7 of the Best Managed Security Services for Businesses

May 14, 2019 Eric Dosal Eric Dosal

Managed security services can provide a significant boost to almost any organization’s cybersecurity posture. Using a managed security service provider (MSSP) allows a business to get instant access to a team of people who possess the expertise needed to harden their network against attack and close common security gaps. There are many managed security services that MSSPs can provide, but which ones should your MSSP prioritize?

The answer to this question will vary somewhat based on your current cybersecurity posture and needs. However, here’s a list of some of the best managed security services that can benefit almost any business:

Best Managed Security Services for Business #1: Firewall Management

Firewalls are an integral part of any organization’s cybersecurity architecture. However, choosing the right types of firewalls to optimize security without compromising performance, creating strong network segmentation, and managing firewall configurations and updates are major challenges that require extensive knowledge and expertise.

Because of how important firewalls are and how difficult they can be to manage, one of the most important managed security services for businesses to employ is firewall management. With firewall management, the MSSP takes over responsibility for tasks such as:

  • Firewall update management;
  • Monitoring firewall security configurations to eliminate useless traffic rules;
  • Setting up firewalls to create strong internal network segmentation; and
  • Choosing firewall solutions to best meet the organization’s current needs.

This frees up the business’ IT personnel to focus on core business tasks that will help drive long-term goals.

Best Managed Security Services for Business #2: SIEM Management/Co-Management

Security information and event management (SIEM) systems can be powerful tools for monitoring the status of an organization’s network architecture—providing indications of network breaches as well as cataloguing forensic data for future analysis. This allows organizations to investigate the causes of a breach so they can prevent similar breaches in the future.

However, SIEM solutions also tend to produce a lot of “noise,” or data that is irrelevant to the cybersecurity team’s needs and may prevent the team from noticing an important network event. Here, using managed security services for business SIEM (or co-managed SIEM services) can help to:

  • Provide instant access to SIEM specialists who can efficiently parse SIEM data to identify the most important information;
  • Reduce the internal IT team’s workload so they can focus more on driving business goals; and
  • Keep the organization in the loop regarding important security events with regular updates (thus demonstrating the ROI of both the SIEM solution and the MSSP’s services).

Best Managed Security Services for Business #3: Threat Intelligence Feeds

Creating a threat intelligence framework and selecting the right threat intelligence feeds is crucial for keeping aware of the biggest threats against your network. MSSPs can bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to this task. This helps them to:

  1. Assess which assets and data you most need to protect based on how that data could be used or targeted; and
  2. Identify which types of attackers are most likely to target your business (for-profit data thieves, state actors, or activists).

This, in turn, helps the managed security service provider pick the best threat intelligence feeds to track potential threats based on their severity and likelihood.

In addition to helping to choose the best threat intelligence feeds, managed security services can help companies make sense of the data collected from such feeds. By sifting through the different threat feeds, you can identify potential cyber threats that are likely to target your organization and prioritize countermeasures to those specific threats.

Threat intelligence, penetration testing, and update management are all a crucial part of vulnerability management.

Best Managed Security Services for Business #4: Network Threat Assessments

Network threat assessments are a foundational managed security service for MSSPs. These assessments take a look at the organization’s current cybersecurity architecture, security policies, and business processes to identify major security gaps. Network threat assessments are so important to how MSSPs protect their customers that it is often one of the first activities they carry out.

Assessing an organization’s specific cyber threats and the risks they pose helps the managed security provider properly prioritize the protection methods they use. This may also involve the use of threat intelligence feeds to contextualize which threats are the most likely to target the organization being assessed.

These assessments are crucial for effective threat and vulnerability management. In fact, they’re often necessary to determine which managed security services the MSSP uses first.

Best Managed Security Services for Business #5: Penetration Testing

Every business, no matter how well-protected, isn’t 100% immune to attack. If someone can get to the business’ data legitimately, then there’s a way to get to that illegitimately. However, the security vulnerabilities that attackers use to gain access to data and systems are often unknown and undetected.

Penetration testing is a crucial managed security service for businesses that stress tests an organization’s cybersecurity to identify potential security gaps—hopefully before an attacker can leverage that weakness. During a penetration test, the managed security services provider tries to “break” their client’s system on purpose to identify weaknesses that need fixing. However, an MSSP will stop short of actually causing lasting harm to the company’s network and assets.

By stress testing the network, the MSSP can identify how an attacker would most likely attempt to do the same. This gives the business a chance to apply fixes to their biggest security gaps before an attacker catches on to any weaknesses.

Best Managed Security Services for Business #6: Update Management

Every business should have a solution for update management. To this day, unpatched security vulnerabilities rank among the top causes of data breaches in modern organizations. However, many organizations fail to have an effective update management plan in place to prevent their security patches from falling months, or even years, behind schedule.

This is why many MSSPs frequently provide update management as a key managed security service. By routinely assessing the assets on the business’ network and checking if they have the latest security patches applied, the managed security service provider can proactively protect the company against common cyber threats.

Best Managed Security Services for Business #7: Incident Response Services

Because no defense is 100% foolproof against attack, even when that defense is impeccably managed, it’s critical for organizations to have some kind of incident response plan (IRP) in place to deal with cybersecurity breaches.

A managed security service provider can help an organization create its threat management and incident response plan—and even make recommendations for specific tools to use in this plan. In many cases, the MSSP will have experience in carrying out response plans that the organization using their services lacks. This can help the MSSP create a thorough IRP that better counters major threats and helps the organization restore normal function faster.

The managed security services listed here are just a few of the possible services that security service providers might apply to your business. Need help perfecting your cybersecurity to minimize risk? Contact the experts at Compuquip Cybersecurity today.

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