A Guide to the Benefits of Managed Security Services

January 2, 2020 Eric Dosal Eric Dosal

8 Min Read

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) can be an invaluable resource for businesses that want to maximize their network security, but don’t have the resources to build a large cybersecurity team internally. However, the choice to use managed security services should not be taken lightly.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the basics of managed security services, as well as some benefits:

What Does Managed Security Services Mean?

What actually constitutes managed security services and what do they look like in a company? A managed security services provider (MSSP) is an outside technology solutions company that provides cybersecurity expertise while reducing the workload of the in-house staff. When businesses need cybersecurity experts to counter the increasing threats from malware, but do not have it within budget to hire an internal staff, a managed security services provider is an invaluable resource. A company saves money from outsourcing—but it also receives the benefits of managed security services with their expertise and security.

What is SIEM?

Security information and event management tools (SIEM) are an integral part of modern network security system. An SIEM tool, however, doesn’t actually stop malware or other network security attacks. These tools instead collect data about security solutions so your cybersecurity system can issue the appropriate response to a possible threat. For example, SIEM tools can gather information that would lead to generate alerts or set other controls to pre-set network security actions.

SIEM tools sift through an enormous amount of data, which can make it difficult for some SIEM systems to run efficiently and determine what is an actual cybersecurity threat and what are false positives. For instance, if a business has 20 employees and each has 15 interactions each hour on the company’s network for eight-hour shifts, that’s 2,400 total interactions each day. Some companies have an IT team or employee specifically focused on sifting through this data, while others employ an MSSP to manage their SIEM. The benefits of managed security services regulating your SIEM are that you can use their expertise, train your own IT team with their experience, and frees up your own employees to focus on other tasks.

What Does a SOC Do?

A security operations center (SOC) is a centralized unit, such as in a building, that houses the network security team that analyzes and manages data for cybersecurity purposes. They usually are responsible for monitoring a company’s network security. If a business has an in-house cybersecurity team, they would be located in the SOC. It is here where analysts monitor and assess data and activity on the network—looking for anything suggestive of a cybersecurity threat.

Having a security operations center, or a team strictly managing network security, is crucial for first-response action. For businesses who do not want to fit the high cost of a SOC into their budget, a managed security service provider is the alternative. An MSSP acts as a company’s SOC, but is just not in the same facility.

Hiring a Managed Security Services Provider

Looking to make the decision to hire an MSSP? When hiring a managed security services provider, there is plenty to consider to make sure the cybersecurity solutions partner you’re considering will adequately protect your business and your clients. Here are three tips to consider when looking for a partner in managing security services:

  • Ask questions! Make sure to ask plenty of questions before hiring. It’s important to find out what kind of cybersecurity technology the MSSP uses and to see if they’re actually certified to use that kind of software. Knowing what cyber technology they have will give you an idea of how well equipped they are to handle an attack.

  • Reach out to the MSSP’s other customers. Find out who are some of the managed security services provider’s customers and reach out to them about their experience. This will give honest, valuable insight on the MSSP’s quality of service.

  • Always Read the Contract! It’s integral for your company’s safety to read and completely understand the MSSP contract before you sign. By over-analyzing, you can spot any potentially problematic issues before being locked in a long-term contract. It may be useful to have your company’s lawyer examine it as well.

These are just a few tips to help in your decision making. The benefits of managed security services are numerous, but it’s essential to find the right cybersecurity solutions party first!

Specific Managed Security Services to Expect

What are the common services provided by managed security service providers? There are some variances, but most MSSPs, such as Compuquip, will carry these managed security services:

Managed SD-WAN Services

An MSSP can either provide software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) management itself or management strategies for your business.

Front line Support on Security Devices

Managed security service benefits should always include excellent customer service to help with any issues with devices they cover or with their security management.

SIEM Co-Management

When a MSSP manages your SIEM, they assume administrative control of the SIEM’s services so your company can respond to security threats quickly. Co-management allows your business to maintain control of your data while utilizes the MSSPs expertise.

Security Device Management or Co-Management

One of the benefits of managed security services is the ability to allow them to take responsibility of your security devices off your hands. They will provide the software updates and provide other support, as well as co-manage if necessary.

Regularly Scheduled Security Architecture Services

A benefit a good managed security service should provide are pre scheduled collaborations to provide status updates on your network security, as well as recommendations from the MSSP’s experts.

Onsite Cybersecurity Team for Staff Augmentation

Other services include on-site additions to your in-house cybersecurity team. If there is a gap to be filled, due to vacation time or sick leave, your MSSP can fill the gap.

Network Threat and Detection and Alerts

Your managed security service provider will be scouting for threats and notify your company if any are detected, as well as inform you and your staff about potential cybersecurity issues.

Endpoint Security Co-Management

Managing endpoints is essential for network security. An MSSP will not only regulate security on your endpoints, but also perform patching and co-manage your endpoints to make sure your staff is aware as well.

Firewall Monitoring, Management, and Support

Firewalls are an essential component of your network security system. Managed security service benefits include your MSSP managing your firewalls, such as making sure they have the correct rules and are free of conflicts that could impair your productivity.

