Managed IT services are network security boosts that come from an external provider. Small businesses that do not have immediate resources to create their cybersecurity shield can appoint Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) to augment their daily information technology needs.
Suppose the company digital infrastructure gaps such as team tools and cybersecurity monitoring. In that case, MSSPs can provide outside help to let small and medium businesses focus on their operation goals. Instead of spending extra resources to create their digital environment, these emerging businesses can devote their startup fund to more significant operational expenses.
History and Overview of Managed IT Services
Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) have their roots in the middle years of the 1990s with the concept of ISPs or Internet Service Providers. Along with the online connection they provided, ISPs would also offer a firewall appliance to customers. For an additional fee, they would also manage this firewall over a dial-up connection.
This initial concept grew and developed throughout the years. MSSPs specialized and dedicated their resources to assist the IT growth and development of small businesses. Nowadays, most companies have existing relationships with MSSPs to alleviate the daily pressures of information security.
Ensuring your company’s cybersecurity is no joke. Threats grow in complexity at an alarming pace. For businesses that are not experts in information technology, it can be overwhelming to keep up with cyberattacks on their own without the guidance of experts such as MSSPs.
Functions of Managed Security Service Providers
Small businesses can find assurance in their daily operations with the help of MSSPs. Here is a comprehensive list of functions that a small or medium business can expect when they form partnerships with MSSPs:
- Intrusion detection systems
- Advanced firewalls
- 24/7 monitoring
- Patch management
- Upgrade scheduling
- Security audits
- Risk assessments
- Emergency response
- Incident reports
- IT automation
Operation Model for Small and Medium Businesses
Small and medium businesses are organizations of up to 500 employees, not exceeding a hundred employees at any given site. With relatively compact personnel, small and medium businesses may find it challenging to create a large team that will solely focus on protecting their digital environment. The task is complicated and requires expertise.
Partnerships with MSSPs provide dynamic solutions to these limitations. The information technology experience of an MSSP can strengthen the digital safety and integrity of vital corporate data within their computer networks.
Cybersecurity must be an utmost priority of small and medium businesses because 43% of cyberattacks target these types of emerging organizations. To add to the urgency of the situation, 83% of small businesses do not have sufficient resources to recover from a data breach.
Partnering with an MSSP is the best course of action to achieve vital cybersecurity protection without going over budgetary limitations. Its advantage is foresight, adhering to the traditional wisdom that prevention is always better than finding a cure — in this case, a treatment for a digital infestation. These are characteristics that small and medium businesses must look for in the operation model of an MSSP partner:
- Thorough information technology services available via remote applications
- User-friendly installation protocols
- Affordable fees for specific services as needed
- Detailed reporting with a regular delivery schedule
Benefits of Managed IT Services
For small and medium businesses looking to maximize the impact of their resources, partnering with Managed IT Services provide numerous advantages for digital sustainability, safety and security:
Instead of devoting resources to build an in-house team of personnel that will handle information technology needs, small and medium businesses can set aside a specific budget for a solutions package that will cover all digital environment needs.
An excellent MSSP will have a predictable monthly billing expense that will already provide access to premium devices, tools, and personnel to manage cybersecurity.
● Focus on Core Competencies
Small and medium businesses have numerous issues and roles to fulfill and accomplish, especially during the organization’s infancy phase. By delegating information technology needs to an MSSP, a small company will have one less thing to worry about. They can divert more of their attention and resources to other vital aspects of the operation.
● 24/7 Seamless Monitoring
Constant vigilance is one of the best defenses against emerging cybersecurity attacks. By always maintaining a watchful eye on a small business’s digital environment, an MSSP can thwart threats and respond immediately to emergencies. Monitoring is essential to ensure that no vulnerabilities will become a victim of exploits.
With a reliable team of IT professionals under an MSSP, a small business can have a frictionless work ecosystem that will foster more productivity.
● Constant Upgrades and Updates
The realm of information technology never becomes stagnant or static. There will always be threats and malicious entities as they continually evolve with intricate complexity.
The only way to retain a robust defense against these advanced persistent threats is to update the computer network with the latest patches regularly. Digital upgrades help to seal vulnerabilities within the system that cyber-attackers can exploit.
● Data Protection
Managed IT Service Providers can dedicate all their resources to protect the integrity of vital corporate data. Small businesses should never risk the security of their essential data because so much is at stake. In the event of a data breach, the reputational and legal damages will be very significant, and it will be quite challenging to recover. Most small businesses that suffered cybersecurity attacks were forced to close their doors because of data loss’s grave ramifications.
There are also various legislations in place to protect the data of consumers from exploitation and abuse. A competent MSSP will ensure that companies are in full compliance with the law. It will also develop a disaster recovery plan to map out contingencies to avoid data theft or loss.
