How To Choose the Cybersecurity Provider That’s Right for You

Guide: How To Choose the Cybersecurity Provider That’s Right for You?

The security landscape is constantly changing, and organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the latest threats.

Security professionals are under immense pressure to protect their organizations' assets, and they are often overburdened and understaffed.

Thus, it is essential that you find an expert who can help you secure your cyberspace without overwhelming your existing team.

Let us guide you through key steps that can help you choose the perfect cybersecurity provider for your business.

Step 0 - Making Yourself Aware

"Today’s cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, employees handle endless apps, and data has become currency."


A recent survey of more than 250 corporate IT professionals showcased that 95% of respondents are concerned about an upcoming cyber attack; more than half of the respondents (52%) fear data loss, while 37% are worried about reputation loss. 

However, only 16% of the respondents claim to trust suitable cybersecurity service providers following an attack, citing a congested market and a lack of product effectiveness and documentation as primary barriers to acquisition.

Additional data insights include:

  • Regarding outsourcing cybersecurity solutions, brand reputation was the most important factor (41%), surpassing cost, competence, and even third-party referrals.
  • 30% of business leaders are unaware of the name of their existing cybersecurity provider.
  • 68% of the purchasers are overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of cybersecurity companies in the market.
  • 30% of the purchasers cited a lack of brand recognition as one of the most significant obstacles when choosing a cybersecurity service provider.

What should mobile app business security professionals do to guarantee they choose the appropriate cybersecurity partner to handle their security requirements, given that their pain areas are evident?

Once you're aware of the need and state of cybersecurity in today's world, the next few steps can help you find the right kind of expert to secure your cyberspace.

Step 1: Identify the Cybersecurity Needs of Your Company

Demonstrating value is one of the most challenging aspects of working in cybersecurity. The only feature of the system that business leaders need to comprehend is its cost-effectiveness. In the industry, we, therefore, speak in terms of risk. 

Identify the Cybersecurity Needs of Your Company-1

Risk is the common language of cybersecurity and corporate operations. Businesses generally recognize risk and serve as a driving principle in decision-making. We know cybersecurity measures minimize the likelihood of data breaches, but the question is by how much and at what expense.

We require data to make informed business decisions on an appropriate level of security. This information originates from cybersecurity metrics.

A. Collect the Numbers

Where do you turn when you need to generate cybersecurity-related metrics? You will need to consider both external (industry-wide statistics) and internal factors (internal statistics).

There are several sources for industry-wide statistics, such as the IBM & Ponemon Institute's annual report on the cost of data breaches, which contains a wealth of valuable information. The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) is an annual analysis of trends in data breaches that breaks down data breaches by industry, attack vectors, and vulnerabilities. 

There are also industry-specific publications, such as the summaries of healthcare data breaches published on the Office of Civil Rights website of the Department of Health and Human Services. These can be excellent tools for understanding the potential impact, dangers, probability, and overall cost of actual accidents.

Internal statistics are probably more essential than industry-wide data because they are specifically tailored to your organization's concerns. There are numerous approaches to developing internal cybersecurity metrics; incident response measurement is one of them. 

Your incident response plan and procedures should include documentation methods. Some firms utilize IT ticketing systems to document efforts and track cybersecurity events throughout their lifecycle. You will need to record information, including:

  • Date and time of the incident
  • Time of incident detection
  • Response start time 
  • Response start time 
  • The first responder(s)
  • Who or what technology identified and reported the incident?
  • Incident category
  • Whether data was compromised (and, if so, its classification and amount).
  • Incident outcome

B. Define Ideal Outcomes

Initially, defining such outcomes would be difficult, but most of it can be easily automated via your ticketing system, vulnerability scanner, phishing and user awareness platform, etc. Once the difficult job has been completed up front, we can determine:

  • How to assess the Incident Response (IR) team's response times?
  • Who are the hardest working members of the IR team based on the number of events they handle over a certain time frame?
  • The effectiveness of detection techniques depends on how long it takes to detect security incidents.
  • The impact of certain event types is based on the amount and type of data theft.
  • The types of systemic vulnerabilities (do we need better patching, network segregation, or web application security).

