Security consulting is an umbrella term that covers a wide array of different services in order to help organizations and create a robust security environment. The various services covered by that term usually include threat assessments, policy review and development, and master planning.
Simply put, the security decisions that your organization makes today often have far-reaching consequences. They can determine your company’s security and resilience for many years to come. This is why security consulting, as a comprehensive service, enables you to feel more assertive about the actions and choices you made to protect your organization, facilities, operations, employees, and other assets.
However, while realizing that they need security consulting services is usually not a hard decision, companies have a much tougher choice in finding the right consultants for the job. Most large organizations that operate globally, look to employ the services of firms – like SCS, that have decades of experience advising private clients and corporations across industries that range from:
- government, etc.
Making the Right Choice
Hiring outside consultants for whatever reason or need is standard practice for many areas of business in the 21 century. However, the security industry is perhaps one of the slower sectors to adopt this practice.
The reason for this might be that many security directors or managers in corporations feel confident that they already know everything there is to know about security consulting. On the other hand, they might be fearful that this could be seen as a sign of their own lack of ability or competence.
Whatever the case may be, we would not think less of a family GP for consulting a specialist like cardio surgeon if his patient’s condition went beyond his expertise. Modern medicine would be very inhibited if practitioners did not consult specialists when their patient’s conditions called for it.
Why should security consulting be any different?
The truth is that outside consultants can help a company’s internal security team improve overall safety levels. Generally, there are two basic modalities when it comes to hiring security consulting specialists:
Project-based – a classic contractor relationship in which consultants provide advice, direction, and assistance on specific projects or for unique security needs.
Outsourced – favored usually by smaller companies with small or no internal security teams; a good cost-efficient model for businesses without CSOs or security directors.
A threat assessment is the starting point for any security consultant.
You cannot properly protect yourself from any threat that could damage your company, its’ assets, offices, employees or reputation without knowing what your vulnerabilities are and how a threat could exploit them.
So, a threat assessment is an evaluation of events that can negatively affect an organization. Historical information is usually the main source for threat assessments. A proper threat assessment considers actual, inherent, and potential threats.
Actual Threats – This is the quantitative element of a threat assessment and it includes the incident history against an asset or at a facility where the asset is located.
Inherent Threats – By this, we mean threats that exist due to the nature or characteristics of the company, operations or industry.
Potential Threats – These are threats due to certain vulnerabilities around the company or weaknesses in the security program that produces opportunities for incidents to occur.
Security Policy Review and Development
Security policies are clear and comprehensive plans, rules, and practices that regulate access to company operations and information. A good policy is there to protect not only information and operations but also individual employees and the company as a whole.
It is a statement to the outside world about the corporation’s commitment to security.
A security policy review and development refers to a process intended to ensure that security is implemented and operates according to company policy and procedures. Usually, this is reviewed independently at planned intervals or when significant changes occur.
Security Master Planning
A security master plan enables a company to prioritize, estimate and implement risk mitigation measures. It is a vision of an organization’s security department, its roles, and responsibilities, as well as its overall place within the company.
Security master plans are built on best practices and tailored to a company’s unique needs. The best plans aim not only to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to incidents but also to provide methods or consistently update and monitor the security plan itself.
Organizations either develop this plan internally or use the outside security consultants to:
- assist them from an objective, unbiased position; and,
- provide realistic expectations best suited for the company.
Choosing outside help in terms of security consulting brings real-world experience and knowledge to your organization. You get to benefit from their insights and expertise that your company probably lacks.
The Benefits of Security Consulting
In all probability, your company may not have the in-house expertise, time, or resources to detect, prevent or respond to today’s ever-evolving threat landscape. If that is the case, then security consulting services can be the solution to your dilemma.
The benefits of utilizing outside consultants are quite numerous. They can be the answer to your minimal resources and time. They can provide the greatest value and knowledge to handle the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
However, one of the greatest benefits of security consulting is that it provides you with a neutral and unbiased perspective on the security issues surrounding your company. Because of your direct involvement, you can be too close to the issues and unable to see the threats clearly.
This neutrality allows consultants to also tell it like it is without fear of the retribution that may prevent internal whistleblowers from feeling like they can come forward about existing security issues.
Also, your security team will most likely be busy with many other projects and initiatives. Therefore, security consulting firms act as an extension of your team. They can offer your company-specific expertise in areas such as attack detection and remediation, and incident response.
In addition, companies like SCS have years of experience working with hundreds of clients and utilizing the latest security technologies. With the right consulting you get a customized security playbook based on best practices and fitting perfectly your environment and needs.