Running an efficient cybersecurity team can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be! These services are designed to protect your business against cyber threats. If you want to learn more about Compuquip’s managed security services, contact us here.

What Are the Benefits of Managed Security Services?

Companies need to consider the benefits of managed security services (as well as their specific cybersecurity requirements) before choosing an MSSP to partner with. What are some managed security service benefits that companies can leverage? Why should a company use an outsourced network security team instead of an in-house one?

Here’s a comprehensive list of some benefits of managed security services:

MSSPs Have Extensive Cybersecurity Knowledge and Experience

One of the most basic benefits of managed security services is that the MSSP will have in-depth knowledge of common (and even esoteric) network security issues that most businesses lack. In most cases, an active managed security service provider will have more current knowledge than an in-house cybersecurity team will.

This is often because the MSSP can leverage experience gained from managing network security issues for a large number of companies operating across different verticals. Meanwhile, the in-house team is only exposed to one company’s cybersecurity challenges and will not benefit from exposure to as many different attack strategies and security architectures.

The extra experience managed security service providers gain from working with other industries and verticals helps make them more flexible and adaptable. For example, if they see one company using a particular security measure that is highly effective, they may bring it to their other customers. Meanwhile, the in-house team may never see that security measure in action—so they never think to use it until after it has gained mass appeal.

Cybersecurity is Essential for SMBs and Enterprises

As larger businesses are continuing to pour money into cybersecurity solutions, whether it be for cybersecurity consulting or even their own internal cybersecurity team, criminals are looking for more vulnerable prey… typically smaller to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) which have weaker network security.

The preconceived notion that SMBs are at a disadvantage when it comes to network security when compared with larger businesses doesn’t have to be true. There are other ways to provide security for your smaller business which does not include having an internal cybersecurity team. Having a managed security service provider is invaluable for a SMB because your small business has protective services without the cost of an in-house cybersecurity team. Outsourcing your managed security specialists also frees up your own IT staff so they can allocate their time for other projects and tasks.

Cybersecurity is also essential for enterprises that maintain hundreds, if not more, of employees. Enterprises may manage numerous clients accounts full of personal information and have a large budget to protect them. The benefits of managed security services for an enterprise, instead of an internal team, include the extensive experience of an MSSP compared to a company’s own in-house staff.

Since managed security services work with a variety of clients, ranging from large enterprises to small businesses, they have extensive knowledge and experiences. While your own cybersecurity team will only have experience with your company’s challenges, an MSSP has the experience from being exposed to a variety of cybersecurity problems from working with companies across different fields. This makes managed security services more adaptable and highly effective when encountering a plethora of security measures.

MSSPs May Use Security Tools In-House Teams Aren’t Familiar With

Because of their extensive knowledge and experience, managed security service providers may come across tools and resources that an in-house cybersecurity team may not have heard of. This may help improve their ability to respond to specific cybersecurity challenges.

For example, if phishing attacks are a problem for your company (and, considering the data featured in the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon, they likely are), an experienced MSSP might have anti-phishing tools that are effective for stopping these attacks—tools that an in-house team with less real-world experience might not know about.

Having a broad knowledge of cybersecurity tools helps MSSPs better optimize the specific managed security services and tools that they use. This, in turn, helps them improve their customers’ network security architecture as a whole by mixing and matching the best services and tools for each company’s unique needs.

Using Managed Security Services Frees In-House IT for Value-Driven Work

Another one of the biggest benefits of managed security services is that using an external team to tackle security processes frees up internal IT team members, so they can focus on tasks that drive results.

Instead of having to constantly monitor SIEM data dashboards, threat intelligence feeds, and software developer update notifications for important updates, the internal IT team can provide support to the rest of the organization to help meet overarching business goals. This is often a better use of the IT team’s time—especially if cybersecurity wasn’t their primary purpose to begin with.

Reducing the Cost of Labor for Managing Cybersecurity Solutions

Hiring an in-house network security expert is prohibitively expensive for most organizations. Not only do cybersecurity pros have salaries that easily hit the six-figure range, companies need an entire team of these experts to provide optimal protection. After all, even the best cybersecurity pros need to take a break every now and again. Additionally, it takes a team to cultivate the broad knowledge pool needed to provide truly effective protection from cyber threats.

With managed security services, companies can access large teams of experienced security professionals for a fraction of the cost of hiring them internally. How do MSSPs manage security so cost-effectively? By applying economies of scale to their cybersecurity efforts.

The labor of the MSSP’s cybersecurity team is divided among several customers—which helps to ameliorate the costs for each customer. This is also how many MSSP teams develop such a broad knowledge base regarding network security and cyber threats—they learn from their experiences with other customers.

Naturally, the specific costs of managed security services will vary based on the vendor, what services are being provided, and the complexity/scale of the network being protected. However, these costs will generally be lower than the expenses required to staff a full-time in-house team robust enough to match the MSSP’s services.

All of these managed security services benefits help companies:

  • Save money;
  • Increase cybersecurity; and
  • Save resources for more important business tasks.

Are you ready to increase your organization’s cybersecurity with managed security services? Reach out to Compuquip today to learn more.

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