Analyzing the data from these security metrics generates organization-specific actionable intelligence. Armed with this information, we can better characterize the risks and the organization's ability to mitigate them. Collecting and evaluating this data will allow your business to decide whether your organization's resources are sufficient to mitigate the existing security risks or your need to look for a suitable cybersecurity service provider.

Step 2: Questions You Should Ask Your Cybersecurity Providers

Any meaningful organizational change requires complex decision-making. A budget must be met, many stakeholders to appease, and risks to manage. Even more, problems arise while selecting and installing a new system, as it can be challenging to ensure that it satisfies your organization's security requirements and expectations. 

Here are a few questions you might think of asking while looking for a new security service provider:

A. Data Questions to Ask Your Cybersecurity Provider

Q1. How Is Data Safeguarded?

A1. What data protection procedures does the security service provider have in place? This question may require a lengthy response; please allow them to describe their methods, protections, and tactics.

Q2. How Do You Handle Remote Data Access?

A2. The ability for developers to operate remotely, whether from home or a client's location, is one of the key advantages of cloud-based systems. Nonetheless, it must be secure and provide full access without compromising data.

Q3. How Are Authorized Users and Sensitive Information Managed?

A3. Numerous enterprises require multiple tiers of system users. For instance, a front-line developer may only be able to access data, whereas an executive may be able to alter and delete information. 

Similarly, a department's secret data may only be accessible to individuals with login credentials for that department. Ensure that the system monitors data changes so that you can know who modified the data and when.

Additionally, you require a system with robust password management, including regular updates and character requirements.

Q4. How Is Data Restored in the Event That It Is Lost?

A4. Not a good sign if the vendor has not created a comprehensive data recovery plan. If they do not know how to restore their data, it is unlikely that they will be able to recover yours.

Questions You Should Ask Your Cybersecurity ProvidersB. Security-Related Questions to Ask Your Cybersecurity Provider

Q1. What Measures Are You Taking To Prevent Security Breaches?

Similar to the issue of data protection, this question verifies that multiple cybersecurity policies and practices are in place. As long as the provider employs appropriate tactics, this question is straightforward to answer.

Q2. Do You Possess (X) Security Certifications?

Your organization might demand vendors to demonstrate cybersecurity compliance. The supplier must be able to supply the required documentation regarding the security certifications they have already obtained.

Q3. Have You Implemented (X) Security Measures?

Your team may require particular security measures to ensure the security of your mobile application. Ensure that the vendor meets or surpasses all your security requirements and expectations.

Q4. Which Best Practices for Cybersecurity Are Being Followed?

Internal processes documentation provides the best response to this topic. It demonstrates that cybersecurity is taken seriously within the firm and that staff is expected to adhere to a common rulebook.

Q5. How Frequently Do You Perform Vulnerability Scans?

Suppliers entrusted with huge quantities of sensitive data should frequently examine their systems for vulnerabilities. Perhaps even more crucial is the frequency with which these scans identify problems and how promptly they are resolved to ensure that customers are not negatively impacted.

Q6. How Frequently Is Your System Upgraded?

Due to the rapid evolution of technology, systems require continuous updates to address new vulnerabilities and problems. Some updates may be issued periodically, while others need system downtime.

Q7. Are the Results of Your Most Recent External Security Audit Available?

A second-hand assessment of the effectiveness of the vendor's security procedures is both informative and valuable. It can eliminate (or confirm) any uncertainties you may have.

Q8. Have You Implemented Any Physical Data Protection Measures?

With such a strong emphasis on cybersecurity, it is easy to overlook that vendors can also implement physical security measures, such as securing the entrances to data-hosting computer rooms.

C. Security Team Questions

Q1. Who is in Charge of Cybersecurity Within Your Organization?

The ability to provide information on key executives or contacts in charge of cybersecurity indicates that team members are committed to safeguarding data protection. It also defines who will be responsible for your future issues and inquiries.

Q2. How Frequently Do You Train Your Security Personnel?

