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The Japanese film "The Seven Samurai" co-written, edited and directed by Akira Kurosawa is a story about attack on a small village. After the desperate villagers have realized that they do not have enough money for weapons or for the warriors to wield them, they have decided to use services of seven unemployed samurai offering them three meals a day for protecting themselves.

This film taking place in 16th century is a very good introduction in the outsourcing topic. More precise: IT security outsourcing. The inhabitants of the village were under budgeted, had not enough qualified staff and had to challenge increasing security threads.

One of key findings of Symantec study Managed Security in the Enterprise undertaken in January 2009 among 1,000 US and European mid-sized and large companies is that companies turn to outsourcing of their IT security. 66 percent of US companies and 77 percent of European respondents said they were outsourcing some of their security functions in order to:

• have 24/7 access to fully trained staff,
• cut costs,
• mitigate increasingly complex risks.

No wonder – 88 percent of the surveyed companies experienced cyber attacks against their organizations over the past two years and 30 percent of them were of the opinion that these attacks were “somewhat effective” or “highly effective”. Almost every second firm forecasted increase in the number of cyber attacks against their organizations in the coming two years.

Companies surveyed have experienced different kinds of costs due to cyber attacks. Each third company has given “Lost productivity” as the result of cyber attacks, 15 percent reported lost revenue and 12 percent experienced loss of customer trust.

Organizations surveyed paid attention on lack of budget and staffing problems being a particularly difficult challenge in context of security. Therefore IT security outsourcing has offered a good option to them. And in this point contemporary organizations trying to solve their problems with cyber attacks have much common with “The Seven Samurai”, haven’t they?

By the way, "The Seven Samurai" is described as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. It was voted onto Sight & Sound’s list of the ten greatest films of all time in 1982 and 1992, and remained on the director’s top ten films in the 2002 poll. And that for good reason (not just of outsourcing nature!).

Magdalena Szarafin

Read more:
Managed Security in the Enterprise

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Tags: IT security outsourcing, Magdalena Szarafin, Managed Security in the Enterprise, Symantec, cyber attack, outsourcing


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