The Top Benefits a Managed Security Services Provider Should Deliver (MSSP)
We’ve written several articles on Managed Security Service Providers for various reasons; most importantly, we are an MSSP, and we’ve seen the benefits an organization can experience with the right partnership. Before we start, as we consistently say, we do not do commercials in our blog; our goal is to provide you, the reader, to get the research, ideas, and facts that you hoped to find. In this post, we’ve listed 11 benefits you could and should experience with your MSSP.
Fundamentally, our clients demand two benefits from their partnership with us (1) Improved Security and Compliance and (2) Cost Savings. The 11 benefits we will discuss in this blog post contribute to those two high-level benefits.
Let’s start this post with a definition of an MSSP: A managed security service provider (MSSP) provides outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems. Services typically include managed firewall, intrusion detection, virtual private network, vulnerability scanning, and anti-virus services.
MSSPs use high-availability security operation centers, either from their own facilities or other data center providers, to provide 24/7 services designed to empower the organization’s operational security personnel with specialized expertise and manpower when an organization needs night, weekend, or holiday manpower.
Or if the SOC team needs assistance with improving security posture to respond effectively to handle a security risk. For example, when the Log4j vulnerability was discovered, organizations worked with their security teams around the clock to patch critical systems. Many needed extra personnel to test systems and install patches promptly; otherwise they would put their organizations at risk of attack.
In addition, as cybersecurity risks and challenges continue to grow in complexity and impact, the cost of investing in full-scope layered cybersecurity programs has become prohibitively expensive. MSSPs should provide the most advanced solutions tailored to each business and industry-specific challenge without significant upfront capital expenses.
We’ve written blog posts on the 5 Benefits of an MSSP, The REAL Benefits of an MSSP, and we had a two-part series on How to Improve Your Security Operations Center. However, because the security landscape is constantly changing, technology is improving, and the partnership between the MSSP and the internal IT security organization is ever-evolving, we are consistently updating the benefits an MSSP should deliver to your organization.
SecureOps Related Blog Posts
How to Choose the Right MSSP for Your Organization
The 5 Benefits of an MSSP
The REAL Benefits of an MSSP
How to Improve Your SOCs Effectiveness – Part 1
How to Improve Your SOCs Effectiveness – Part 2
Superior protection, cost savings, business focus, security experts, and leading-edge technology are reasons why more executives choose managed security services to empower their security teams and enable their IT organizations to focus on strategic business needs.
Round-the-Clock Threat Protection – 24x7x365
A 24×7 SOC is essential to an organization’s cybersecurity and risk management. Cyberattacks can occur at any time, and the longer that an attacker has access to an organization’s systems, the greater the cost and potential impacts on the organization. Immediate incident response is crucial in minimizing the impact of cyberattacks. A 24/7 SOC enables faster response times, which can be critical in preventing data breaches and protecting sensitive information. 24/7 threat detection and response capabilities ensure an organization can minimize attackers’ “dwell time” on its network.
However, many organizations lack the resources necessary to maintain an effective 24/7 SOC in-house. Partnering with an MSSP enables these organizations to take advantage of a mature, effective SOC at a fraction of the cost of maintaining it internally. While operating a 24/7 SOC involves investment in resources and technologies, the potential costs of not having a relationship with an MSSP can be far higher. The SOC can prevent costly data breaches, intellectual property theft, and reputational damage, ultimately proving to be a cost-effective security measure.
Expanded and Empowered Security Team
The cybersecurity industry is experiencing a significant skills gap. Currently, millions of cybersecurity positions are left vacant worldwide because there are not enough skilled applicants to fill them. As a result, many organizations need help attracting and retaining the cybersecurity talent they require to protect themselves against cyber threats.
Partnering with an MSSP enables an organization to expand its security team dramatically. An MSSP’s ability to distribute costs over its customer base allows it to attract and retain the cybersecurity personnel needs more easily. These personnel are then available to its customers at a much lower price than retaining them in-house.
Access to Specialized Skill Sets
Beyond the general cybersecurity skills shortage, organizations commonly need help attracting and retaining cybersecurity professionals with specialized skill sets. For example, cloud security is of vital importance to many organizations as they move critical data storage and processing functionality to cloud infrastructure. However, nearly three-quarters of cybersecurity professionals need help understanding the shared responsibility model, a fundamental cloud security concept.
The Shared Responsibility Model is a comprehensive security and compliance framework that defines the respective responsibilities of cloud service providers (CSPs) and customers for ensuring the security of all aspects of the cloud environment. These aspects include hardware, infrastructure, endpoints, data, configurations, settings, operating systems (OS), network controls, and access rights.
At its core, the Shared Responsibility Model establishes that cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), are accountable for detecting and mitigating security threats that pertain to the cloud itself and its underlying infrastructure. Conversely, end users, spanning individuals and businesses, bear the responsibility of safeguarding the data and other assets they store within any cloud environment.
An MSSP, on the other hand, has the resources required to attract and retain cybersecurity professionals with the skill sets that they require. This makes it possible for an organization to gain access to a cloud security expert (or other specialist) on an “as needed” basis without budgeting to retain them full-time.
In addition, quality MSSPs can provide expertise to aid organizations in threat hunting, threat intelligence, vulnerability management, 3rd party device management, and so much more.
Rapid Incident Response
A rapid response to cybersecurity incidents is essential to minimizing the damage and expense caused to the organization. The longer an attacker has access to an organization’s network, the more opportunity they have to steal sensitive information, embed persistence mechanisms, or trigger an attack that causes irreversible damage (like ransomware or wiper malware).