Cyber threats are in a perpetual state of evolution, and as they develop, so do best practices. Team members should be trained on the systems, policies, and procedures required to safeguard data from the most recent threats and hacker approaches.

Q3. How Do You Evaluate the Expertise of Your Security Team?

Some information on the selection and monitoring process will help you understand the staff knowledge and comfort you that your data will be in good hands.

Step 3: Compare Your Shortlisted Providers

The market for cybersecurity providers is relatively chaotic. Many cybersecurity solutions appear identical on the surface, have extensive success stories, and offer varying degrees of value to managed service providers (MSPs).

Businesses need to note the differences between the many software partners available. The following are some key criteria to assist you in choosing a reliable cybersecurity service provider with whom you can develop a long-term partnership.

Q1. Do They Have a Chief Information Security Officer or Security Contact in Place?

A1. A third party's use of specialized resources to control risks and protect sensitive data demonstrates how seriously that party takes security. The availability of a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) makes matters relatively easier for your business and also eases up things on the compliance front.

Q2. Are They Aligned With a Framework for the Industry, Such As NIST, or Do They Have Industry Certification?

A2. Industry certification offers further assurance about the vendor's dedication to safeguarding their systems and customers' information, even though it may not always reflect the efficacy of third-party security controls.

Q3. Do They Have a Mature Program for Managing Threats and Gathering Intelligence?

A3. It's essential to find out how well their security controls work. This can be done by looking at independent security audit reports to evaluate the vendor's vulnerability management, secure software development processes, and threat management programs, such as cyber intelligence.

Q4. Do They Give You the “Right To Audit?”

A4. Depending on the risk profile of a security vendor, you may want to include a clause that gives you the right to audit the security vendor's systems to determine their level of risk and exposure.

Q5. Do They Have a Mature Plan for Responding to Incidents, Such As Service Level Agreements for Notifying People of Incidents?

A5. Data protection and privacy rules have become stringent, and organizations must report major breaches within a certain time. The data owners and gatekeepers are responsible for the disclosure, so your organization would need to work closely with a concerned vendor to meet those deadlines and avoid possible non-compliance or penalties.

Q6. Did They Resolve Any Major Data Theft Incidents?

A6. No organization is safe from cyberattacks, but when a big one happens, it's wise to figure out what controls failed and how the organization fixed them so it doesn't happen again. While comparing your cybersecurity vendors, this is a very critical point to consider. 

A mature security service provider must have dealt with an alarming security incident in the past. How they managed to get through that speaks of their ability to deal with such incidents in the future.

Q7. Are Your Data Processing Needs Compatible With the Vendor’s Products?

A7. Organizations may have stringent requirements or business requirements to process or not process data in particular places or regions. These requirements must be agreed upon and continuously reviewed when selecting a vendor.

Q8. What Is Their Cyber Score?

A8. To anticipate the likelihood of a possible breach owing to an organization's exposure, it is prudent to determine their exposure to the surface web, deep web, and dark web. Several companies offer cyber-score for suppliers and let you compare them to other vendors in a similar field.

When it comes to leading mobile application cybersecurity service providers, Appknox has been trusted to build a safe and secure mobile ecosystem for businesses all over the globe by utilizing its system plus human approach to beat the hackers at their own game. 

Appknox offers one of the most advanced plug-and-play security solutions embedded with smart vulnerability assessment and penetration testing tools which help security experts and developers in building the safest mobile applications.

Competitive Advantages of Cybersecurity TeamsCompetitive Advantages of Cybersecurity Teams

You could jeopardize your business as a result of one cyberattack. 60% of small and medium-sized businesses shut down six months after an attack. Businesses that become targets of hackers and cybercriminals lose the trust of their clients and their repeat business.

This is why selecting a company to handle your firm's cybersecurity needs is an essential investment. Here are some reasons why you need to work with a cybersecurity service right away:

1. Make Sure Your Company Is Safe From Cyber Attacks

Protecting your company from all kinds of cyber-attacks is the primary responsibility of a cybersecurity service provider. Industry-leading cybersecurity partners like Appknox implement vulnerability assessment tools like SAST and DAST to deter vulnerabilities and security loopholes.

