According to Fortune, “The world saw an alarming 105% surge in ransomware cyberattacks” in 2021, with no indication that 2022 will be any different. In fact, bad actors are growing bolder by the day and attacking everyone from Facebook’s parent company Meta to organizations like yours.
One step to keep your company out of the news is to seek professional help by using cybersecurity consultant and advisor services. A cybersecurity consultant is an expert who can determine the protection needs of your organization and strengthen your cybersecurity posture. In short, cyber security services can:
- Help meet current staffing shortage needs. IT security experts that meet budgeting guidelines can be difficult to find and hire. Additionally, they may not be able to focus solely on IT security needs because of general staffing shortages.
- Fill the knowledge gap of your team. Many cyber security companies have professionals with years of hands-on experience in the field, which can help fill knowledge gaps that your team may have.
- Discover vulnerabilities. By testing and evaluating your internal infrastructure, a consultant can help you resolve long- and short-term issues to keep your organization safe today and in the future.
However, not all consultants are created equal, so you’ll need to find the right one for your organization. Below, we’ll discuss three things to consider before seeking out cybersecurity consulting services.
What Cybersecurity Consulting Services They Offer
In general, a consultant will assess an organization’s computer systems, network, and applications for vulnerabilities. This is followed up with recommendations for the best cyber security solutions.
Assessments may include:
- Penetration testing (pentesting). A simulated cybersecurity attack to test your systems and identify weaknesses.
- Red team engagements. A next-level pentest that involves a team of pentesters combining multiple testing vectors into a comprehensive offensive engagement.
- Social engineering testing. This is testing specifically designed to evaluate the cybersecurity awareness of your staff and understand where improvements can be made.
- Product claims testing. An assessment of a cybersecurity product to ensure it performs as intended.
Some recommendations come in the form of detailed reports that make implementation a smooth process. In many cases, implementing the recommendations after the assessments will be up to you and your team.
Aside from assessments, cyber security consultants often act as expert witnesses during investigations and legal cases based on previous experience and engagements with the company. This may include computer forensics to assist with uncovering and identifying digital evidence during a case.
Consultants may also offer cybersecurity training for your staff through virtual events and other engaging methods to improve awareness and general security knowledge.
Depending on your industry, an evaluation of managed cybersecurity services or an incident response if your organization is attacked may be required to meet regulations.
Their Level of Cybersecurity Experience
The amount of cybersecurity experience will vary, especially as new individuals come into the field to help bridge the staffing shortage and meet the increased need for cybersecurity consulting services.
In fact, the estimated shortage of cybersecurity professionals is well over 2 million globally, with the strongest needs being cloud security and data analysis. Another aspect to consider is that it takes over three years for a new professional to become proficient in the broad realm of cybersecurity.
If your organization needs an expert consultant, it’s crucial to know which firms have longevity in the field and have built a solid reputation so that you can make the wisest security investment choices for now and in the future.
While evaluating your options, you may want to consider what specialties would best suit your needs.
For example, the largest threat to most organizations is their people. In fact, a Tessian survey found that 88% of data breaches involved human error. Often, this included phishing and other forms of social engineering attacks that employees were not trained to recognize.
In this situation, partnering with a consultant who is an expert on social engineering tactics may help you to understand the preparedness of your staff. You can then take steps to improve the cybersecurity awareness of your organization and turn each employee into a strong defense against threat actors.
Cost of Cybersecurity Consulting Services
Although most cyber security consultants charge $225-$300 per hour, there is more to consider than the price tag. As Cybertrust IT Solutions puts it, “...you don’t want to judge solely based on the hourly cost. You want to look at an overall package.”
What To Look For in a Cyber Security Consultant
With updates, patches, and new software being released continuously, IT security is not a “one and done” process. This is why it’s crucial to build a relationship with your chosen consultant so that they can help you stay on top of your security. The relationship you have with your consultant may range from a yearly consultation to a more hands-on approach depending on the needs of your organization.
Reputable consultants will go beyond expectations by staying current on the latest techniques and technology used by cyber criminals. These consultants will share their knowledge with you and your staff so you can stay one step ahead of threat actors no matter their nefarious, updated plans.
Services may include routine vulnerability assessments and penetration tests tailored to address your security concerns. Additionally, if your organization has already been breached, your consultant may suggest starting with an incident response service to help remediate any damage and get your organization back up and running.
In some cases, you may be able to set up a retainer with the consulting individual or firm to find current vulnerabilities and to plan for future software updates or changes to your infrastructure.
Cybersecurity Consulting and Your Organization
Hiring an expert in the field can help your organization to mitigate risks, prevent data breaches, and avoid the costly aftermath of a ransomware attack. The right consultant can also assist with cybersecurity awareness training for your staff and offer a wide range of services to help your organization fend off potential threats with confidence.
Mitnick Security, owned by Kevin Mitnick, offers a wide range of IT infrastructure and cybersecurity services. Kevin shares his love and knowledge through his books and virtual events, while also offering expert cybersecurity consulting services to organizations looking to level up their security.
Also home to hand-picked cybersecurity experts — aka the Global Ghost Team — Mitnick Security is well-known and trusted within the industry for providing quality cybersecurity consulting to organizations of all sizes.
With the increased number of cyber attacks on organizations, it’s time to take cybersecurity seriously with the help of cybersecurity consulting. If you’re ready to protect your organization from the inside out, contact us to learn more about Mitnick Security Consulting.