databases and web applications may be outside of its area of expertise. If the MSSP is also a tools or hardware vendor, it may only be able to analyse logs from its own products.  

Detailed analysis of potential threats

An organisation still needs some internal analysis capabilities to deal with the smaller number of alerts that cannot be easily cleared by the MSSP and thus returned to the client. Entrusting a third party with your cybersecurity means relinquishing some control over your security strategy and protocols.

Privacy Concerns 

Sharing sensitive data with an external provider might raise concerns about data privacy and confidentiality.

Compliance management

 The SOC must operate in compliance with regulations and standards that the company must conform with. The MSSP should provide templates for required recommended compliance processes and consider regulatory standards when developing vulnerability assessments for the company.  

Response Time

Depending on the terms of your agreement, response times to emerging threats might not be as quick as an in-house team's.

In-House SOC Pros: 

Tailors the operation to meet demand design the security operations and monitoring capabilities that best meet the organisations requirements.  

On-site storage

 Storing event log data internally lessens the risks that come with the external data transfer required to report security incidents.  

Improves communication

 Breach transparency and coordinating incident response are typically much easier and faster when the processes are conducted in-house. In-house teams can respond promptly to emerging threats, as they are directly integrated into your organization's operations.

Builds a unified security strategy

 An in-house cybersecurity operations centre can be the foundation for a comprehensive security, threat, and incident response capability.


Your in-house team can tailor security measures to your organization's specific requirements.

In-House Cons:

Planning and implementation

 The time required to get an in-house cybersecurity operations centre up and running can easily be a year and is likely longer. CISOs and other security personnel will face a significant time investment in planning and implementing the SOC. 


Establishing an in-house SOC requires a significant budget, with upfront IT and personnel investment. Recruiting, training, and maintaining an in-house cybersecurity team can be resource-intensive and costly.

Finding good personnel

Hiring people who have the right skills, training and experience or developing and training existing in-house staff can be time-consuming and expensive. Finding and retaining skilled cybersecurity professionals can be challenging due to the high demand for talent in this field.

Acquiring multiple security technologies

Continuous threat detection and compliance monitoring across several departments likely will require purchasing several AI-driven security tools. This may be out of reach for security departments budget-wise, especially in smaller organisations. Cyber threats evolve rapidly, necessitating ongoing training for your in-house team to stay updated.

In Summary

Ultimately, the decision between outsourcing and maintaining in-house cybersecurity operations depends on factors such as the size of your organization, your budget, the sensitivity of your data, and your risk tolerance. Outsourcing offers access to specialized expertise and potential cost savings, while in-house operations provide greater control and customization.The best course of action for many firms, as with many cybersecurity decisions, is to strike the perfect balance between managing the cybersecurity operations function internally and outsourcing it to an MSSP.

It's worth considering hybrid models as well, where you combine the strengths of both approaches. For instance, you might outsource certain specialized tasks while maintaining an in-house team for day-to-day operations.

No matter the choice, the goal remains the same: to safeguard your organization's digital assets and data against an increasingly sophisticated landscape of cyber threats. By carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each approach, you can make an informed decision that fortifies your cybersecurity defenses and contributes to your overall business success.

Using the speed that outsourcing offers while the company develops its own cybersecurity operations is a fair alternative, especially for businesses that want to construct an internal cybersecurity operations unit. The company can benefit from the qualified, experienced people that an MSSP has available while building the services that it wishes to offer on its own by outsourcing at least some of the cybersecurity services that are now required. 

At Franklin Fitch, we are aware that information security is becoming increasingly mainstream and we've got it covered. We routinely monitor this ever-changing environment of InfoSec and it's no surprise that the demand for talent in this area is at an all-time high. Contact one of team members today if you're looking to hire into your security team, as we cover the main areas of focus in terms of our technical expertise and experience.

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