● User Experience
A positive client impression will bring huge dividends to the long-term growth and development of a small business. A reliable MSSP can help improve the user experience by boosting the performance of the digital infrastructure. Small businesses with an MSSP partner can rest assured that the company’s online reputation is in good hands.
● Downtime Reduction
Work disruptions can be very costly for a small business as it hampers productivity. The constant guidance of a reputable Managed Security Service Provider will help prevent these situations from happening. From network lags, software failure, hardware issues, and system downtime, IT experts’ presence will help secure the company’s digital environment.
MSSPs have access to industry-compliant technology that will troubleshoot downtime issues as they happen. Their assistance will help the small business focus on its bottom line.
● Custom Solutions
An excellent MSSP will work closely with the client organization to understand their priorities and challenges. Instead of applying vague general IT responses, an MSSP can customize its approach to provide custom solutions that target issues with precision.
They can offer unique solutions that align with a small business’s business goals, including the possibility of scaling up or scaling down IT requirements depending on the situation. These service providers can also discard unnecessary technology or introduce new digital innovations to help small businesses achieve more productivity.
With custom solutions, an MSSP can help deliver peak efficiency for a small business by providing top-notch IT support consultancy and incident response.
Six Categories of MSSP
When securing a Managed Security Service Provider’s services, it is essential to understand the different service categories they typically fall under. While service providers will offer various service categories, the following listings are the current norm in several industries.
1. Security Monitoring
Service providers that fall under this category have their sights set on daily monitoring activities and the anticipation of malicious behavior within the system. They are digital watchtowers that scout for denial of service (DoS), unauthorized entries, anomalies, and hacks.
2. Perimeter Defense
Putting up digital fences is the primary task of MSSPs under perimeter management. They focus on installing firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), intrusion detection, and electronic mail. These MSSPs are gatekeepers that guard the traffic routing rules of firewalls and information entered through the intrusion alert system. Email and data filtering can also happen under their watch for more security boosts.
3. Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Tests
MSSPs under this category conduct regular software scans to scout the digital environment for hacking attempts. They conduct stock assessments for vulnerability exposures, especially against social engineering and phishing attempts.
The improving sophistication of cyberattacks requires a proactive approach to cybersecurity defense. This MSSP category must always be on alert to filter advanced persistent threats before they happen.
4. On-site Consulting
Constant communication with client organizations is another MSSP categorization. Under this class, managed Security Service Providers will constantly offer customized assistance for business risk assessments and legal compliance guidance. They can also include a thorough evaluation of the overall security design and architecture.
As consultants, they can also provide hands-on troubleshooting support after detecting a data intrusion or an emergency incident.
5. Compliance Monitoring
Managed Security Service Providers under this category will ensure their client organizations comply with pertinent laws and regulations that govern cybersecurity and data protection. Several legislations protect the integrity of personal information and corporate data. If a company violates these laws, the damage to reputation and operations will be severe.
6. Product Resale
MSSPs that provide value-added software and hardware for a plethora of security tasks fall under this group. They help significantly with the archival of customer data.
It is essential to point out that a partnership with a Managed Security Service Provider does not mean all cybersecurity responsibility will fall under their charge. The sole obligation of a company’s actions still falls under the client organization and not its partner MSSP.
The digital environment’s security is still their primary obligation, prompting the need to have good communication, monitoring, and management of the MSSP. While they are a reliable partner, the MSSP is still an external agent. There must be reporting protocols for key performance indicators to ensure that the MSSP is fulfilling its deliverables.
A clear communication line will be highly beneficial as it will help encourage an effective feedback mechanism between the client organization and the Managed Security Service Provider. By clearly outlining performance expectations, the client organization can help prevent the occurrence of any unfortunate liability.
Expert Guidance from RSI Security
RSI Security is a leading organization that provides managed IT services for small and medium businesses. Our team has a competitive edge in delivering cost efficiency for all IT needs with our years of expertise and experience in vital industries such as information technology, financial services, and telecommunications.
Under our watch, you can expect the following results from our managed IT services:
- Detection, mitigation, and reporting of evolving cybersecurity threats
- 24/7 on-call security management personnel and resources
- Immediate access to security expertise as needed
- Information risk management
- Compliance guidance
- Prompt incident response
- Regular report schedules
- Cost efficiency of time and financial resources
- Access to customer portal including real-time service level agreement conformance
- Alert summaries
- Graphical trend reports
- Real-time availability statistics
- Quick customer onboarding
Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more dangerous, emphasizing the need for more thoughtful responses and more urgent managed IT services. It is not wise to tackle these threats without the guidance of an experienced hand. Let RSI Security be a partner as we offer state-of-the-art technology that will help secure your digital environment and vital corporate assets. Cost efficiency is our hallmark.