Over the past five to ten years, the cybersecurity landscape of modern business has dramatically changed. With cyber threats becoming more and more sophisticated each day, business leaders are focused on protecting their organizations from becoming one of the businesses that will be targeted by cybercriminals. The cost of cybercrime is projected to hit an all-time high of $6 trillion globally in 2021. To combat this growing challenge, organizations are reimagining their approach to building effective cybersecurity practices by leveraging the services of security professionals to provide expert insight into keeping their organizations protected from cybercriminals.
What is Cybersecurity Consulting?
Cybersecurity consulting is an umbrella term used to describe a security professional or a security team that is contracted by organizations to offer consulting services with the intention to enhance an existing cybersecurity posture by identifying vulnerabilities and offering strategies to remediate those vulnerabilities. Often cybersecurity consultants have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field or advanced education within the field of information technology or cybersecurity. In addition to this formal background, cybersecurity consultants often possess years of experience in advanced vulnerability testing and diagnostics to accurately assess vulnerabilities and provide remediation steps to improve the security posture of their client’s environment. Further, cybersecurity consultants may possess advanced certifications such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional or CISSP certification, the Certified Information Security Manager certification or CISM, AWS Certified Security certification, and others.
Cybersecurity Consultants Strategies
When cybersecurity consultants contract with an organization to assess their cybersecurity posture and provide insight into how to improve their existing security posture, they will often divide their work into two distinct categories: assessment and remediation.
When cybersecurity consultants perform a security assessment, they are often looking to expose vulnerabilities that can lead to cybersecurity exploit if not addressed. This often entails implementing testing such as penetration testing, ethical hacking practices to expose vulnerabilities or other common strategies to expose potential threats. Often, if assessments are thorough, these cybersecurity experts can prevent cybersecurity exploits such as cyber-attacks, data breaches, malware intrusion, phishing attacks, and other exploits that pose great financial risk to the organization.
Once identified, cybersecurity consultants will develop security solutions that enhance existing security architectures, security controls, security policies, and operations to greatly enhance the fortitude of the organization’s cybersecurity posture. These remediation strategies act as a risk management tool that greatly reduces the risk associated with cyber attacks.
What is an Information Security Consultant?
Very similar to cybersecurity consultants or cybersecurity professionals, an information security consultant is a security consultant focused on enhancing information security policies and practices. Often information security consultants provide very similar services, however, IT security consultants are more concerned with network security as well as security operations and security standards related to the protection and management of information.
To address the protection and management of information security, Information Security consultants will assess the policies and procedures related to data protection, data replication, high availability of data. Further, information security consultants may also offer consulting services related to meeting compliance requirements around PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and other regulatory frameworks that outline healthy practices for storing, managing, and transmitting sensitive data. Often, information security consultants will leverage the resources of security engineers to ensure data is protected via effective backup strategies and recovery strategies. These strategies help ensure that an organization can effectively retrieve data, should they have a loss of their production environment and require restoring from a backup. Often, to enhance these processes information security consultants will validate restoration processes or fail-over processes to ensure that an organization is well-positioned to react in the event of a data loss or outage.
Evolution of the CISO Role
To address this growing need in today’s organizations for a more effective security posture, the CISO (Chief Information Security Officers) position is now becoming a very common executive position within organizations to ensure proper security initiatives are enacted at the highest level of leadership in an organization. Support by senior security consultants and other expert security professionals, CISOs leverage the resources of third-party professionals to ensure their organization is resilient to today’s modernized attacks.