The role of managed security service providers

With an increased awareness of emerging threats and the evolution to a digital business strategy, outsourced security services continues to rise. In fact, Gartner expects enterprise spending on security outsourcing in 2019 to reach 75 percent of overall spending on security software and hardware products in 2019, up from 63 percent in 2016.

This increase in spending for Managed Security Services (MSS) in organisations is driven by variety of reasons. Generally, this is due to a lack of in-house resources or expertise for certain areas of security. This  highlights the daily challenge and pressure that security teams of all organisations have in defending their organisation. And not having the appropriate security defences exposes organisations to significant financial risks and reputational damage.

 By recognising these internal limitations and weaknesses, organisations are turning to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to improve their security posture, reduce risk and maintain compliance.

 Partnering with an MSSP can be a huge benefit for organisations struggling from internal skills shortages and budget limitations. It may also assist IT teams who simply have too many tasks in one day to adequately defend company security.

 But what exactly is their role?

 MSSPs provide outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems. Some MSSPs specialise in certain areas, while others offer full outsourcing of an enterprise’s cyber security program.

 MSSPs usually offer a wide range of security services, from more basic services such as web content filtering, anti-virus software and firewalls, through to more advanced managed detection and incident response services.

 Their role may also involve providing your organisation with continuous oversight and monitoring, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

 Organisations looking for more advanced capabilities should look to MSSPs with integrated Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Offensive Security practices.

 Having integrated GRC services ensures that the MSSP is focusing on the right areas by providing cyber security management and strategy within the managed security service (MSS) offering.

 Comprehensive risk assessments, security audits, gap analysis and compliance services can ensure that organisations are focusing on the most important areas of cyber risk. These capabilities are especially critical when a organisations do not have an in-house Security Manager, or CISO.

 Advanced MSSPs also provide integrated Offensive Security exercises such as penetration testing and red teaming services. When performed in partnership with the Security Operations Centre (SOC), these simulations provide invaluable insights to the business.

 Red teams can work with the SOC to demonstrate new avenues of attack that can be exploited by real world malicious actors, and therefore require additional focus, controls and / or monitoring.

 In most cases, the right MSSP will offer cost savings to your organisation. For example, acquiring in-house cybersecurity staff can be expensive, so working with an MSSP will often present a more cost-effective option when the total cost of ownership is compared. Using an MSSP can also save organisations money on equipment, software tools and other operational costs through their buying power and economies of scale.

 Should you engage a MSSP, they should be able to share their awareness of the threat landscape and provide visibility into your current security posture. Cyber-attacks evolve at an incredibly fast pace, leading to one new threat after another. Therefore, skilled MSSPs should offer comprehensive security intelligence solutions based on your threat environment.

 This ensures your organisation is keeping up with evolving threats, addressing them as they arise and recovering faster from incidents that were unable to be prevented.

 There are a wide range of MSSPs on the market today, and if you use MSS it is important that your organisation identifies what it needs and engages with the right MSSP to address those needs.

 Finally, thoroughly researching vendors and checking customer references should also play a key role in choosing the right provider for your business needs.

To learn more about one of our Managed Security Services, Managed Detection Response, download the buyers guide here:

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