However, incident response activities often require professionals with specialized skill sets. For example, an incident response team may require a digital forensics expert to determine the scope of the attack or a malware analyst to identify the capabilities of malicious code to determine and remediate an attack’s scope effectively. Retaining skilled specialists full-time to ensure they are immediately available when needed can be difficult and expensive.
Partnering with an MSSP can provide an organization with access to its dedicated incident response teams. Since the MSSP is likely to handle many more incidents than the average organization – due to its coverage of a large client base – it can attract and retain one or more fully staffed incident response teams and the specialists they require.
Optimized Security Stack
Deploying an effective cybersecurity stack can be complex. Protecting against all the cyber threats an organization may face requires an array of security solutions, and the investment in purchasing, configuring, and maintaining them can be significant.
When partnering with an MSSP, an organization can take advantage of the MSSP’s existing security investment. An MSSP will have already selected and acquired the necessary security solutions to protect their clients and can rapidly deploy them within a new client’s environment. This enables an organization to implement a mature security stack quickly and removes the need to maintain and update it in-house.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership
Cyber defense is expensive. In addition to the need to attract and retain a security team made up of skilled cybersecurity professionals, an organization also needs to acquire the necessary cybersecurity solutions, licenses, etc. With an array of niche solutions designed to protect certain environments and platforms against specific attack vectors, the cost of security can rapidly add up.
With an MSSP, the cost of security is distributed over the MSSP’s entire client base. Many cybersecurity solutions are designed for multitenancy, enabling the MSSP to support each client in isolation with a single appliance independently. By distributing costs across its customers, an MSSP can offer each of them a higher level of security protection than they could independently achieve at a fraction of the price of maintaining it in-house.
Tool Configuration and Management
Purchasing and deploying a cybersecurity tool is only the first step in using it. Cybersecurity tools must be configured and maintained by an expert. Otherwise, they may operate less effectively and even introduce new cybersecurity risks to an organization, as occurred in the case of the recent Capitol One breach.
When working with an MSSP, an organization doesn’t need to maintain in-house expertise to gain the full benefit of its cybersecurity solutions. An MSSP will configure and support the cybersecurity solutions they deploy in customer environments, ensuring they are optimally protecting their customers.
Access to Threat Intelligence
The cyber threat landscape is evolving rapidly, and organizations need access to the latest information to protect against new threats. Many organizations subscribe to threat intelligence feeds that provide this data to do so. However, a threat intelligence feed subscription only provides the raw data that an organization needs to identify new threats. The organization must also have data analytics capabilities and cybersecurity expertise to maximize its use of this data.
An MSSP will have these tools and expertise and can optimally integrate their threat intelligence feeds into their cybersecurity infrastructure. This ensures that they can defend their customers against the latest cyber threats.
Threat Hunting Capabilities
Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, and cybercriminals are designing their attacks to evade the detection capabilities of many traditional cybersecurity solutions. This means an organization may have cybersecurity infections that are present but undetected within their networks.
Detecting these resident threats requires proactive threat-hunting capabilities where skilled cybersecurity professionals look for indications of an attacker’s presence on an organization’s network. Effective threat hunting requires a robust cybersecurity solution stack and threat hunters with deep cybersecurity expertise. Both can be difficult or expensive for an organization to acquire.
Partnering with an MSSP gives an organization access to an experienced threat-hunting team. This enables the organization to identify and remediate threats lurking undetected in their network, even if they lack the experience and tools necessary to do so internally.
Most organizations are subject to a wide range of regulations. New data protection laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have joined existing laws like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA).
As the regulatory landscape grows more complex, organizations need help to meet their compliance requirements. These include implementing the required security controls, maintaining visibility into sensitive and protected within the network, and reporting data breaches and other cybersecurity incidents to regulators.
An MSSP will provide support to an organization’s compliance management program. This can include implementing required security controls, automating the collection of data required for compliance reporting, and assisting with audits and reports to regulatory authorities.
Minimizing Your Organization’s Cyber Risk
Maintaining an effective cybersecurity program can take time and effort for an organization. Partnering with an MSSP enables an organization to take advantage of several different benefits that provide more robust, simplified security with a lower total cost of ownership.
SecureOps is the leading provider of world-class information security solutions. Our team of experienced analysts and technology experts deliver 24X7 protection and support for your most critical data. With over two decades of combined experience, our professional services team can help you close potential security gaps, remediate risks, and protect your mission-critical data.
At SecureOps, we understand the seriousness of this issue and have made it our mission to provide organizations with world-class technology, information security analysts, and proven security processes providing 24X7 protection and support capabilities.
Our professional services team delivers targeted security services designed to augment in-house expertise and enhance an organization’s security posture. With decades of combined experience and a diversity of expertise, our professional services team evolves our client’s security programs by implementing best-in-class processes that enable clients to progressively close potential security gaps, remediate risks, and protect mission-critical data.
An in-house security program is often more complicated, insecure, and expensive than an outsourced one. Our experience has been that partnering with an MSSP provides an organization with an empowered SOC with additional skills and round-the-clock support, periodic services like penetration tests and vulnerability assessments, and a blueprint to improve an organizations security posture while managing risks cost effectively.
The Key Benefits an MSSP Should Provide
- Organizations benefit from a 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) for enhanced security and incident response capabilities.
- Continuous monitoring, real-time threat detection, and proactive threat hunting enable early detection of potential threats.
- Reduced response time and effective incident handling mitigate the impact of cyberattacks.
- A SOC provides increased situational awareness, allowing organizations to manage risks more effectively.
- It also helps organizations meet compliance requirements and improves incident reporting and communication.
- The integration of threat intelligence feeds and tools enhances the SOC’s ability to detect emerging threats.
- Ultimately, the cost savings generated by deploying a 24/7 SOC can far outweigh the investment costs.
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