Russia’s attack against Ukraine rapidly raised security awareness in Sweden, also making cybersecurity more important than ever before. However, Swedish organizations themselves admit they are far from mature in their capabilities to secure digital systems. Why is it that they are lagging behind in maturity, and could a Security Operations Center be a critical step in improving the situation?
The first Nixu Cybersecurity Index Report, published in November 2022, revealed that Swedish organizations have a lower cybersecurity maturity than their counterparts in Finland. Their average self-assessment resulted in a mere “deficient” maturity level.
Among organizations’ executive management, the shortcomings caused by immaturity raise serious concerns: Will cyber threats harm our operations, business data, customers, or the corporate image? Can the geopolitical situation somehow lead to us becoming victims of cyber-attacks?
“It is hard to say what the exact reasons behind the lower maturity in Sweden are. But one possible reason is that comprehensive security thinking has been more relevant in Finland due to its geopolitical location. In addition, another reason could be that Finnish companies are more used to outsourcing their cybersecurity instead of managing it in-house,” says Jan Mickos, head of Nixu’s Managed Services.
How could a Security Operations Center improve the situation?
The most essential step for improving maturity is to ensure that there are no blind spots in the digital environment. In other words, visibility is critical for security. If you can’t see what is happening in your digital environment, you can’t protect yourself properly.
“Many organizations suffer from fragmented cybersecurity based on point solutions. Fragmentation leads to limited visibility, obscuring real-time awareness,” Mickos points out.
In his opinion, the most efficient way to ensure 360-degree visibility is to have a Security Operations Center, SOC. Briefly, it is a team of experts responsible for monitoring, detecting, preventing, investigating, and responding to cyber threats 24 hours a day, seven days a week as a centralized function.
A SOC might sound necessary only for the largest organizations, but cybercriminals prefer to avoid those with the best security.
“Any organization, regardless of size and industry, can be blackmailed by ransomware that renders all digital systems inaccessible. The less mature an organization's cyber defense is, the more likely it is to be targeted and a victim of a successful attack.”
Unrealistic to set up your own SOC?
Improving maturity by setting up your own Security Operations Center is unrealistic for most organizations. Running a modern SOC is a very complex and expensive undertaking. The ongoing evolution of cybersecurity technologies and the need to constantly adopt new skills and tools makes managing this mix increasingly complicated.
“Cybersecurity experts are in high demand around the world, which makes recruiting and keeping the best talent very tough. Organizations should not compete in who gets to recruit. Instead, the best way to go is to outsource cybersecurity and make skills scale for everyone,” Mickos says.
No wonder even the largest enterprises have concluded that setting up a cost-effective in-house SOC is mission impossible. Instead, SOC as a Service is the smartest, most effective, and most practical option for almost any organization.
In the past, outsourcing IT, in general, was considered a risky move that could weaken cybersecurity. It has turned out that the opposite is true. Fears have vanished.
“Mature cybersecurity service providers have much better resources and processes than most organizations to ensure that digital systems are well protected. There is no need to hesitate, but you need to select your partner carefully. Partnering with Nixu provides a lean way to get your SOC as a service up and running surprisingly fast,” Jan Mickos concludes.