If your organization is looking for solutions to its cybersecurity pain points, there is no shortage of potential routes to consider. One comprehensive approach is a security information and event management (SIEM) solution, whether standalone or integrated into other suites. When weighing other managed security services vs SIEM solutions, it’s essential to consider all the options available from a quality managed security services provider (MSSP). Let’s discuss.
MSSP vs SIEM: Which is Best For Your Organization?
This guide will break down key differences between these two types of services and service providers, first diving into each individually and then taking a comparative deep-dive into both:
- What is an MSSP, and how do MSSPs optimize cybersecurity ROI?
- What is SIEM, and how does it compare to other, comparable tools?
Each solution’s costs and protective factors must be evaluated to help your organization determine whether cybersecurity outsourcing or an implementation suits its needs best.
RSI Security is a quality MSSP that offers both one-off and packaged services, from overall program advisory to architecture implementation and tailored regulatory compliance guidance. We’ll help you rethink your cyberdefenses.
What Is an MSSP? Definition and Best Practices
For most organizations, information technology (IT) and overall cybersecurity management grow increasingly challenging at scale. Onboarding new internal team members and implementing new systems becomes more difficult the more numerous and diverse their required resources are. New personnel and implementations present new potential vulnerabilities to manage.
An MMSP is an external partner that eases the burden on your internal cybersecurity program and its oversight. An MSSP may step into a purely advisory role, developing policies and procedures for internal stakeholders to directly enforce. Conversely, an MSSP may take on a more active role in architecture implementation, ongoing task and responsibility execution, or incident management and remediation.
Does Your Organization Need to Work With an MSSP?
MSSPs provide the most value to organizations facing threats to security, integrity, or business continuity and lack the resources to address them efficiently. This includes but is not limited to:
- Larger enterprises – Commanding extensive inventories of sensitive data, these organizations must often navigate securely processing protected data per various industry or location-specific regulations. The complexity of (potentially competing) compliance frameworks and the sheer volume of data complicates required protections.
- Medium-sized, growing enterprises – This group comprises organizations that are in the process of rapidly integrating clientele, personnel, and their respective information and technologies. Legacy practices from the earlier stages of these organizations’ histories may quickly grow outdated as they scale.
RSI Security is the ideal MSSP for large and growing enterprises in any industry; we’ve helped countless organizations rethink their controls to meet compounding security needs efficiently.
What Is SIEM? Definition and Top Considerations
SIEM is less of an umbrella term than MSSP. Also, unlike MSSPs, SIEM refers to the tool or solution offered, not the party offering it. Security information and event management tools generally consist of monitoring systems that provide visibility over all digital assets and systems under an organization’s control, along with any events that occur within or concerning them.
A SIEM system commonly provides security operations center (SOC) teams with a significant portion of their monitoring capabilities.
In some cases, SIEM functionality is achieved through other, similar programs. For example, a File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) solution may provide an organization with the same information, or a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) program might offer the same visibility, with a particular focus on threats rather than events in general. Generally speaking, SIEM is a smaller, individual tool or set of tools rather than a comprehensive suite of services offered by an MSSP.
Does Your Organization Need a SIEM Solution?
Almost all organizations need to account for the functionality that SIEM tools provide. However, whether they choose to use a SIEM tool to that end will depend on the size and needs of the organization. As MSSP services are typically more apt for larger enterprises, SIEM solutions may be best suited for smaller, growing businesses with fewer threats and general pain points.
For example, smaller businesses may not process as much data that is critical or subject to stringent legal and industry regulations. If they do, there may be less—or less diversity across the information—making monitoring much less difficult. In these cases, a resource-light approach through a dedicated SIEM tool might be preferable to a more robust, comprehensive MSSP.
MSSP vs SIEM: Costs and Cost Factors
One of the primary considerations for businesses debating MSSP vs security incident and event management is how much each would cost to implement. Generally, the sticker price for extensive MSSPs services will be higher than individual SIEM tools since the former provides more comprehensive utility. However, there are several cost factors to consider when comparing total security spend:
- Methodology – SIEM solutions typically comprise software or applications, not human points of contact. Beyond the initial point of sale, you may not receive much in the way of support from your vendor. SIEM is less of a service than a product—management is undertaken internally, which necessitates resources for maintaining or augmenting staff.
- Integration – Along similar lines, working with an MSSP may be more expensive upfront than integrating a SIEM tool. Still, it may lead to more ROI and efficient cybersecurity spend overall, as the MSSP will bear the burden of tailoring solutions to your individual needs and ensuring any developed architecture works seamlessly with what you have in place.
- Expertise – Hiring cybersecurity experts with the knowledge to facilitate upper-level SOC team roles is a substantial challenge. As mentioned above, implementing a SIEM solution does not address personnel requirements, and MSSPs have witnessed and managed numerous organizations’ programs. Additionally, an extended MSSP partnership will lead to the familiarity that an in-house team would provide.
MSSP vs SIEM: Focal Points of Protection
Another significant difference between MSSPs and SIEM solutions is that the latter is designed to offer visibility over information, whereas the former works to holistically protect your organization. Therefore, if your organization is less concerned with overall cyberdefenses and is looking to optimize its visibility specifically, SIEM might be the better route. This is especially true for security programs that rely on network segmentation (i.e., keeping elements separate)
However, if your organization’s needs are more generalized and require a solution that simultaneously addresses all potential threats and vulnerabilities, an MSSP might be better for you. For example, MSSPs help organizations address cybercrimes more efficiently through complete, seamless integration of vulnerability scanning and incident management protocols.
MSSPs also offer more robust analytical capacities, such as Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and preventive scans. This helps to mitigate even the most advanced, persistent threats (APTs). In contrast, SIEM solutions tend to be more reactive, logging events as they occur, or passively, without any inherent connections to your internal incident reporting or mitigation systems.
Rethink Your Cybersecurity, Professionally
In comparing managed security services vs SIEM and determining which is best for your organization, it’s crucial to take stock of your existing architecture, any gaps you need to address, and any potential pain points on the horizon.
Does your organization’s current security program address all legal and regulatory requirements? Does it do so efficiently? Or would it benefit from additional advisory and oversight?
Unless your needs are confined to visibility, chances are that working with an MSSP would be best. Contact RSI Security to get started!