What do cybersecurity consultants do? And are they worth the money?

What do cybersecurity consultants do? And are they worth the money?

Protecting against ever-evolving hacking techniques and cyberthreats is something that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Orlando must take seriously. In fact, a 2019 study by the Ponemon Institute found that cyberattacks targeting SMBs have increased by over 20% since 2016.

Unfortunately, many organizations are unable to leverage strong security measures due to limited IT security personnel, expertise, and budgets. Some SMBs simply can’t afford to prioritize cybersecurity over the value-generating aspects of their business. This leaves them vulnerable to a host of risks ranging from data breaches and system lockouts to loss of competitive advantage.

One of the most effective ways to alleviate these concerns is to hire a competent cybersecurity consultant who will help you stay ahead of cyber risks to help solidify your security posture.

Why is cybersecurity important for SMBs?

As a business generates more data and draws more value from it, it faces larger and larger risks. And with data-fueled technologies projected to generate $13 trillion worth of new economic activity by 2030, all businesses must be prepared to protect themselves against imminent threats.

In 2019, insurance provider Hiscox found that cyberattacks cost organizations of all sizes an average of $200,000. This may not be a hefty price tag for a multimillion-dollar company, but it’s a big price to pay for a small business, especially if it doesn’t have insurance or financial backing.

But cyberattacks go far beyond financial loss — these can impact a business’s reputation, consumer trust, and bottom line. Potential customers may avoid doing business with a company after it has suffered a breach, believing it is careless or has weak internal controls. This loss of customers may then lead to a reduction in sales and profits. In fact, coaching organization Vistage reported that 60% of small companies affected by a security breach go out of business within six months following the incident.

Considering these significant impacts, it’s imperative that SMBs manage, protect, and secure data to maintain their operations and productivity in the modern business landscape.

What does a cybersecurity consultant do?

The main responsibility of a cybersecurity consultant is to develop strategies to protect a company’s networking infrastructure, information systems, and data against potential cyberthreats. This involves evaluating cyber risks, looking for faults in existing security strategies, and implementing robust security solutions.

In particular, cybersecurity consultants:

  • Perform routine threat analyses, system checks, and security tests
  • Define and update protocols and procedures for detecting and preventing breaches
  • Measure the vulnerability of the programs and software used by a company
  • Estimate costs and categorize integration issues for IT projects
  • Train or impart professional recommendations and guidance to IT staff or teams

Why do SMBs need cybersecurity consultants?

Securing your digital assets is not a one-off task — it must be carried out continuously. And depending on the size of your business and the importance of the data you hold, you may need to address a number of areas. A cybersecurity consultant can help you develop and implement a cybersecurity strategy that can save your company thousands of dollars in costs related to breaches.

Here are three good reasons to hire a cybersecurity consultant.

1. They have the right skill set and experience

Not all IT professionals are well-versed in the nuances of cybersecurity. So even if you have full-time IT staff with some experience, it helps to have an actual cybersecurity expert take a look at your systems with fresh eyes. An outside opinion may be just what you need to ensure that all your bases are covered.

A cybersecurity consultant keeps abreast of current and evolving threats, and knows how to implement the latest security standards and protocols to safeguard your systems and proprietary data. They can help identify vulnerabilities and recommend solutions, including security software and hardware, that will protect your organization from losses.

2. They will provide you with an unbiased opinion of your IT security needs

A cybersecurity consultant is not obligated to sell you any one solution, or push any one hardware manufacturer or software company. They will consider your business’s unique needs — assessing where you are and where you want to go in terms of cybersecurity — and provide appropriate suggestions to help you get there.

If they do recommend a particular product over another, it’s because they believe it is a good fit for your needs and your budget. Some cybersecurity consultants may even have IT partners from which they can get you great deals, but if the product is not the best for you, then they likely won’t recommend it.

3. They can help educate your employees

A cybersecurity consultant can help educate your employees on the best ways to protect your digital assets. With their technical guidance and expertise, the consultant will work with your IT team to develop, design, and implement a sound cybersecurity strategy, and provide non-IT staff with essential security training.

Once the consultant completes their job, you can expect that their efforts will continue to be implemented by an informed workforce.

Is a cybersecurity consultant worth the money?

Many businesses balk at the idea of hiring a consultant because they think it’s too expensive. But the cost of suffering a cyberattack or losing important data is much greater than signing up a consultant.

If they charged $X and helped you avoid a $Y disaster, then it’s clearly worth it. What you’re probably worried about is paying a consultant to avoid a threat that may never materialize. But could you survive $200,000 in recovery costs in a single month? If not, you have the option to A) sacrifice a bit of cash to protect and enable your business to survive and grow in the long run, or B) forego protection and accept that a single attack will put you out of business.

On top of preventing costly cyberattacks, a consultant can help you find ways to cut costs without sacrificing your level of protection. You will also know exactly how much the job costs from the get-go and will only pay for the time the consultant works on your project. This will make your financial planning more efficient, as opposed to going in blind to handle cybersecurity concerns on your own.

And because a cybersecurity consultant is there to do one thing only — protect your business from cyberattacks — they won’t get side-tracked by other responsibilities. This means that they will be 100% dedicated to the task at hand, so the job is likely to be done more quickly and efficiently than it would if in-house IT staff did it. Consequently, your staff will be able to focus on their own responsibilities without worrying about cybersecurity, resulting in increased productivity across the board.

Ultimately, hiring a cybersecurity consultant can do more than save you money — it can also add value to your bottom line.

At Data Cube Systems, your business always comes first. We will align the security strategy to your business goals and customize a unique plan for your needs. Our experts will identify, detect, protect, respond, and ensure your business recovers from a cyberattack. Our recommendations are aimed at helping your company thrive in the long run, so get in touch with us today.