Should I hire a Microsoft Sentinel Security Analyst?
When you are considering the future of your cyber security policy, you will probably arrive at the question: do I need to hire more security analysts? Often, lack of resources within a security team is one of the leading drivers for investing further in cyber security.
In this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of hiring internal security analysts. For clarity, we will be focusing on Microsoft Sentinel, formerly known as Azure Sentinel, but your company might use another SOAR or SIEM solution for your cyber security needs. Don’t worry, the points we discuss will be applicable regardless of the solution you use.
Why would I need to hire a Microsoft Sentinel security analyst?
For many organisations, implementing and managing a SIEM or SOAR solution, like Microsoft Sentinel, can be incredibly time-consuming and costly.
Organisations will often decide that more resource is needed when undergoing a project like this. With Microsoft Sentinel, properly managing the ongoing alerts and ensuring that any cyber security problems are correctly remediated requires multiple full-time staff. Staff are also needed for the initial implementation and set-up, as well as future configuration.
With the average salary in the UK for a cyber security analyst at around £38,000 per year, even hiring one or two employees can be very costly, especially for smaller businesses. Unfortunately, this resource is needed to properly manage a Microsoft Sentinel environment.
What are the alternatives to hiring a security analyst?
There are several alternatives to hiring additional staff to manage your Microsoft Sentinel environment. Firstly, there is the option to outsource the management to a third-party cyber security specialist, like Wizard Cyber.
This option has several benefits:
No expensive hiring and ongoing training process
Gain access to an entire team of cyber security specialists, rather than just one or two internal employees
Saves your existing security team valuable time
Access decades of experience in Microsoft Sentinel
Peace of mind in knowing that your business is protected from cyber threats 24/7
For all these benefits, you might assume that the price would be more expensive than hiring internal employees, but that’s not the case. Services like these can be tailored to your organisation’s unique needs, meaning you only pay for what you need. The time and money saved in overheads of extra staff are also significant.
More often than not, the cost of outsourcing Microsoft Sentinel support is far cheaper than running a full in-house security team and hiring additional Sentinel-specific security analysts.
Other than outsourcing, organisations can opt to focus on their existing employees. By electing to train and nurture talent already within the business, they can fill skill gaps without needing to hire additional people.
The downside of this is that it can stretch these employees too thin by putting a strain on their workload and increasing the number of responsibilities they have. This can lead to reduced quality of work, stress, and potential burnout. Typically, it’s not advisable to simply add additional responsibilities to existing employees if a pronounced skill gap or need has been identified.
Should I hire a Microsoft Sentinel security analyst?
All of this brings us to the question: should you hire a Microsoft Sentinel security analyst for your team? Ultimately, it depends on what your goals are for your security operations center (SOC).
If your organisation has the investment to continue to develop its security team continuously, then an internal analyst might be a good idea. Keep in mind that constant training is required, and you may find that the workload is too much for one or even two analysts.
If you are going to keep it in-house, staying agile is vital. Ongoing investment is key to staying ahead of the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape as well, meaning that you need to maintain this investment going forward.
This investment will be too much for many organisations, though. The investment required to maintain an effective in-house SOC is extensive and will be beyond the reach of many. In almost all cases, outsourcing an established cyber security specialist is the answer.
It’s a far more cost-effective option, relieves the pressure on your existing security and IT teams, and is a much simpler option operationally.