Navigating Cybersecurity Challenges with Outsourced Solutions


Cybersecurity outsourcing is a rapidly changing landscape. Small to medium-sized enterprises, such as CPA firms, face the daunting challenge of ensuring robust security without the budget to support extensive in-house teams. Bill Schneller of Geffen Mesher gives a firsthand account from a CPA firm perspective on cybersecurity outsourcing, specifically highlighting the engagement with Vigilant, a security operations center (SOC) provider renowned for its exceptional hunt team and incident response capabilities.

Cybersecurity Outsourcing as a Strategic Decision

The narrative begins with the firm’s realization of the impracticality of establishing a full-fledged security team due to budget constraints. The decision to explore outsourced SOC providers was driven by recommendations from peers within the industry, emphasizing the importance of monthly reports and active monitoring services. However, the distinguishing factor for choosing Vigilant lay in its commitment to security excellence and its proactive approach to incident response (IR) and threat hunting. “The reason that you hire Vigilant is because one, the company is completely committed…and I feel like we’ve actually got a partner,” Schneller explains, emphasizing the value of having a dedicated team ready to handle security incidents without additional costs.

The collaboration with Vigilant is described as “tremendous,” marked by the absence of breaches and the efficient handling of incidents. A notable incident involved Schneller’s own actions leading to a false alarm, which Vigilant swiftly identified and addressed, showcasing their meticulous verification process and commitment to thorough investigation. This incident underscores Vigilant’s role not just as a service provider but as a true partner in cybersecurity, with capabilities that the firm “could never hire independently.”

The Importance of Community and Information Sharing

Schneller also highlights the benefits of being part of InfraGard, a public-private partnership with the FBI, which provided valuable intelligence on ransomware threats. This cooperation and information sharing are critical components of a holistic cybersecurity strategy, emphasizing the importance of community involvement and proactive measures in defense against cyber threats.

His cybersecurity outsourcing experience with Vigilant illustrates the profound impact of selecting a SOC provider that aligns with the organization’s values and security needs. Vigilant’s expertise, especially in threat hunting and incident response, backed by a passionate team led by a visionary founder, has enabled the firm to “sleep at night,” knowing their cybersecurity is in capable hands. This partnership exemplifies the critical role of external experts in augmenting the cybersecurity posture of SMEs, offering lessons in diligence, trust, and the significance of shared missions in the cybersecurity domain.

Schneller encapsulates the essence of finding a cybersecurity partner that not only meets but exceeds expectations, reinforcing the importance of expertise, dedication, and mutual respect in the ongoing battle against cyber threats, “I will always stick with a vendor who I think is really doing a great job.”

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