The last thing anyone wants is to partner with an organization and feel that they are getting the short end of the stick.
That is hardly a productive partnership — it is an arrangement with a short lifespan.
A necessary component for day-to-day operations, cybersecurity services are a must for any organization no matter its size or type.
Given the complexity of cybersecurity and its ever-evolving state, many organizations turn to a third-party provider to keep their networks and data safe.
Enlisting the services of an outside entity for cybersecurity often represents a large investment. Getting your money’s worth from your cybersecurity services provider requires creating a relationship that is functional and productive from the start of the relationship — a shared responsibility by both parties.
By setting the stage upfront for a successful partnership with a cybersecurity services provider, you increase the odds for a long-term relationship you can depend on and never have to worry about.
Creating a Partnership That Works With a Cybersecurity Services Provider
A relationship with a cybersecurity services provider should not be one that leaves you wondering or worried. It should work like a dependable, well-oiled machine.
Like any mutually beneficial arrangement, a productive relationship with a cybersecurity services provider is a two-way street. To that end, there are things both you and your provider should do to make the most of your time working together.
What You (Your Organization) Should Do
On your organization’s end, there are a few things you can do you optimize a relationship with a third-party cybersecurity provider:
1. Set Internal Expectations
Before signing on the dotted line with any cybersecurity partner, it is important for your organization to define what it expects from the partnership. Setting expectations before engagement saves you from needless frustration and disappointment.
Consider the role you are looking for the provider to play. Would you rather they:
- Play a supporting role to your organization and its people, processes, and technology, and be reactive as issues come up?
- Be proactive in maintaining your cyber defenses and staving off the latest threats?
2. Clarify Your Budget
The amount of money you are willing to spend on a cybersecurity provider plays a huge role in the level of service your organization will receive and helps you set your expectations appropriately.
Perceived budget shortfalls or proposed service add-ons that go beyond the original scope of an agreement only create a sense of dissatisfaction between your organization and a cybersecurity provider.
With a clearly defined budget, there is no question about what your organization is prepared to spend on cybersecurity and the level of service it should expect for its money.
3. Get Buy-in From Leadership
Cybersecurity oversight is no longer limited to the IT department — it is something top leadership within your organization should be involved in.
Nothing stymies a relationship with a service provider like internal strife among decision-makers within an organization because of a lack of understanding. Getting your leadership team on the same page as your cybersecurity provider from the beginning saves the relationship from unnecessary interruptions and frustration.
4. Craft a Detailed SLA
A clearly defined service-level agreement with your cybersecurity provider should outline the rules of the engagement in no uncertain terms. It should include the deliverables you expect — such as completing vendor risk assessments or helping to maintain continuous data privacy compliance.
An agreement that is abundantly clear is a tool that saves both you and your provider from any misunderstandings about your relationship or perceived instances of not living up to the agreement.
5. Be Transparent
While your relationship with a cybersecurity provider is a partnership, it still is a business arrangement at its core.
The lines of communication should not only be open but also extremely clear.
Sometimes, you may need to have a frank discussion with your provider. You should not have to dance around an issue out of fear of hurting feelings. Cybersecurity and data privacy are among the most important things to keep your organizations protected from those with less than good intentions.
What You Should Expect of Your Cybersecurity Services Provider
A functional partnership goes both ways. While there is an onus on your cybersecurity service provider to come to the table prepared, here are a few base-level things you should expect from them:
1. Understand Your Organization & its Culture
Your organization is unique. A one-size-fits-all approach to cybersecurity or data privacy is not effective.
To develop frameworks that protect your organization’s digital assets, a cybersecurity consulting services provider needs to invest time in understanding your organization and its nuances. If a potential partner is not taking the initiative to familiarize themselves with your organization, they likely will not be a good fit or be able to develop customized cybersecurity solutions for your needs.
2. Complete an Initial Assessment
Part of successfully completing a job is knowing what needs to be done in the first place.
An initial assessment of your organization can identify cybersecurity gaps of sorts and help your provider better gauge what is needed to keep everything protected and data privacy always within compliance.
3. Know Their Role
Your cybersecurity provider should be prepared to work with your organization in whatever capacity you have agreed upon. This does not mean they should “step outside their lane” or complete tasks without talking to you first. This saves everyone headaches and from hard conversations later on.
Your cyber security partner has likely spent years building a reliable and trustworthy network of contacts. Why risk your compliance and cyber investment by using an unvetted partner for needs out of their realm? Zaviant recently partnered with Comstar Technologies, a full-service technology provider serving clients in all 50 states and 56 international destinations. While Zaviant handles all cyber components, Comstar can provide your business with custom UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), Physical Security, Audiovisual and Managed IT services. From consulting, to system design, implementation and ongoing support – Comstar handles every aspect of your technology needs in house, keeping Zaviant in the loop every step of the way. With Comstar and Zaviant working in tandem, your business is protected both virtually and physically, minimizing risks on all fronts.
4. Have the Proper Resources
Imagine going to a mechanic who doesn’t own any wrenches. Chances are, they would not be able to fix your car. The same principle applies to those providing your organization with cybersecurity consulting services. Without the right resources and tools, there is little they can do to actually provide adequate cyber defenses.
Function & Dependability: The Hallmarks of a Working Partnership
With both cyberthreats and data privacy standards constantly changing, hiring a third-party cybersecurity provider should not be an impediment to your organization, nor should it leave you questioning its value.
A functional partnership with a cybersecurity provider that delivers requires both sides of the arrangement working together from the onset.
Eliminate the Headache of Managing and Maintaining Cyber Defenses
Speak with one of our experts about how our cybersecurity services enhance your network security and data privacy.