Cybersecurity managed services is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. As hackers and malware become more skilled at infiltrating vulnerable networks, leaders who have never considered cybersecurity are scrambling to meet the evolving threat.
The benefits of managed security services transcend a scrum list of “one-and-done” solutions. The digital landscape changes constantly, and with it, the security threats. The problem for most organizations is that they can’t afford to hire cybersecurity employees to monitor network security 24/7.
In this quick guide, we will discuss how a managed security service provider offers businesses of all sizes the opportunity to protect their networks at the highest level. First, let’s define who a managed security provider is and what they do.
What is a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?
With many industries’ increased dependence on technology and sensitive data, the need for 24/7 system monitoring is growing. Managed security services provide this non-stop monitoring, as well as other ongoing cybersecurity management tasks.
The three main benefits of managed security services are:
- Greater cybersecurity
- Faster compliance
- Immediate intrusion response
The problem is that most businesses can’t afford to create a department of round-the-clock security specialists. But with the constant threat of network intrusions, businesses cannot afford to ignore their need for a team of cybersecurity specialists.
Fortunately, cybersecurity managed services teams are pooling resources to create a full-service, outsourced solution. These off-site security monitoring specialists are called managed security service providers, or MSSPs. Typical MSSP duties include, but are not limited to:
- System monitoring
- Penetration testing
- Security and compliance audits
- Security assessments and reporting
- Intrusion detection
- Security analytics
- Cybersecurity day-to-day management
Are MSSPs Different from vCISOs?
Yes, a managed security service provider is different from a virtual chief information security officer. That said, vCISOs often accompany a managed security services team and vice versa. Because both MSSPs and vCISOs operate as off-site, outsourced cybersecurity teams, many of the benefits of managed security services also apply to vCISOs.
A chief information security officer provides leadership and oversight to a cybersecurity department. It’s not uncommon in that department to have a managed security services team or other cybersecurity staff augmentations within that department.
A virtual CISOs operates off-site – much like MSSPs – and answers to the client for the quality of the client’s cybersecurity measures. Because most small and medium-sized businesses can’t afford another executive salary, they rely on vCISOs who can scale their services according to the organization’s needs and budget.
8 Benefits of Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs)
Constant, Real-time Monitoring
MSSP efforts are not mere spot checks; they are constant. Managed security service providers can spot intrusions as they occur and even test firewall strength with penetration testing.
For organizations managing large amounts of personal information or proprietary data, discovering a security breach after the fact can ruin the business. That’s why MSSPs are in high demand.
Costs Less than Managing an Onsite Cybersecurity Team
While leaders don’t like to put a price tag on cybersecurity, the reality is that budgets must balance revenue-driving with risk management initiatives. Without revenue growth, there’s no business to protect. But without cybersecurity, one breach could forever damage the brand’s reputation.
MSSPs offer small and medium-sized businesses relief from the plight described above. It’s not just that MSSPs are cheaper, it’s that the outsourced teams can accomplish with greater efficiency what in-house teams can.
More Time for IT Staff to Focus on Operations
Speaking of in-house teams, many organizations informally task their IT employees with cybersecurity tasks and monitoring. The problem with this approach is that burnt-out teams expend a lot of energy with mediocre results.
Stretched thin, IT personnel struggle to meet tasks outlined in their main job description while pulling double-duty on cybersecurity initiatives. Most IT employees specialize in optimizing company operations – not protecting them.
MSSPs allow your IT team to focus on what it does best while full-time cybersecurity experts maintain your network’s integrity. This IT relief is arguably one of the greatest benefits of MSSPs.
Faster Incident Response
Most digitally-transformed organizations experience attacks regularly. Because many of these attacks are unsuccessful, it’s easy to shrug at the data. However, it only takes one successful intrusion to cripple an organization.
“60 percent of breaches involved vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied.” – CSO Magazine
Even unsuccessful breaches provide insight for managed security services teams. Team members can observe a hacker – or malware – behavior and use that insight to protect vulnerable parts of the network.
MSSPs can respond immediately to successful intrusions to prevent lost or stolen data. After resolving an incident, they can use the incident to adapt to the evolving cyber-threats.
Dedicated Outsourced Team of Cybersecurity Experts
MSSPs perform cybersecurity tasks and monitoring. In fact, that is all that they do. They aren’t dividing their attention among several different tech-related tasks – as are many IT employees forced to maintain operations and cybersecurity initiatives.
Additionally, MSSPs build teams of cybersecurity experts. These experts aren’t merely tech-savvy – they are seasoned security professionals. With a dedicated team of cybersecurity experts at their fingertips, decision-makers can rely on their MSSP to meet security expectations.
Managed Security Services at Scale
As outsourced experts, MSSPs can alter their level of involvement based on an organization’s needs and budget. Initially, your organization may only require assistance with monitoring and incident response.
But as your operations grow, you may need to involve your MSSP to build a more secure network. Like elastic, your MSSP can increase or decrease his/her contributions according to your business’s present needs.
In contrast, a managed security services team on payroll doesn’t scale. It either meets expectations or demands that you add more team members to your security services team. Unless your organization is massive with decades of cybersecurity knowledge stored internally, it doesn’t make sense to manage security services teams in-house.
Assurance of Ongoing Security Initiatives
Many business owners perform cybersecurity initiatives haphazardly – usually in response to news of a major security breach or consumer privacy lawsuit. Even using cybersecurity staff augmentation seasonally to obtain necessary compliance certifications is better than nothing. But neither approach truly protects your organization from cyber-attacks.
To achieve that assurance, you need ongoing security monitoring and task management. MSSPs do both, and their efforts are non-stop so long as you retain their services.
Audit Team for Meeting Compliance Requirements
Consumer privacy laws are constantly changing. Without a cybersecurity team, it can be obnoxious and wasteful to backtrack constantly to perform the necessary audits and achieve compliance. An on-again-off-again approach to cybersecurity makes meeting compliance standards inefficiently.
Most MSSPs not only perform the necessary audits upon request, but they also pay attention to developments in privacy laws among critical markets. MSSPs can proactively recommend or initiate the necessary tasks to help your organization achieve compliance quickly.
Conclusion: Finding a Reliable Cybersecurity Managed Services Provider
If you have yet to partner with a qualified managed security services provider, you must find an MSSP with the experience and bandwidth to secure your network and operations.
Some industries endure threats that rarely exist in other industries. As such, finding a reliable MSSP means outsourcing your cybersecurity to an agency with experience within your industry. These MSSPs can better anticipate cyber threats and complete security initiatives with greater efficiency.
At RSI Security, we offer a wide array of cybersecurity services. These services include vCISOs, staff augmentation, and managed security services. To learn more about how RSI Security’s managed security services work, contact an agent today.