The services of an ideal security service provider revolve around continuously updating your defenses and keeping an eye on the network activity to achieve threat management.

2. Determine Network Infrastructure Vulnerabilities

Your network may contain security vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to access your system. One of the first tasks a cybersecurity agency you employ will perform is a thorough network audit to look for vulnerabilities. They will then inform you of their findings and provide a plan of action to seal these security gaps and fortify your network.

3. Offer Training on Cybersecurity Best Practices

Your staff may be your biggest weakness if they lack cybersecurity training. Human mistake is the leading cause and accounts for almost 27% of data breaches, according to the Ponemon Institute's 2018 Cost of a Breach Study. These percentages will drop massively as employees learn about appropriate cybersecurity practices and routines.

4. Improve Your Defenses Against Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity firms will regularly do patch management on every device in the network. The operating systems of each piece of hardware in the network could have security flaws. These security flaws are often "patched" by the people who make these programs. IT teams then download and install these patches on their network devices. Your cybersecurity partner will install these patches and keep them up to date to protect your network from malware that will take advantage of weaknesses.

5. Identify and Remediate Cybersecurity Issues

A cybersecurity service provider will regularly check on your app's internal processes and keep an eye out for anything that doesn't seem right. They will also use all the methods they have for scanning for malware and viruses to see if any new types of malware have gotten into the infrastructure. If their methods find something, they will immediately eliminate the malware and get your system back in working order.

6. Support Your Company's Compliance Needs

As consumers become more aware of significant data breaches, more and more governments are putting the responsibility of protecting customer data on businesses and corporations. They make laws and penalize those who don't follow them.

One of the best examples is the European Union, which created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to prevent data breaches and fight cybercrime by preparing companies for these possible problems. If a company doesn't adhere to any of GDPR's regulations, it could be fined in addition to any damages caused by the infringement.

Ideal cybersecurity partners like Appknox can help your business meet these rules by ensuring your network is always up to date. We continuously track your applications for compliance gaps like HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, OWASP, CCPA, VPPA, and more.

What Should be Your Immediate Next Step?Final Thoughts

After you have decided to outsource security to your trusted cybersecurity partner, you have to make sure that the transition is smooth and also aligns with the stage of development in which your mobile application currently is (not yet developed, developing, or deployed to production). 

Based on these factors, these can be your immediate next steps while transitioning security to your cybersecurity vendor:

1. Identify Gaps in Your Existing Infrastructure

The right external security team will keep an eye on threats to your mobile app, both those that occur every day and those that are far away and that you may not know about. They can look at your processes, security protocols, training, and software environment. This planning can make you safer online and make it more difficult for hackers to get to you.

2. Focus on Integration and Automation

It is much better and more beneficial for a cybersecurity provider if both parties see the partnership as a collaboration. The strategy will be fully and consistently implemented if it can mesh with your team and the organization. The highest level of automation should be used for routine operations and incident response. Look for solutions that can automate the most time-consuming and ineffective tasks.

3. Focus on Cybersecurity Training

In addition to your security vendor, your in-house teams must also stay vigilant and ensure their actions don't open new gateways for threat actors. So, while transitioning your affairs to a new cybersecurity vendor, it becomes essential to train your employees on cybersecurity best practices as well. 

4. Get Compliance Ready from the Start

One of the most significant issues corporate boards face nowadays is regulatory compliance standards. The typical enterprise has been turned inside out over the past two years. All companies require an always-connected defensive posture and clarity on what business risks distant users elevate to remain secure as the new normal of hybrid work begins to take hold.

Wrapping Up

It is undeniable that cyber risks will exist and run parallelly alongside the internet and web-based technologies. As technology advances, so too do the threats we face and the complexity of those attacks.

Instead of sweating and worrying about security intrusions, the wise approach is to invest in a sound cybersecurity service that will go the extra mile to ensure the optimum security of your data and information systems.

Take charge of your mobile app security Get started with Appknox today

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